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The October Man (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery | 20 May 1948 (USA)
Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Ward Baker (as Roy Baker)

Writers:

Eric Ambler (novel), Eric Ambler (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Jim Ackland
Joan Greenwood ... Jenny Carden
Edward Chapman ... Mr. Peachy
Kay Walsh ... Molly Newman
Joyce Carey ... Mrs. Vinton
Catherine Lacey ... Miss Selby
Adrianne Allen ... Joyce Carden
Felix Aylmer ... Dr. Martin
Frederick Piper Frederick Piper ... Det. Insp. Godby
John Boxer John Boxer ... Det. Sgt. Troth
Patrick Holt ... Harry Carden
George Benson George Benson ... Mr. Pope
Jack Melford Jack Melford ... Wilcox
Esme Beringer Esme Beringer ... Miss Heap
Ann Wilton Ann Wilton ... Miss Parsons
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Storyline

Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has no alibi for the time she was killed. Written by Mike Wilson <Mike.Wilson6@btinternet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was Suspect Number One...while the real killer stalked the streets. [video cover] See more »

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Zwielicht See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Two Cities Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First known feature film appearance of (an uncredited) Sid James. See more »

Quotes

Jim Ackland: I didn't give up! I didn't give up!
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User Reviews

 
British Noir
23 October 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

One of the best pieces of acting I've seen John Mills do is in this film The October Man. It takes part of its plot from Laura and part of it from the American film High Wall that starred Robert Taylor.

Mills as he did on so many occasions was the British average Joe who as it happens suffers a traumatic brain injury as a result of a train wreck. He blacks out and comes back with no apparent rhyme or reason and his treating doctor Felix Aylmer says that's likely to go on for some time. No reason though he can't resume normal life and employment.

Which he does and starts living at a boarding house with the usual amount of busybodies. He even gets a relationship of sorts going with both Joan Greenwood and Kay Walsh. But when Walsh turns up murdered, Mills is looking real good for it to Scotland Yard guys Frederick Piper and John Boxer.

Of course Mills didn't do it, but the fascinating thing with The October Man is that we do learn before the end who did do it and that individual confesses to Mills. The perpetrator is also a mentally unstable, but has learned to hide it. And it looks very much as if Mills will not be able to prove his innocence.

The focus of The October Man is on Mills's plight. It's one of the best pieces of acting I've ever seen from John Mills. He does you really do think he's about to get into a jackpot not of his own doing.

The October Man was very much influenced by Hollywood noir, although I'm sure our friends across the pond could say our noir films were influenced by this. It's a very moody cinematographic piece with expert use of shadow and lights. And John Mills is heartbreaking in the role.

Don't miss this if it is ever broadcast again on this side of the Atlantic.


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