TV Cream

Films: I is for...

Inspector Calls, An

Chalk up another one for Sim (surely the star with most appearances in the list) as he plays the eponymous policeman in this film version of J B Preistley’s celebrated play. In black an white this works splendidly well (we can’t really imagine it making the same impact in colour) and Guy Hamilton creates a starkly claustrophobic atmosphere even before Inspector Poole arrives. But when he does, the real drama starts as each member of the rich Birling family is shown to have contributed in some way to the recent death of a servant of the family at her own hand. And then of course the mysterious Inspector leaves, and who was he? The devil? God? Eh? Eh? Sim proves conclusively once again that while he was perfect in comedy he could be devastating in drama and that his deserves to be well on top of the order of merit of British actors on film and with a great big gap under his name before whoever clambers to be second to the great man.

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