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The Next of Kin (1942)

Wartime propaganda piece giving the warning "Be like Dad, Keep Mum". A gossipy housewife is overheard talking about what her son is doing by a Nazi spy.


Thorold Dickinson


Thorold Dickinson (original screen play), Basil Bartlett (original screen play) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mervyn Johns ... No. 23 (Mr. Davis) (as Ft. Lt. Mervyn Johns RAF.VR.)
John Chandos John Chandos ... No. 16
Nova Pilbeam ... Beppie Leemans
Reginald Tate Reginald Tate ... Maj. Richards (as Sqn-Ldr. Reginald Tate RAF.VR.)
Stephen Murray ... Mr. Barratt (as L/C Stephen Murray RASC)
Geoffrey Hibbert Geoffrey Hibbert ... Pte. John
Philip Friend ... Lieut. Cummings
Phyllis Stanley ... Miss Clare, the dancer
Mary Clare ... Mrs. 'Ma' Webster
Basil Sydney ... Naval Captain
Joss Ambler Joss Ambler ... Mr. Vemon
Brefni O'Rorke ... The Brigadier Blunt
Alexander Field Alexander Field ... Pte. Durnford
David Hutcheson David Hutcheson ... Intelligence Officer (as Ft-Lt. David Hutcheson RAF.VR.)
Jack Hawkins ... Brigade Major Harcourt (as 2nd. Lt. Jack Hawkins RWF)


Wartime propaganda piece giving the warning "Be like Dad, Keep Mum". A gossipy housewife is overheard talking about what her son is doing by a Nazi spy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery | Thriller | War


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Release Date:

15 May 1942 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Alguien habló See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


William Walton: Soldier at security briefing. See more »


When Beppie meets her soldier boyfriend near his north of England training ground, he is standing by a Western National bus stop. Western National only operated in the South West of England, not the North. See more »


Joe - Irish seaman: The holy mother herself would be needin' a tin hat on a night like this.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[pre-title announcement] "This is the story of how YOU unwittingly worked for the enemy", See more »


Referenced in Enigma (2001) See more »


Doushka (Waltz)
Music by Ernest Irving
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User Reviews

Spying, training and combat action – this war film has them all
26 October 2015 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

What started out as a training film for military security, "The Next of Kin" became a full-fledged movie that was released in the United Kingdom in 1942 and in America the following year. This film is much in the line of a number of wartime espionage thrillers. Some were made between the world wars. Others were made during the war, and a good number were made in the years and decades following World War II.

What sets "The Next of Kin Apart," is its combination of military and civilian. It's focus is on leaks by military personnel during wartime and how the enemy can collect and use the information. It is a film about combat training and operations. And, it is a film about a Nazi spy ring operating within the general population of England. The British soldiers don't know who the enemy spies might be, but they are not to trust anyone with information about their training or unit plans. The Nazi spies know the British forces, but they don't know where or when they are sent for training, or what their missions might be. The one is to keep its mouth shut. The other is to keep its eyes and ears open and, if necessary, to pry the information out of unsuspecting soldiers and citizens.

The movie ties the two entities together by the training of the troops, by their leave time enjoyments, and by other subtle encounters. In the training, the troops are told of the need for strict security and the devastating results that can come from security leaks. And this film delivers with a very good plot. All the performances are very good. My DVD has an introduction and closing with a general speaking to a large group of American GIs and reiterating the need to keep one's mouth shut.

Some view this as a propaganda film, but that's a far stretch. The film doesn't seem to fit any of the usual dictionary definitions of influencing people's opinions or promoting a particular cause or point of view. Rather, it seems pretty straightforward about the dangers of security leaks. And that means training – and education by examples and possible consequences.

"The Next of Kin" doesn't boast a billboard of big names of the silver screen of the day. But it is a very good and interesting movie that most people should enjoy. It's a must for any good war films library.

Those interested in espionage films should appreciate any of the classics of the genre. "The 39 Steps" of 1935 and "The Third Man" of 1949 are considered the very best by many movie buffs. But right up there with them are "5 Fingers" and "The Counterfeit Traitor," both made in 1952. Some later excellent films are two 1965 releases, "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" and "The Ipcress File;" and a 1975 thriller, "Three Days of the Condor." Most of those are civilian espionage settings.

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