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The Green Man (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Green Man
The greenman movieposter.jpg
Film poster
Directed byRobert Day
Basil Dearden (uncredited)
Written byFrank Launder
Sidney Gilliat
StarringAlastair Sim
George Cole
Jill Adams
CinematographyGerald Gibbs
Music byCedric Thorpe Davie
Release date
  • 1956 (1956)
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Green Man is a 1956 British black comedy film based on the play Meet a Body by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat, who produced and adapted the big-screen version.[1][2]


Freelance assassin Hawkins is contracted to blow up Sir Gregory Upshott, a prominent and pompous London businessman. By courting Upshott's spinster secretary, he learns that his target will be taking one of the firm's typists for a weekend at a seaside hotel, the Green Man. Hawkins hides a bomb in a radio, which he plans to leave in the hotel lounge. Finding out his treachery, the secretary comes to his house to confront him but is attacked and left for dead by Hawkins' assistant McKechnie who, as nobody is in, hides the body next door.

The body is found by a young vacuum cleaner salesman called William Blake who calls there, and he alerts the owner's pretty fiancée Ann. The two are terrified, and when the owner, Reginald, comes home he finds them hiding under the bed. He storms out, but coming back to pick up something he forgot finds Ann on the floor in her underwear, again innocently entangled with William. Reginald's furious exit creates doubt over the future relationship. William and Ann then face another moment of horror as the corpse comes to life and, before collapsing again, tells them Upshott will be blown up that night in the Green Man.

Not knowing what Upshott looks like or what name he will register under, the pair rush there and, obstructed at every turn by the landlord, try to evacuate the place and locate the bomb. William has the brainwave that it will be on a timer in the radio, which he throws into the sea seconds before it explodes. Driving back to London, he stops and the two share their first kiss.



Cole's then-wife, Eileen Moore, appeared in the film as the typist with whom Upshott has a liaison.[3]

The film, rated U, has been re-released on Region 2 DVD with School for Scoundrels.[4]

Critical reception

The New York Times TV section noted "Weekend at a horrible little country hotel, same name, and one of the funniest British films ever"[5] the Radio Times wrote "If you ever doubted that Alastair Sim was the finest British screen comedian of the sound era, then here's the proof of his immense talent. As the assassin with the mournful smile, he gives a performance of rare genius that more than makes amends for the longueurs in Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat's script"[6] Allmovie opined "If The Green Man finally falls a little short of being classic, it's only because the mechanics of the plot get a bit wearying at times; otherwise, it's a charmingly subversive little treat"[7] while Time Out called it "A splendid black comedy."[8] 

See also


  1. ^ "Production of Meet a Body | Theatricalia".
  2. ^ "The Green Man (1956)". BFI.
  3. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Cole, George (1925-) Biography".
  4. ^ " : The Green Man / School For Scoundrels - DVD Review".
  5. ^ "Television (Published 1978)". 20 January 1978 – via
  6. ^ "The Green Man – review | cast and crew, movie star rating and where to watch film on TV and online". Radio Times.
  7. ^ "The Green Man (1956) - Basil Dearden, Robert Day | Review | AllMovie" – via
  8. ^ "The Green Man". Time Out Worldwide.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 June 2022, at 16:28
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