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The Girl in the News

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Girl in the News
Australian theatrical poster
Directed byCarol Reed
Screenplay bySidney Gilliat
Based onnovel by Roy Vickers
Produced byEdward Black
Maurice Ostrer
StarringMargaret Lockwood
Barry K. Barnes
Emlyn Williams
CinematographyOtto Kanturek
Edited byR. E. Dearing
Music byLouis Levy (uncredited)
Charles Williams (uncredited)
Twentieth Century Productions
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer (UK)
20th Century Fox (U.S.)
Release dates
28 August 1940 (UK)
31 January 1941 (U.S.)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Girl in the News is a 1940 British thriller film directed by Carol Reed and starring Margaret Lockwood, Barry K. Barnes and Emlyn Williams.[1] It was based on the eponymous novel by Roy Vickers, released the same year.


After her elderly patient is poisoned, nurse Anne Graham is tried for murder, but is acquitted with the help of her lawyer, Stephen Farringdon. The press and public opinion are still against her, so Anne finds it difficult to get another job. She changes her name and finds work nursing wheelchair user Edward Bentley. After Bentley too is found dead, Bill Mather, a detective from Scotland Yard, arrests Anne, but Farringdon fights once again to prove her innocence.



The film was based on a bestselling novel by Roy Vickers.[2] It was the first of several collaborations between the director Carol Reed and the writer Sidney Gilliat. Gilliat later recalled:

He [Reed] seemed to be an interpreter rather than a creator; he followed the screenplay quite closely rather than bringing forth original ideas of his own. I felt he was not at all interested in The Girl in the News, which I think was a pallid job. The chief obstacle was Carol's stage background - the couldn't really believe in the screenwriter. He needed close collaboration with a writer.[3]

Gilliat also claimed Reed avoided the "sexual implications" in the script until it "became postively genteel."[4]

The film was originally meant to star Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave, who had just appeared together in The Lady Vanishes.[5] It was one of several films Lockwood made with Reed.

It marks the film debut of Michael Hordern, who has one line, during a court scene, as a junior counsel to the senior counsel played by Felix Aylmer.

Critical reception

On the film's initial release the reviewer for The New York Times wrote, "bring out the smelling salts, folks. Another spellbinding English thriller has come to town!"[6] More recently the Radio Times called the film a "workmanlike if rather transparent murder mystery";[7] and Allmovie wrote: "this early Carol Reed effort tended to be dismissed or ignored by its director in later interviews. Even so, the film is a worthwhile effort, with an intricate and sometimes amusing script by Sydney Gilliat."[8]

Radio adaptation

The Girl in the News was presented on Philip Morris Playhouse 21 November 1941. The adaptation starred Joan Bennett.[9]


  1. ^ "The Girl in the News (1940)". BFI. Archived from the original on 29 November 2007.
  2. ^ "A Lady Who Has Looks". The New York Times. 5 June 1938.
  3. ^ Brian McFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema p 224
  4. ^ Fowler, Roy; Haines, Taffy (15 May 1990). "Interview with Sidney Gilliat" (PDF). British Entertainment History Project. p. 119.
  5. ^ "BRITISH FILMS OF 1939". Western Mail. Vol. 59, no. 2, 742. Western Australia. 15 September 1938. p. 30. Retrieved 4 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "THE SCREEN; 'The Girl in the News,' Another Suspensive Drama Directed by Carol Reed, Opens at the Globe". The New York Times. 5 May 1941 – via
  7. ^ David Parkinson. "The Girl in the News". RadioTimes.
  8. ^ Hal Erickson. "The Girl in the News (1940) - Carol Reed - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  9. ^ "(photo caption)". Harrisburg Telegraph. Harrisburg Telegraph. 15 November 1941. p. 29. Retrieved 26 July 2015 – via open access

External links

This page was last edited on 1 December 2023, at 05:49
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