Home at Seven (film)

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Home at Seven
"Home at Seven" (1952 film).jpg
Directed by Ralph Richardson
Written by Anatole de Grunwald
Based on Home at Seven
by R.C. Sherriff
Produced by Maurice Cowan
Starring Ralph Richardson
Margaret Leighton
Jack Hawkins
Cinematography Jack Hildyard
Edward Scaife
Edited by Bert Bates
Music by Malcolm Arnold
Distributed by British Lion Films
Release date
  • 17 March 1952 (1952-03-17)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office£94,335 (UK) [1]

Home at Seven is a 1952 British mystery drama film directed by and starring Ralph Richardson. It also features Margaret Leighton, Jack Hawkins, Campbell Singer and Michael Shepley. It is based on the 1950 play Home at Seven by R. C. Sherriff. [2] It was shot at Shepperton Studios with sets designed by the art directors Vincent Korda and Frederick Pusey. The film is Richardson's only work as director. [3] Guy Hamilton was assistant director. It was released on DVD in the UK on 30 June 2014 by Network Distributing.



Preston, a City of London banker, returns at 7 pm to his suburban home in Kent one Tuesday evening to discover that he has been missing for 24 hours, yet he does not remember the lost day. He discovers that he was seen at the social club which he is the treasurer of on Monday evening taking 515 pounds from the safe. The man who saw this, Robinson, is found murdered in an allotment the evening he comes home.

When questioned by the police he lies that he spent the night across London with friends. However he later discovers the friend he nominated is away on holidays.

He goes to his doctor and tells him he has started to remember things. He describes where Robinson was found and how he was being followed by him. He says he buried the money then followed Robinson. He tells the doctor of his lie about where he was Monday night.

His doctor takes him to see his solicitor who advises him to employ an expensive counsel to defend himself. The solicitor also advises him to tell the police the correct story. He becomes the major suspect in the robbery and murder, but he does not know if he was involved or not.

The police takes him to the police station for a statement after collecting his clothes and shoes worn on Monday. Preston's wife reveals to the lawyer that her husband has been short of money due to his father embezzling money from his work.

He tells the police that he cannot remember anything from 6 pm Monday till 7 pm Tuesday. The president of the club tells the doctor that Preston has been borrowing money all around the club.

It is ultimately revealed by a barmaid that he regularly spends from 5pm till 6 pm each evening in her pub. He did this on Monday evening but started acting oddly following a loud bang outside, which seemed to trigger a war time memory. He seemed to think the war is back on. He then is placed in a room in the hotel and he goes to sleep. He sleeps there all night and in the morning still seems to think the war is on. He stayed in the room all day. They take him down to the bar at 5 pm and he comes out if the trance, says he is going home, and leaves. She tells the police and they advise Preston they have discovered Robinson and another person did the robbery and he murdered Robinson.


Critical reception

Variety stated that "Richardson directs the piece with a straightforward competence." [4] Sight & Sound was more critical: Richardson had "divided his talent between the principal role and the direction, but the latter is practically non-existent in any cinema sense". [5]

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  1. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p495
  2. "Home at Seven". BFI. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009.
  3. "Home at Seven (1952) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  4. "Home at Seven". Variety. 1 January 1952.
  5. "Home at Seven" . Sight & Sound. Vol. 19, no. 218. British Film Institute. March 1952. pp. 30–31.