Green for Danger (Region B)

Type: New Blu-Ray

August 1944; with the puttering of Nazi Doodlebugs an ever-present menacing undertone, the staff and patients of a small rural hospital go about their daily business. But, as Alastair Sim’s narration dolefully informs us, a killer is about to strike! Sidney Gilliat’s 1946 comedy thriller wastes little time in deftly sketching out the suspects and establishing the passions, rivalries and buried secrets that could lead one of them to murder. And sure enough, without explanation, a patient dies on the operating table during a routine surgery (the green of the title refers to the colour coding of anaesthetic gas canisters – a fact probably lost on cinema audiences given that the film was made in black and white). Hospital management are determined to downplay the accident, but then a nurse announces that the death was deliberate – and that she knows who is to blame!


Despite providing the voiceover that bookends the film, Sim’s Inspector Cockrill doesn’t appear until over a third of the way into the action. Pratfalling his way over a swinging gate in his first shot, he has been called on to investigate the suspicious death. But it’s not long before he’s engaged in larceny of his own, craftily stealing every scene from under the noses of a distinguished cast that includes Trevor Howard, Sally Gray and Rosamund John. With the murderer prepared to strike again to conceal their secret, the shrewd Cockrill takes a risky gamble to unmask the culprit. But his over-confidence could yet prove to be his undoing…

Sim cuts an unmistakable figure, tie askew and cadaverous face alight with mischief. And whether he’s skulking around in the background, needling the suspects like a prototype-Columbo, or gleefully pulling up a chair to watch when two of the doctors come to fisticuffs, he brings a sly, almost anarchic presence to what could easily have been a staid potboiler in less capable hands than those of Launder and Gilliat. Green for Danger was a key entry in their 40-year run of films and they would go on to make their indelible mark on British movies with such classics as London Belongs to Me, The Happiest Days of Your Life and the St. Trinians series. Its lightness of touch and strong performances won plaudits in the contemporary trade press, and it performed well, both in British cinemas and overseas. A notable success on DVD as previously released by Network, we're pleased to admit Green for Danger into The British Film range at long last, in the form of this brand-new, High Definition transfer from original film elements.