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Town on Trial (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | August 1957 (USA)
At a local tennis club in a posh London suburb, an attractive but flirty young woman is murdered, prompting a Scotland Yard investigation.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Supt. Mike Halloran
...
Dr. John Fenner
...
Elizabeth Fenner
...
Mark Roper
...
Peter Crowley (as Alec Mc Cowen)
...
Mrs. Crowley
...
Charles Dixon
...
Helen Dixon
...
Sgt. Rogers
Harry Locke ...
Sgt. Beale
...
Dr. Reese
...
Leslie (Bandleader)
...
Mary Roper
Magda Miller ...
Molly Stevens
Newton Blick ...
Asst. Commissioner Beckett
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Storyline

When an attractive young girl is murdered, suspicion falls on several members of the local tennis club. It falls to Police Inspector Halloran to sort out all the red herrings, and finally after a confrontation at the top of the local church spire, arrest the culprit. Another fascinating look at what life was like in Britain during the 50's, Written by mike.wilson6@btinternet.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The secrets and scandals of a whole town shocked into the open! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Town on Trial  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The map of Oakley Park shown at the beginning of the film is actually of Banbury, Oxfordshire. See more »

Goofs

At about 95 minutes Mills admits that his evidence would not convince 'the Public Prosecutor'. In English and Welsh law there has never been such a term. Since 1908 it would have been the Director of Public Prosecutions for any 1957 police officer. See more »

Quotes

Supt. Mike Halloran: Are there any real people in this town I wonder?
Elizabeth Fenner: You know the population of Oakley Park? It's about 50,000. How many people have you met so far? A dozen?
See more »

Soundtracks

Lunar Sunrise
(uncredited)
Music by Robert Farnon
Chappell Recorded Music Library
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User Reviews

 
A competent, reasonably entertaining but ultimately unmemorable thriller
28 April 2012 | by (London) – See all my reviews

"Town on Trial" is the kind of film that is simply not made these days. I imagine it is the sort of thing that formed part of the staple repertoire of B-movies that were shown in cinemas in the days when filmgoers were treated to an appetiser before the main feature was aired. Such films were usually unpretentious, workmanlike dramas that provided solid but unmemorable entertainment to get patrons in the mood for the (hopefully) more sophisticated fare that was to follow. "Town on Trial" is a good example of that kind of film.

The plot concerns the investigation into the murder of a femme fatale in the commuter-belt town of Oakley Park in what I assume is meant to be southern England of the 1950s. The investigation is undertaken by Superintendent Halloran (John Mills), who becomes romantically involved with the niece of the town's GP. A further murder takes place before Superintendent Halloran solves the case.

Any critical analysis of a film such as this is largely superfluous. "Town on Trial" knows exactly what it is doing - and delivers a solidly entertaining mystery that has the air of an early forerunner of an episode of the current British TV series "Midsomer Murders". The cast includes an impressive array of well-known British character actors of the time, such as Raymond Huntley, Derek Farr, Fay Compton, Harry Fowler, Geoffrey Keen, Margaretta Scott and the wonderfully-named Totti Truman Taylor. It is competently directed and scripted and, while it will not live long in the memory, provides 90 minutes or so of undemanding entertainment. 6/10.


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