High Treason (1951 film)

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High Treason
"High Treason" (1951 film).jpg
Original British quad poster
Directed byRoy Boulting
Written by Roy Boulting
Frank Harvey
Produced by Paul Soskin
Starring Liam Redmond
Anthony Bushell
André Morell
Cinematography Gilbert Taylor
Edited by Max Benedict
Music by John Addison
Production
company
Conqueror Films
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Peacemaker Pictures (US)
Release date
  • 13 November 1951 (1951-11-13)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Box office£88,000 [1]

High Treason is a 1951 British spy thriller. [2] [3] It is a sequel to the film Seven Days to Noon (1950) from the same team. Director Roy Boulting, co-director (with his brother John) and co-writer of the first film also directed and co-wrote this one. [3] Frank Harvey, Boulting's co-writer, was also a co-writer of the earlier film. André Morell reprises his role as Detective Superintendent Folland of Scotland Yard's Special Branch from the first film, though in High Treason he is subordinate to the head of Special Branch, Commander Robert "Robbie" Brennan, played by Liam Redmond. [4]

Contents

Plot

Enemy saboteurs infiltrate the industrial suburbs of London, intending to disable three power stations in London and five other stations elsewhere, all strategically located throughout the UK. Their motive is to cripple the British economy and to enable subversive forces to insinuate themselves into government. The saboteurs are thwarted, not by counterintelligence agents, but by workaday London police officers, and finally by a repentant betrayer from their own ranks.

Cast

Critical reception

An unnamed New York Times reviewer commented, "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," and remarked that, "deft direction, crisp dialogue and a generally excellent cast gives High Treason a high polish," concluding that the film is "a taut tale and a pleasure". [5]

In 2013, a contributor to Cageyfilms.com wrote, "although the politics of High Treason are as dated as those of Leo McCarey's My Son John (1952), the location shooting in London and the character details around the periphery of the narrative provide a fascinating documentary portrait of the metropolis just a few years after the war and, as in Sam Fuller's Pickup on South Street , the ostensible political element can be seen as little more than a MacGuffin on which to hang the narrative. And speaking of MacGuffins, the film has several very well-developed Hitchcockian elements, particularly the pretentious modern music society which serves as a front for the communist plotters and the labyrinthine building which doubles as a tutorial college and secret commie headquarters". [6]

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References

  1. BFI Collections: Michael Balcon Papers H3 reprinted in British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference By Sue Harper, Vincent Porter p 41
  2. "High Treason (1951)". BFI. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  3. 1 2 Hal Erickson. "High Treason (1951) – Roy Boulting – Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related – AllMovie". AllMovie.
  4. "Overview for Andre Morell". Turner Classic Movies.
  5. "'High Treason,' J. Arthur Rank Production, Has U. S. Premiere at 52d Street Trans-Lux". The New York Times. 21 May 1952. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  6. "Damned Treason". cageyfilms.com.