Town on Trial


John Guillermin
Columbia Pictures

Police inspector runs into brick walls and closed minds in rural England while investigating the murder of an attractive woman at the local country club.

Not a bad police procedural; it juggles the red herrings well, and Mills makes a good policeman. Unfortunately, all the characters are obnoxious snobs who one wishes would all get hauled in for questioning and beaten with a rubber hose. The romance between Mills and Bates is unlikely at best, and silly at worst. Finally, and most damaging, the climax is badly let down by character motivations going out the window (it almost seems like another screenwriter wrote the last reel) and not helped by dodgy special effects and trite dialogue. An interesting failure. I do hope British life in the 50s wasn't this desperately straitened, though it probably was.

Interesting to note that this film misquotes the Book of Ezekiel forty years before Pulp Fiction.

-Dave W.

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22nd January 1957

95 mins

1st August 1957

95 mins

John Mills
Superintendent Mike Halloran
Charles Coburn
Dr. John Fenner
Barbara Bates
Elizabeth Fenner
Derek Farr
Mark Roper
Alec McCowen
Peter Crowley
Fay Compton
Mrs. Crowley
Geoffrey Keen
Charles Dixon
Margaretta Scott
Helen Dixon
Meredith Edwards
Sergeant Rogers
Harry Locke
Sergeant Beale
Raymond Huntley
Dr. Reese
Harry Fowler
Leslie (Bandleader)
Maureen Connell
Mary Roper
Magda Miller
Molly Stevens
Newton Blick
Asst. Commissioner Beckett
Oscar Quitak
Totti Truman Taylor
Mrs. Gerrard
(as Trottie Truman Taylor)
Grace Arnold
Club Committee Woman
Elizabeth Seal
Fiona Dixon
Arthur Howell
Police Sergeant
Pat Halpin
Country Club Member
Michael Dempsey
Country Club Waiter
Unknown 19905-01
Tennis Player
Unknown 19905-08
Tennis Player
Unknown 19905-10
Tennis Player
Fred Stroud
Country Club Member
Unknown 19905-14
Country Club Member
Unknown 19905-15
Country Club Member
Jack Mandeville
Crime Scene Spectator
Ned Lynch
Crime Scene Spectator
Lola Morice
Crime Scene Spectator
Mabel Etherington
Crime Scene Spectator
Muriel Greenslade
Crime Scene Spectator
Jack Sharp
Crime Scene Spectator
Frank Maher
Crime Scene Spectator
John Warwick
Inspector Hughes
Peter Brace
One of Molly's Boyfriends
John Lynn
Man in Photo
Paddy Smith
Police Driver
Janet Mellalieu
Little Girl with Ball
Martin Lyder
Country Club Member
Marjorie Hume
Michael Wynne
Frank Walton, Car Crash Driver
Unknown 19905-02
Agnes, Dixon's Maid
Colin Wall
David Bough
Paul Streather
Unknown 19905-16
Unknown 19905-17
Dandy Nichols
Mrs. Wilson
Unknown 19905-18
Little Boy in Hospital
Unknown 19905-03
Unknown 19905-04
Man Being Given Flyer
Unknown 19905-05
Woman Being Given Flyer
Unknown Male 1
Man Being Handed Flyer
Unknown 19905-07
Woman Being Handed Flyer
Unknown 19905-12
P.C. Handing Out Flyers
Eric Porter
Hospital Secretary
Unknown 19905-19
Policeman Leaving Station
Unknown 19905-20
Policeman Leaving Station
Unknown 19905-21
Policeman Greeting Beckett
Unknown 19905-09
Mr. Goodhead
Jack Armstrong
Dance Attendee
Unknown 19905-22
Hugh Elton
Dance Barman
Hilary Sesta
Flirty Girl at Dance
Unknown 19905-23
Flirty Girl at Dance
Unknown 19905-25
Flirty Girl at Dance
Frank Sieman
Dance Hall Manager
Colin McKenzie
Man at Dance
Lola Morice
Woman at Dance
Edwin Fowles
Man at Dance
Ray Marioni
Man at Dance
John Adams
Man at Dance
Norman Fisher
Pub Customer
John Dunbar
P.C. Outside Pub
Unknown 19905-11
Mr. Wilson (deceased)
Charles Stevenson
Man at Dance
Unknown 19905-26
Woman at Dance
John Payne
Waiter at Dance
Hal Osmond
Petrol Station Attendant
Jack McNaughton
Station Sergeant
Michael Collins
P.C. Baker
Arthur Dibbs
Man at Dance
Eddie Boyce
Man at Dance
Unknown 19905-29
Woman at Party
Paul Phillips
Man at Dance
Fred Haggerty
Man at Dance
Unknown 19905-13
Irate Toff at Party
Unknown 19905-30
Police Driver at Church
(Manny Michael?)
George Spence
Spectator at Church
Dave's Unknown Female 1
Spectator at Church
Unknown Female 6
Spectator at Church
Unknown Female 16
Spectator at Church
George Curtis
Policeman at Church
Unknown 19905-32
Fire Official
Unknown 19905-33
Civil Defence Corps Official
Unknown 19905-34
Fireman on Ladder
Jim Morris
Policeman at Church
Vivienne Martin
Bit Part
Janice Blake
The Twins (unconfirmed)
Jennifer Blake
The Twins (unconfirmed)
Frank Finlay
Unconfirmed Role
Guy Standeven
Aidan Turner
Norman (unconfirmed)
Peter Wayn
Unconfirmed Role
Ronald Wood
P.C. Evans (unconfirmed)

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