Friday, January 15, 2016

High Treason,' J. Arthur Rank Production

High Treason
"High Treason" (1951 film).jpg
Original British quad poster
Directed byRoy Boulting
Produced byPaul Soskin
Written byRoy Boulting
Frank Harvey
StarringLiam Redmond
Anthony Bushell
André Morell
Music byJohn Addison
CinematographyGilbert Taylor
Edited byMax Benedict
Distributed byPeacemaker Pictures
Release dates
13 November 1951
Running time
90 min.

THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; ' High Treason,' J. Arthur Rank Production, Has U. S. Premiere at 52d Street Trans-Lux

Published: May 21, 1952
Since Frank Harvey and Roy Boulting were responsible for the script of that tension-packed British import of 1950, "Seven Days to Noon," that redoubtable pair now can be credited with being in a fairly auspicious rut. For in "High Treason," which arrived at the Fifty-second Street Trans-Lux yesterday, the Messrs. Harvey and Boulting are following awesome parallel lines—a blueprint which does not involve an atom bomb, as was the case in "Seven Days," but one which grippingly deals with the mounting effects of a group of saboteurs intent on crippling Brittain's power plants.
Comparisons being in order, it is worthy to note that "High Treason" travels at a more leisurely pace than "Seven Days," but Roy Boulting, who also directed, achieves an equally intelligent handling of the many pieces needed to fit his intricate jigsaw of a plot. There is also the matter of the clash of ideologies inherent in the story, which, while being superficial and inconclusive, leaves no doubt in the mind of the viewer that the skulking villains are being influenced from behind the Iron Curtain. This, however, appears to be secondary to the basic theme elaborated by Mr. Boulting. He and his associates are intent on showing that his saboteurs are a frightening cross-section of the populace and that their "warrens," are as commonplace as the Parliament buildings, London shops, schools and docksides.
Since melodrama and mystery also are the prime objectives, credit the producers with providing these ingredients in full measure. A completely unimpressive clerk in the Ministry of Supply surreptitiously copies information about a freighter about to leave for the Far East with a cargo of munitions. The ship explodes, bringing a crew of investigators from Scotland Yard and Military Intelligence. Thereafter the sleuths, faced by a suspect or two and a few clues, follow their slim leads to the appalling fact that saboteurs are planning to blow up Battersea power station, as well as plants in other major cities.
Call the climax obvious and far from a gem of ingenuity—it seems a foregone conclusion that the cops successfully will shoot it out with the sappers amid the noisy whirring generators of the power station—but up to that point deft direction, crisp dialogue and a generally excellent cast gives "High Treason" a high polish.
The principals, with the exception of one or two of the conniving group who are stereotyped characters, turn in top flight performances. Although he is not well known on this side of the Atlantic, Liam Redmond, a recruit from the Abbey Theatre, whose Irish brogue, odly enough, fits in neatly with the proceedings, is excellent as the top Scotland Yard investigator, an unhurried, rational and decisive detective. Kenneth Griffith does a restrained but poignant job as a terrified radio shop owner and ill-fated dupe of the saboteurs.
John Bailey, on the other hand, overplays the role of the villainous strong-arm member of the gang but Andre Morell and Anthony Bushell, as Yard operatives; Mary Morris, as one of the sabotage leaders; Anthony Nichols as the suave, cultured and seemingly liberal M. P. schemer; Charles Lloyd Pack, as the Ministry clerk, and Dora Bryan, as a garrulous shopper are convincing types, who, aided by a roving camera tour of the British metropolis, help make the crimes in "High Treason" a taut tale and a pleasure.HIGH TREASON, original story and screen play by Frank Harvey and Roy Boulting; directed by Mr. Boulting; produced by Paul Soskin; a British-made picture presented by the J. Arthur Rank organization; a Pacemaker-Mayer-Kingsley release distributed by Pacemaker Pictures. At the Fifty-second Street Trans-Lux. 
Comdr. Robert Brennan . . . . . Liam Redmond
Anna Braun . . . . . Mary Morris
Superintendent Folland . . . . . Andre Morell
Jimmy Ellis . . . . . Kenneth Griffith
Major Elliott . . . . . Anthony Bushell
Mrs. Ellis . . . . . Joan Hickson
Grant Mansfield . . . . . Anthony Nichols
George Eilis . . . . . Patric Doonan
Morgan Williams . . . . . Geoffrey Keen
Commissioner . . . . . R. Stuart Lindsell
Stringer . . . . . John Bailey
Mrs. Bowers . . . . . Dora Bryan
Percy Ward . . . . . Charles Lloyd Pack
Gordon Wells . . . . . Laurence Naismith
Home Secretary . . . . . Lockwood West
Benson . . . . . Jack McNaughton
Slater . . . . . Julian Amys
Watson . . . . . John Harvey
Photographer . . . . . Harry Fowler
Sabotage Leader . . . . . Cyril Conway

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