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  • Warning: Spoilers
    What I shame that I appear to be one of the few people out there (well, at least on IMDb) that have seen this very credible little film. I viewed it on a VHS double bill with another Richard Attenborough film, the better known "Brighton Rock", and found it well worth the time. Attenborough find himself accused and on trial for the murder of a little girl. He is innocent, but all circumstantial evidence points against him. Only his sweet, devoted wife Cathy O'Donnell and his stand-in lawyer, Derek Farr, are willing to believe him.

    I thought that this film captured the trial scenes particularly well, and they feel real. Richard Attenborough, a fine choice for the role, does well in conveying his character's fear and confusion at a situation he never expected to happen. The murder of children was not a subject touched very often in American films in those days, and this must be one of the first post-"M" (Fritz Lang's brilliant, groundbreaking German film with Peter Lorre as the whistling pedophile)films to deal with the subject. The film is neatly directed and edited, and it really is worth checking out. Hopefully this won't be the only comment that this film ever receives!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Didn't seem to have anything to do with an eight o'clock walk, more like 8.50 - the time the children were out in the street playing April Fool's jokes on everyone. Little Irene Manning is no exception, waylaying local cabbie Tom Manning (Richard Attenborough, goes without saying he turns in his usual solid performance) and, tearfully telling him her dolly is lost, she leads him onto an abandoned bomb site. When she is later found dead suspicion quickly mounts against Tom as witnesses testify that he was seen shaking his fist at the little girl - but it was all in fun!!!

    This is a typical wrong man in the wrong place with an innocent person being caught up in damning circumstantial evidence type of film that the British do so well. American Cathy O'Donnell who had never struck me as a particularly exciting actress, really rang true with her low key demeanour as Jill, who never for one moment doubted her husband's innocence. Once the legal eagles come into it, she finds no one really cares about seeing that Tom gets a fair trial - all except junior partner Tanner (Derek Farr), who when he hears Jill's impassioned plea decides to really delve into the matter and comes to the conclusion that Tom is completely innocent.

    Hovering in the background is the real killer, the shadowy man in the bowler hat, so obviously a local.

    I was so looking forward to seeing this film again as I hadn't seen it for over 20 years (and like another reviewer am very surprised that there are only a couple of reviews) and while it was not as thrilling as I remembered it, is a dependable and solid story. Nice to see an older and even more stiff upper lip (if that's possible) Ian Hunter as Tanner Snr. ,who is the prosecuting lawyer, also nice "slices of life" of the jury members and various women witnesses trying to keep their kids in line while waiting for their turn on the bench.
  • I have awarded this film 7/10 and was surprised as a 67 year old regular viewer of films that I had not seen this long neglected title on TV before.I was given this Christmas from my wife about 12 movies of my choosing after visiting my favourite contact of rare dvds in North London.I was attracted to this title by the inclusion in the cast of actress Cathy O'Donnell who won acclaim as a newcomer acting in "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946), playing the young fianc√© then wife of a U.S.seaman (Harold Russell) who actually lost both his wrists in WW11.

    There is no point giving the plot again but my wife & I both thought the mother was totally naive and not a little stupid allowing her very young daughter to roam over bomb sites rather than being escorted to school.However since I was 8 in 1954 I can state there was a much more casual approach by parents to child safety then like climbing trees, playing on bomb & building sites, walking by canals and walking home from school alone.Perhaps it was the effect of living through the war.Of course the 1954 British Board of Film censors would never have allowed a certificate for a film portraying murderous, psychotic paedophilia on cinema screens.Also in my DVD collection is Graham Greene's "Brighton Rock"(1949) which shows the depth of roles Dickie Attenborough could play.Here he plays an innocent cabbie in the wrong place & time who gets accused of the little girl's murder.To solve why Cathy O'Donnell has an American accent she plays Dickie's Canadian wife in this movie.She believes in her husband and fights to get him the best legal counsel for his defence.The real killer was spotted by my wife.
  • A melodrama that looks at the legal system that suddenly adds dashes of Perry Mason into the mix. Richard Attenborough plays a local friendly cabbie who gets trick or treated by a gang of kids early in the morning. He goes after them more in jest and later helps one of the girl's looking for her lost doll in the streets of post war London which still was littered with bomb sites

    When the young girl is found dead Attenborough turns out to be the wrong man in the wrong place but all the evidence, circumstantial it might be points to him being the murderer. Of course we know it's not him as we see a man in a bowler hat shown in silhouette who approached he girl after Attenborough left the girl and this shadowy man pops up later on. It really wants you to shout out 'its that man again' every time you see him

    Attenborough's wife has a hard time to get a criminal solicitor who believes in his innocent, only later a dogged barrister reluctantly turns detective in order to unmask the real culprit

    The film has a very realistic location setting of the post war London with kids running about on their own. Even the reluctance of the lawyers to take the case on was very much on the mark. The latter part of the film based on some random circumstances allowing the Barrister to think it the murderer is someone else and nearby is rather convenient but the film just about gets away with it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    At the time that this film was made there was a fierce debate about capital punishment.In the early fifties Timothy Evans was wrongly hung for murders committed by Christie.Then Derek Bentley was hung for a murder he did not commit,merely present when the actual murderer fired the weapon.The actual murderer went to jail as he was too young to hang.So this film sets up a perfect set of circumstances where an innocent man could be convicted of murder.It is only because of the theatrical contrivances that in fact Attenborough goes free.The trial in the film is fairly brief in that it appears to last a couple of days.frighteningly that is the way it was.At times it was all about "pour encourage les autres" rather than justice being seen to be done.A thoughtful film with sincere performances.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Watching this film from the 1954, was an unexpected enjoyable movie,Richard Attenborough is very good in this film, while not a film to mark out on his long film career, it certain should not be forgotten. Cathy O'Donnell has an accent which is not Canadian.

