Tall Headlines (3 stars)

Tall Headlines

(12) 91min

(Odeon DVD retail)


Good show Odeon Entertainment for premiering on DVD a series of forgotten British films from the post-war period. They’re not exactly lost classics, but as the 1952 melodrama Tall Headlines illustrates, these films are certainly decent enough to warrant a look and, variable quality aside, they provide fascinating snapshots of a bygone time.

Directed by Terence Young (who called action on three of the first four James Bond films) and scripted by the husband-and-wife team Audrey Erskine Lindop and Dudley Leslie, Tall Headlines is the story of a middle-class family torn apart by the execution of its eldest son for murder. Hammer stalwart André Morell plays the dictatorial dad, the usually debonair Michael Denison the tormented surviving son, Ealing alumnus Jane Hylton the mean-spirited daughter and Flora Robson the long-suffering mum. The psychological realism and non-theatrical performances are unusual for their time, as is the downbeat – though compelling – view of gloomy post-war Britain. Extras: enjoyable trailers for other films in the series.

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