Rent High Treason (1951)

3.4 of 5 from 60 ratings
1h 30min
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The SS Asia star is blown up in the Port of London killing many innocent seamen. The local Police begin to investigate but when Commander Brennan (Liam Redmond) of Special Branch becomes involved the investigation takes a more sinister path. Brennan believes the SS Asia Star explosion is sabotage planned by communist agents. But how do the saboteurs gain their information and what is their strategy? Brennan tracks down an enemy agent working for the Ministry of Supply who is passing information to the saboteurs via a contact at a musical society. Another saboteur, Jimmy Ellis (Kenneth Griffith), an idealist and former RAF pilot, has a change of heart and is kidnapped by the plotters.
His mother (Joan Hickson) informs the Police but Brennan is already on the trail. The saboteurs next target are power stations with the aim of bringing the industrial output of the country to a standstill, but will Brennan and his agents uncover the plot and foil the communists in time?
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Paul Soskin
Roy Boulting, Frank Harvey
Drama, Thrillers
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Release Date:
Run Time:
90 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W

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Reviews (2) of High Treason

Great British Thriller - High Treason review by GI

Spoiler Alert

A good, solid British golden oldie from director Roy Boulting tapping into the, usually American, fear of communist fifth columnists attempting a takeover. A series of explosions at dockyards that is clearly sabotage brings in a wily Scotland Yard detective (Liam Redmond) and MI5 who soon start to build a cache of suspects. The film has a neat suspense building narrative with police surveillance and subtle visits to cause fear amongst the conspirators. They target a weak link who ends up getting kidnapped by his erstwhile friends and the clock begins ticking as the bad guys plot to blow up a power station. There's a gritty gun battle in the films climax and a smarmy politician gets his comeuppance. There's a quaintness to the images of the police use of telephone kiosks, morse code and rooms full of card indexes in this modern day and yet the film retains a good thriller narrative. Today it's an example of British film making when there was a fully established and world wide respected industry that produced such great entertainments as this. Worth checking out for the sheer nostalgia of the experience.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Dora Bryan's Kettle - High Treason review by CH

Spoiler Alert

This is not the only thing likely to blow up in High Treason (1951). Made by John Boulting a year after his splendid Seven Days to Noon, this, too, has an apocalyptic tone as troops mass in Eastern Europe along with fatal sabotage at the Docks.

Many are the settings which play a part in all this, from Kenneth Griffith's electrical-repair shop volubly frequented by Dora Bryan to the very corridors of Parliament – with many an exterior scene of a bustling capital.

The suspense is terrific, within each scene and as a whole (a rare achievement in cinema), which makes it as good as Sabotage, perhaps better. Stock figures transcend such types, whether stout detectives, an alluring woman (Mary Morris) or the palpably serious audience at a classical music society (with this a pivotal point of the plot, it is fitting that the film has a fine score by John Addison).

Deserving of the term noir, much taking place after dark, it owes much to Gilbert Taylor's cinematography (he had worked on Seven Days to Noon and would make Dr. Strangelove and A Hard Day's Night distinctive).

How well known is this film? Nobody should pass up a chance to see it.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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