Mine Own Executioner

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Mine Own Executioner
Mine Own Executioner FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed by Anthony Kimmins
Written by Nigel Balchin
Based on Mine Own Executioner by Nigel Balchin
Produced byAnthony Kimmins
Jack Kitchin
Alexander Korda (exec producer)
Starring Burgess Meredith
Kieron Moore
Cinematography Wilkie Cooper
Edited by Richard Best
Music by Benjamin Frankel
Distributed by British Lion Films
Release date
  • 22 November 1947 (1947-11-22)(UK)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£158,734 (UK) [1]

Mine Own Executioner is a 1947 British psychological thriller drama film starring Burgess Meredith and directed by Anthony Kimmins, and based on the novel of the same name by Nigel Balchin. It was entered into the 1947 Cannes Film Festival. [2] The title is derived from a quotation of John Donne's "Devotions", which serves as the motto for the original book.



Felix Milne (Meredith) is an overworked psychologist with psychological problems of his own. Molly Lucian seeks Milne's help in treating her husband Adam, traumatised from his experiences in a Japanese POW camp. Adam is about to become severely schizophrenic. To make matters worse, Felix finds his own home life deteriorating.



The American actor Burgess Meredith was cast in the lead. At the same time, his wife Paulette Goddard was also hired by Alexander Korda to appear in An Ideal Husband (1947). [3]

Australian Frederic Hilton worked as technical adviser. [4]


The New York Times noted a "serious, adult and highly interesting film drama both in point of view and execution," singling out the work of writer Balchin, director Kimmins, and producer Korda, alongside stars Burgess Meredith and Kieron Moore. [5]

The film was picketed on its US release by the Sons of Liberty, an anti-British group active at the time. [6] The picketing was part of the group's call to boycott British films and products, and had little to do with Mine Own Executioner in itself.

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  1. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000
  2. "Festival de Cannes: Mine Own Executioner". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  3. "British Film News 17-YEARS-OLD OPHELIA FOR SCREEN "HAMLET"". The Sydney Morning Herald . National Library of Australia. 15 May 1947. p. 10. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  4. "English Studios Didn't Surprise Mr. Meredith". The Sunday Times . Perth: National Library of Australia. 15 June 1947. p. 13 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE SUNDAY TIMES. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  5. W, -- a (19 January 1949). "Another Cinema Psychological Study" via NYTimes.com.
  6. "UK bitter at US picketing of films". The Argus . Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 21 August 1948. p. 4. Retrieved 7 July 2012.