The Whole Truth (1958 film)

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The Whole Truth
The Whole Truth FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by John Guillermin
Written by Jonathan Latimer
Based onplay The Whole Truth by Philip Mackie
Produced by Jack Clayton
Starring Stewart Granger
Donna Reed
George Sanders
Gianna Maria Canale
Cinematography Wilkie Cooper
Edited by Gerry Hambling
Music by Mischa Spoliansky
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • 29 July 1958 (1958-07-29)(London)
  • September 1958 (1958-09)(United States)
Running time
84 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
United States
Box office392,806 admissions (France) [1]

The Whole Truth is a 1958 British-American film noir thriller film directed by John Guillermin and starring Stewart Granger, George Sanders, Donna Reed, Gianna Maria Canale and Peter Dyneley. [2] It was based on the 1955 play of the same title by Philip Mackie.


It was made at Walton Studios with some brief location shooting in France. The film's sets were designed by the art director Anthony Masters.


While making a film on the French Riviera, the producer Max Poulton has been having an affair with his star, Gina Bertini. A married man, Max does not want to lose his wife Carol, but the hot-tempered Gina threatens to tell all.

Max comes home with a blood stain on his shirt cuff. A visit follows from an Inspector Carliss of Scotland Yard, who says Gina's body has just been found, stabbed to death.

Rushing to the house where he and Gina used to secretly meet, Max gathers up possessions he's left behind. A neighbor spots his car. Upon returning home, to a party Carol is hosting, Max is astounded to find Gina alive and well among the guests.

Confused, he drives her home, leaves her in the car briefly, then returns to find her lifeless body, once again stabbed. Max thinks he must be losing his mind. This time a local police official, Inspector Simon, comes to call. The only conclusion Max can draw is that Carliss is somehow trying to frame him.

His suspicions are correct. Carliss is not a Scotland Yard inspector at all but Gina's jealous ex-husband. He has arranged things to make Max appear guilty, and Simon, having the neighbor's eyewitness description of seeing Max's car, has little choice but to place Max under arrest.

When it looks as though Carliss intends to harm Carol as well, Max escapes from jail. He manipulates Carliss into stealing his own car, and when the police give chase to the wrong man, Carliss, in a panic, drives off a cliff to his death. Max's innocence becomes apparent to the police.


Original TV play

Philip Mackie's 90-minute play debuted on television, airing on the BBC in July 1955. The TV play was screened again in 1956. [3] Stephen Harrison directed.


Stage play

It was then turned into a stage play which was presented by Henry Sherek in London in October 1955 starring Leslie Philips. [4]

Reviewing it Kenneth Tynan said the first two acts were "the tautest puzzle play since Dial M for Murder " but did not like the ending. [5]

Original cast



The US rights and film rights were bought by Gilbert Miller in January 1956. [6]

The film was made by Romulus Productions. Stewart Granger had just finished his contract with MGM and signed a two-picture deal with Romulus, of which The Whole Truth was to be the first; the second was to be The Night Comers from a novel by Eric Ambler and co-starring Jean Simmons. [7] [8] (This movie was never made.)

Jeanne Crain was originally announced as the female lead. [9] However Donna Reed ended up playing it. George Sanders joined the cast in July 1957. [10]


Filming started in London on 16 September 1957. [10]

Romulus later announced they offered Stewart Granger a six-picture contract worth $1.5 million. [11] However he made no more films for that company.[ citation needed ]


Filmink praised the "brilliant first half". [12]

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  1. Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story
  2. "WHOLE TRUTH, The". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 25, no. 288. London. 1 January 1958. p. 106.
  3. Our, R. C. (5 March 1956). "SUCCESSFUL PLAY REPEATED". The Manchester Guardian.
  4. Review of London production of play at Variety
  5. Tynan, K. (16 October 1955). "Music while you work". The Observer.
  6. S. Z. (10 January 1956). "MILLER TWIN BILL PLAY BE A SINGLE". New York Times. ProQuest   113596657.
  7. "MOVIELAND EVENTS". Los Angeles Times. 17 October 1956. ProQuest   166981939.
  8. "MOPPING UP BEGUN ON BATTLE MOVIE". New York Times. 14 August 1957. ProQuest   114176715.
  9. "Drama". Los Angeles Times. 21 May 1956.
  10. 1 2 Schallert, Edwin (2 July 1957). "Cornel Wilde Readies Hungary Saga; George Sanders Stars Abroad". Los Angeles Times. p. B7.
  11. Schallert, E. (5 November 1957). British want howard keel. Los Angeles Times
  12. Vagg, Stephen (17 November 2020). "John Guillermin: Action Man". Filmink.