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The Upturned Glass (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 1 August 1947 (UK)
A British brain surgeon punishes the murderess of his lover.

Writers:

John Monaghan (from the original story by) (as Jno P. Monaghan), John Monaghan (screenplay) (as Jno. P. Monaghan) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Mason ... Michael Joyce
Rosamund John ... Emma Wright
Pamela Mason ... Kate Howard (as Pamela Kellino)
Ann Stephens Ann Stephens ... Ann Wright
Morland Graham Morland Graham ... Clay
Brefni O'Rorke ... Dr. Farrell
Henry Oscar ... Coroner
Jane Hylton ... Miss Marsh
Sheila Huntington Sheila Huntington ... 1st Girl Student
Susan Shaw ... 2nd Girl Student
Peter Cotes Peter Cotes ... Male Student
Nuna Davey ... Mrs. Jenny Deva
Judith Carol Judith Carol ... Joan Scott-Trotter
John Monaghan John Monaghan ... U.S. Driver (as Jno. P. Monaghan)
Maurice Denham ... Mobile Policeman
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Storyline

A prominent neurosurgeon relates to his students in medical school a story about an affair he had with a married woman and how, after the affair was over, the woman one day fell out a window and died. The surgeon, suspecting that she was murdered, set out to find her killer--but, instead of turning the suspect over to the police, he planned to take his own revenge on the murderer. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the original story by Jno P. Monaghan. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 1947 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Upturned Glass See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sydney Box Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The waiter hands Kate Howard the menu, then immediately hands it to her again. See more »

Quotes

Michael Joyce: Up to this point in the present series of lectures, we've dealt exclusively with abnormal mentalities. I emphasise the fact that in civilised communities eighty percent of our murderers and violent criminals were those whose minds had been conditioned by exceptional nervous stress and unhealthy environment. Last Friday we dealt with the smaller group of strictly moronic criminals. And now we come to that much more interesting phenomenon - the sane criminal. The man who is prepared to pursue his...
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Connections

Featured in James Mason: The Star They Loved to Hate (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

We Plough the Fields and Scatter
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Schultz (1800)
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User Reviews

 
A doctor dispenses death and healing with blind impartiality.
4 April 2012 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

The Upturned Glass is directed by Lawrence Huntington and written by John Monaghan and Pamela Kellino. It stars James Mason, Rosamund John, Pamela Kellino, Ann Stephens, Morland Graham and Brefni O'Rorke. Music is by Bernard Stevens and cinematography by Reginald H. Wyer. Plot finds Mason as Michael, a brilliant surgeon who falls in love with Emma Wright (John), the mother of a young girl whose eyesight he saves. Trouble is that Emma is married to a man who works overseas a lot and it's a relationship that ultimately has to end. When word comes that Emma has been tragically killed after falling out of a top floor window at her home, Michael decides to investigate further. It's an investigation that leads Michael down very dark roads.....

What a time to go buy a house, you must be demented!

One of the last British films Mason made before leaving for America to work contractually for MGM, The Upturned Glass is a Hitchcockian like thriller that's tinted with a film noir edge. With Mason co-producing and his then wife, Kellino, co-starring and co-writing, it was very much a personal project. The film finds the "Mason's" experimenting with a flashback structure that is in turn covered by a Mason narration. Always easy to follow, the picture does however shy away from offering up easy answers, purposely leaving some things tantalisingly dangling in the air. It also retains a murder mystery interest before diving head first into that of a study of a psychological break down. There's some devilment in the narrative, even a bit of cheeky daring that shows its hand once Mason's lecture that opens the film is seen in the light it was meant to be.

Today I sat in judgement.

With Wyer's photography dealing in shadows and smoky lenses, and Huntington showing a keen eye for atmospheric composition during scenes involving the empty house and the village chapel, there's enough visual treats for the film noir crowd to feast on. Into the equation as well is the vagaries of fate, a theme so prominent in the great noir pictures of the past, the outcome of this picture is defined by a decision Michael makes, the irony of which is as snappy as a crocodile. The finale has been lamented by others due to its suddeness, to that I have to say they missed the point, it's suitably cold and closes the picture perfectly. The title has even been called into question, some even saying it has nothing to do with the film or is unfitting? It all fits during the best period of dialogue between Michael and Dr. Farrell (O'Rorke)! I do believe this is a film worthy of reappraisal by a more genre compliant audience.

It's not overtly film noir, but the blood line is there, and with Mason on simply irresistible form this is highly recommended to fans of noir and Hitchcockian flavoured black and whites. 7.5/10 MPI's Region 1 DVD is a decent print, some snap and pop from time to time on the edges, and the sound mix is always audible if not pristine throughout.


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