High Treason (1951 film)
Original British quad poster
|Directed by||Roy Boulting|
|Produced by||Paul Soskin|
|Written by||Roy Boulting
|Music by||John Addison|
|Edited by||Max Benedict|
|Distributed by||Peacemaker Pictures|
High Treason is a 1951 British espionage thriller. It is a sequel to the film Seven Days to Noon (1950) from the same team. Director Roy Boulting, co-director (with his brother John) and co-writer of the first film also directed and co-wrote this one. Frank Harvey, Boulting's co-writer, was also a co-writer of the earlier film. André Morell reprises his role as Detective Superintendent Folland of Scotland Yard's Special Branch from the first film, though in High Treason he is subordinate to the head of Special Branch, Commander Robert "Robbie" Brennan, played by Liam Redmond.
Enemy saboteurs infiltrate the industrial suburbs of London, intending to disable three power stations in London and five other stations elsewhere, all strategically located throughout the UK. Their motive is to cripple the British economy and enable subversive forces to insinuate themselves into government. The saboteurs are thwarted, not by counterintelligence agents, but by workaday London police officers.
- Liam Redmond as Commander Robert Brennan
- André Morell as Superintendent Folland
- Anthony Bushell as Major Elliott
- Kenneth Griffith as Jimmy Ellis (Soviet agent)
- Patric Doonan as George Ellis
- Joan Hickson as Mrs. Ellis
- Anthony Nicholls as Sir Grant Mansfield, M.P. (Head Soviet agent, and putative Prime Minister after the incumbent government's overthrow)
- Mary Morris as Anna Braun (Soviet agent)
- Geoffrey Keen as Morgan Williams (Soviet agent)
- Stuart Lindsell as Commissioner
- John Bailey as Stringer
- Dora Bryan as Mrs. Bowers
- Charles Lloyd-Pack as Percy Ward
- Laurence Naismith as Reginald Gordon-Wells
An unnamed New York Times reviewer commented, "it is worthy to note that High Treason travels at a more leisurely pace than Seven Days, but Roy Boulting, who also directed, achieves an equally intelligent handling of the many pieces needed to fit his intricate jigsaw of a plot," and remarked that, "deft direction, crisp dialogue and a generally excellent cast gives High Treason a high polish," concluding that the film is "a taut tale and a pleasure".  In 2013, a contributor to Cageyfilms.com wrote, "although the politics of High Treason are as dated as those of Leo McCarey’s My Son John (1952), the location shooting in London and the character details around the periphery of the narrative provide a fascinating documentary portrait of the metropolis just a few years after the war and, as in Sam Fuller’s Pickup on South Street, the ostensible political element can be seen as little more than a MacGuffin on which to hang the narrative. And speaking of MacGuffins, the film has several very well-developed Hitchcockian elements, particularly the pretentious modern music society which serves as a front for the communist plotters and the labyrinthine building which doubles as a tutorial college and secret commie headquarters".
- BFI Collections: Michael Balcon Papers H3 reprinted in British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference By Sue Harper, Vincent Porter p 41
- "High Treason (1951)". BFI.
- Hal Erickson. "High Treason (1951) - Roy Boulting - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- "Overview for Andre Morell". Turner Classic Movies.
- "'High Treason,' J. Arthur Rank Production, Has U. S. Premiere at 52d Street Trans-Lux". The New York Times. 21 May 1952. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- "Damned Treason". cageyfilms.com.