Death Goes to School (1953)

  |  Mystery

Death Goes to School (1953) Poster

A Teacher is murdered at an all girls school. Police investigate and discover that the staff room is full of suspects.


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27 July 2016 | tony-70-667920
| Decent little B movie
This is the only feature directed by Stephen Clarkson. It's hard to see why, as he does a good job, and co-wrote the script with Maisie Sharman. I'm grateful to Renown and their Talking Pictures TV for the chance to see this rare film.

A teacher at a south of England girls' school is murdered, and since she had a talent for angering her colleagues, there are plenty of suspects. The investigation is led by Inspector Campbell from Scotland Yard. He's a dour Scot with a chip on his shoulder (he'd definitely have voted for independence!) but fortunately he's played by Gordon Jackson, who's always a sympathetic presence. I saw him play a villain in another Renown offering, I think "The Delavine Affair," and he didn't ring true.

One reviewer complained about the cut-glass accents, but given the date and milieu they're to be expected. The Queen still talks like that, and I agree it's irritating, but not as irritating as the inaudibility of so many modern American actors, which makes you wonder why their scriptwriters bothered writing dialogue.

"Death|" is unusual for a British B of the '50s is that there's some humour. When Campbell asks Miss Shepherd what book she's been reading she says "Death in Seven Hours", the book by Ms Sharman on which this film is based. She then needles the inspector by saying that an amateur sleuth solved the mystery. This gives the audience a clue, as later she solves the mystery before him, though to be fair that's because she'd seen something and not told him about it.

All in all, an enjoyable way to spend 64 minutes.

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