    The Film is like a moment of the 1950's caught on film. The film deals with whole criminal investigation of the UK criminal justice system from the discovery of victim to investigation, collecting witness statements, including forensic investigation, jury selection, arrangement, and the actual trial, the film has a good story line than most crime dramas on TV's.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is something of a mish-mosh all round, not least with a title that leads a potential audience to believe it is about a condemned man waiting to take the eight o'clock walk to the gallows and whilst it is true that the protagonist is accused of and stands trial for murder he is in fact acquitted. Director Lance Comfort made a handful of interesting films like Hatter's Castle, Bedelia and such but laid a colossal egg when entrusted with Portrait of Clare and was somewhat persona non grata ever afterward, mostly making do with TV fodder and the odd title like this one. For some reason Dickie Attenborough had a penchant for importing US actresses to appear opposite him; in The Angry Silence it was Pier Angeli and here it is Cathy O'Donnell. In fact the cast is one of the most interesting aspects of this with appearances by Kynaston Reeves, Victor Maddern etc plus in-vogue Derek Farr improbably unmasking the real killer a la Perry Mason. Worth a look as a curio.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A North London cab driver, Tom Manning (Richard Attenborough), agrees to help a little girl find her doll on a bombsite, but it turns out she is playing an April Fools on him and she runs away. He chases after her with the intention of "giving her a talking to" but she outruns him and he goes off to work thinking nothing more of it. However, the following day he is arrested as the child has been found murdered on the bombsite and there are witnesses who saw him with her and chasing angrily after her. In addition, the police have found his handkerchief that he gave to the child beside the body. Tom's loyal and devoted wife, Jill (Cathy O' Donnell), wins the sympathy and services of Junior Counsel Peter Tanner (Derek Farr) who agrees to defend her husband when the attorney scheduled to do it falls ill. He proves to be a first rate lawyer, but the prosecution's case seems rock solid and he will need a real lucky break to save him from the gallows...

    Minor courtroom thriller with a plot that may well have been cutting edge at the time, but now seems unremarkable since it has been done several times and a lot better since. Nevertheless, director Lance Comfort keeps it well afloat with a good emphasis on character and, at times, the anxiety, anguish and tension seem really genuine and the performances of Attenborough and O' Donnell are superb as the newly married couple whose lives are put through sheer hell as they fight to clear his name. There is a really powerful scene where Attenborough sees the prison doctor who points to a flying accident he once had and implies that he may have had a blackout and committed the crime but had no recollection of doing so. "They try to make excuses for you; try to find reasonings for things you never thought of at the time and you begin to wonder if you really did do it", he tells O' Donnell as she visits him in jail. His thoughts and feelings seem realistic to us, the viewers, and we can sympathise with his plight since it seems that the police in the film do not really care if Manning is innocent or not and are solely interested in getting a conviction and that's it even if it means the real killer may remain at large and the wrong man goes to the gallows for it. The film does, however, get static in the courtroom scenes and they carry very little in the way of suspense. In addition, I was disappointed in the battle between the prosecution Counsel, Ian Hunter, and the defence attorney, Derek Farr, since in the story they are playing father and son and are opposing each other at the bar and that was not as well developed nor as effective as I thought it should be.
  • Eight O'Clock Walk is a solid piece of film making. Well directed (Lance Comfort), well acted (Richard Attenborough/Cathy O'Donnell/Derek Farr/Maurice Denham/Ian Hunter) and neatly photographed (Brendan J. Stafford). Unfortunately the writing, whilst not awful at all, asks some big leaps of faith of the audience.

    Plot finds Attenborough as a good guy sort who, through a series of circumstances, is accused of murdering a little girl. As the strain begins to tell on he and his loved ones, it's looking increasingly likely he could well be found guilty.

    Pic trundles along to the big courtroom finale with Attenborough superbly getting more stressed with each frame. For fans of court room dramas then this delivers good viewing, the law can often be mad and it's always good to see legal eagles going at each other and to see how they deal with those called to the dock - including a child here. If you can accept the outcome, which if truth be told is never in doubt, then this adds up to being better than a time waster. 6.5/10
  • mappman72811 September 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    Highly watchable courtroom drama set in London during Coronation year. In fact the trial that takes up the bulk of the film's running time begins on 8 June 1953 (shown in a close-up of the Court listings), a week after the Queen was crowned. Occasional glimpses of ornamental arches celebrating the event can be seen in the background of the film's many location shots. The film also gives an insight into post-war Britain - a land where young married couples (Attenborough and O'Donnell) live in cramped lodgings whilst waiting to qualify for their own house; where children play truant on derelict bombsites; and where the legal system looks down on - or at best, patronises - the lower orders. The plot veers to the melodramatic in the closing minutes, but entertainingly so. However, the detailed portrayal of court procedure is fascinating to watch. It probably hasn't changed that much, either....