An Inspector Calls

1954

Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery

42
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 2453

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Alastair Sim as Inspector Poole
George Cole as Tram Conductor
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
691.02 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.23 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 7 / 10

Disappointing!

Despite its stellar cast, "An Inspector Calls" (1954) is not even a moderate success but a somewhat lack-luster affair on the cinema screen. All told, it is not half as effective as it is on the stage where its obvious theatricality rates as a plus, rather than a minus factor.

When the film was first released much was made of the fact that Sim had a dramatic rather than a comic role, but he seems rather uncomfortable in the part nonetheless. He obviously knows that despite all the publicity to the contrary, his faithful audience will be hanging on his words, waiting for him to say something funny - and will be very disappointed when this doesn't happen.

It's left to Arthur Young as the bloated business-man and Jane Wenham as the victim to make most of the runs. Dull, static direction by the usually competent Guy Hamilton doesn't help either.

In fact, given its splendid advertising and its cruise liner publicity, "An Inspector Calls" rated as a big disappointment with both the professional critics and regular moviegoers at the time of its release way back in 1954.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 10 / 10

One call not forgotten

Being a classic film fan (though do watch films and television of all genres/medium old and new), that 'An Inspector Calls' was based on the classic play with a great story by JB Priestley and had a great actor in Alastair Sim on board were reasons enough to see it.

'An Inspector Calls' thankfully did not disappoint. While the 2015 television adaptation with David Thewlis was also wonderful, this film version from 1954 is the marginally better one. Even if it does open up the deliberately confined setting and atmosphere of the play with the inclusion of flashbacks for cinematic reasons no doubt, which some may feel tones down the claustrophobia. To me it isn't as strong as it is on stage but is present still. As well as changing the Inspector's name from Goole to Poole, some may, and have done, find that it misses the point of the character for reasons that won't be gone into here at the risk of spoiling crucial elements of the story. Didn't have as big a problem with this change though it does take away a little from the character's mysteriousness. But what makes this version of 'An Inspector Calls' so good is how well it succeeds on its own merits.

It is an incredibly atmospheric film first and foremost, it's not the most technically polished film there is but it does look good. The setting do maintain the sense of confinement and claustrophobia and are produced elegantly. The cinematography and lighting are suitably ominous and while not the most polished look beautiful and add hugely to the atmosphere. A big shout out also has to go to the editing, with 'An Inspector Calls' containing to me some of the best editing of any film seen recently by me and of its kind, with its fluid and seamless transitions between present day and the flashbacks. Something that has been done with wildly variable results elsewhere, many films do it well and just as many others executing it rather clumsily.

Regarding the music, much of it is very haunting and adds a lot in giving a sense of constant unease. There are a few instances where it's a touch heavy-handed, my sole complaint of the film but it is not significant enough to bring it down. The script is droll and thought-provoking, never once found it trite, the best lines belong to the Inspector and Sim's delivery has a lot to do with it.

Story goes at a deliberate but efficient and never too slow pace, it is unsettlingly suspenseful and very intriguing. The portrayal and dynamic of the central family were beautifully established, there is a lot of great psychological tension and unease when the family are interrogated and the flashbacks were a great way of opening up the story and solving the potential problem while stage to screen adaptations of being stagy. They allowed us to get to know the victim and care for her plight and also the members of the Birling family and how it all affects them. The final twist, while open to interpretation, really sends a chill down the spine.

The performances are very fine across the board. Didn't have a problem with Bryan Forbes, though he fares better as a director than an actor in a way. 'An Inspector Calls' is compelling from the get go , but gets even better once the inspector shows up and interrogates the Birlings to utterly transfixing effect. Alastair Sim always had a knack for scene-stealing, whether in lead or support, and he does here in a superb performance that perhaps ranks among his best. Loved his witty but serious line delivery and even more so his understated and oh so expressive eyes and face.

Jane Wenham is very touching in her here pathos-filled role. Arthur Young has the right amount of patriarchal authority and crustiness and Olga Lindo brings dignity and class.

Concluding, wonderful and not easy to forget. 10/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by calvinnme 9 / 10

I'm not sure if Alfred Hitchcock or Rod Serling called...

... but this was an excellent British film. I can't really say if it was suspense, thriller, or even fantasy. The beginning has five wealthy people sitting down to dinner with the daughter in the family, Sheila, announcing her engagement to Gerald, who is obviously approved of by the family. The son, Eric, is obviously a cynic. Lots of time is spent having the camera pan over all of the food. The reason why will be obvious later. The father, Mr. Birling, says that the young people are marrying at a time of great prosperity and that war is impossible in 1912, that the world is changing too fast for war (WRONG - won't be the last time either for dear old dad). Then he says that the family must try and stay out of the scandal sheets since he is expecting to be appointed to an important post and with Sheila's upcoming marriage. He really says this last part jokingly, as if anybody in that room could do something scandalous.

And out of nowhere a police inspector appears in the dining room doorway. They even mention why he didn't knock. He says he is there because a young woman has just died of poisoning and he needs to ask them a few questions. He says he is not sure if it is suicide or murder. He goes to each family member in turn and shows them a photo of the girl but does not show the same photo to anybody else. Each person remembers the girl, and each did something - sometimes a very small thing just because that person was having a bad day - that led the dead girl on the road to ruin, ultimately placing her in a situation where she was desperate and felt she had no out but suicide. She was young, pretty, and smart, but she had no real family and no money, putting herself at the whim of the upper classes.

After all of the revelations, Gerald goes outside for a walk to calm down and runs into a policeman he knows where he learns a shocking fact. What did he find out and what comes of it? Watch and find out.

The whole point of the film I think is to show that each of us may be a small pebble on this earth, but in life's pond we can produce big ripples. In concert with other "pebbles" we can start off a chain reaction in a person's life that greatly affects them without really knowing or caring what we did until we are made to care and look at the result of our handiwork.

This film was very suspenseful with lots of twists and turns. Alistair Sim was marvelous as the inspector, unfazed and deliberate throughout. I'd highly recommend it.

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