The Birling family are rich, pampered and complacent. It is 1912, and the shadow of the impending war has yet to fall across their lives. As they sit down to dinner one night, celebrating the engagement of the eldest child, Sheila, to prosperous business man Gerald, a knock at the door announces the arrival of a visitor who will change their lives forever.
Social realism meets the ghost story.
- An Inspector Calls review by Steve Mason
First film version of JB Priestley's classic socialist play about the thoughtlessly cruel exploitation and degradation of a working class girl. In his greatest performance, Alastair Sim plays a police inspector who visits the home of a factory owner, not so much to investigate, but to identify the guilt of each member of family in the suicide of a young woman who crossed all their lives. Rather thrillingly, she may have been a composite person comprising many of her class, making her a symbolic victim. The film version develops the supernatural element of the play, making it very spooky indeed. The newly scripted flashbacks work very well, but otherwise the film takes place in a single room, with a great deal of talk, which doesn't prove to be problematic. A fine achievement for Hamilton, best known for his Bond films. Brilliant, heartstopping ending too.