High Treason (1951 film)

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Not to be confused with High treason.
High Treason
"High Treason" (1951 film).jpg
Original British quad poster
Directed by Roy Boulting
Produced by Paul Soskin
Written by Roy Boulting
Frank Harvey
Starring Liam Redmond
Anthony Bushell
André Morell
Music by John Addison
Cinematography Gilbert Taylor
Edited by Max Benedict
Distributed by Peacemaker Pictures
Release dates
  • 13 November 1951 (1951-11-13)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £88,000[1]

High Treason is a 1951 British espionage thriller filmed in the style of such American "docudramas" as The House on 92nd Street and T-Men.[2][3] It is a sequel to the Oscar-winning 1950 film Seven Days to Noon. Director Roy Boulting, co-director (with his brother John) and co-writer of the first film also directed and co-wrote this one.[3] 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.[4]


Enemy saboteurs infiltrate the industrial suburbs of London, intending to disable power generating stations in London (three stations there; and five other stations elsewhere; all located strategically throughout the U.K.) Their motivation is to cripple the British economy and enable subversive forces to insinuate themselves in the government. The saboteurs are thwarted not by the traditional counter-intelligence agents but by workaday London police officers.


Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times wrote, "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." [5] More recently, 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." [6]


  1. ^ BFI Collections: Michael Balcon Papers H3 reprinted in British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference By Sue Harper, Vincent Porter p 41
  2. ^ "High Treason (1951)". BFI. 
  3. ^ a b Hal Erickson. "High Treason (1951) - Roy Boulting - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie. 
  4. ^ "Overview for Andre Morell". Turner Classic Movies. 
  5. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9902E7DD123AE03BBC4951DFB3668389649EDE
  6. ^ "Damned Treason". cageyfilms.com. 

External links[edit]