February 20, 2017


Green for Danger – 1947 | 91 mins | Thriller, Mystery | B&W


Plot Synopsis

Green for Danger

Murder in a hospital! And the hospital itself is unusual, a lovely Tudor mansion with gigantic old beams and timbered floors, oak-panelled walls and flagged passageways. In the beautiful grounds are a weir stream and a topiary hedge, a long shrub-covered pergola and rock garden with such a profusion of flowers as only a great English estate can show. It is in fact, an emergency wartime hospital near London.

Higgins, a postman who is also a light rescue worker, is brought in as a flying bomb casualty. The surgeon, Mr. Eden, makes his examination. “We’ll operate at ten o’clock, Nurse,” he tells Nurse Sanson. At ten o’clock the operating theatre is ready. The steaming instruments have been taken from the steriliser, the great shadowless lights are switched on. Sister Bates, masked and gloved, gives a last look round; the patient is wheeled in; the anaesthetist starts up his machine. Suddenly, inexplicably, there is tragedy, the patient dies on the operating table. All those present are bewildered – and suspicious. Then, because she stumbles on evidence that the patient was murdered, Sister Bates is stabbed to death.

Inspector Cockrill, an ominously whimsical fellow, is called from Scotland Yard to investigate the crimes. He finds that each of five suspects has a strong motive for murder. Nurse Freddie Linley is one. Another is Dr. Barnes, the anaesthetist, with whom she is in love. There is also the woman-weary surgeon, Mr. Eden. The others are Nurses Sanson and Woods. The Inspector’s dry cross examination fails to trap the criminal.

Is Nurse Sanson the most likely suspect? “Obviously she couldn’t have done it,” Dr. Barnes protests warmly. Is it one of the doctors? The inspector finds Barnes and Eden fighting with Nurse Sanson an interested spectator. “We might perhaps arrange a future contest in aid of some deserving charity,” the inspector comments.

Eventually he decides to carry his investigations into the operating theatre. He stages a mock operation with the five suspects in attendance: Eden, Barnes, and the three nurses. Nerves are frayed, but each is determined to give nothing away to the watchful inspector. The ‘operation’ begins. Every detail of the postman’s death is carefully reconstructed. By this grim experiment, Cockrill proves that the crime was carried out by repainting cylinders of lethal gas normally coloured green – to resemble oxygen cylinders. And the murderer is dramatically revealed.

Production Team

Sidney Gilliat: Director
Percy Hermes: Asst Director
Wilkie Cooper: Cinematography
Thelma Myers: Editing
London Symphony Orchestra: Music
William Alwyn: Music Direction
Frank Launder: Producer
Sidney Gilliat: Producer
Peter Proud: Production Designer
AS Bates: Production Designer
Claud Guerney: Script
Sidney Gilliat: Script
Eric Clennell: Sound


Megs Jenkins: Nurse Woods
Leo Genn: Mr Eden
Henry Edwards: Mr Purdy
Trevor Howard: Dr Barnes
Ronald Adam: Dr White
Alastair Sim: Inspector Cockerill
George Woodbridge: Det-Sgt Hendricks
Judy Campbell: Sister Bates
Wendy Thompson: Sister Carter
Moore Marriott: Joseph Higgins
Sally Gray: Nurse Linley
Rosamund John: Nurse Sanson

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