Jigsaw (1962 film)

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"Jigsaw" (1962).jpg
Directed by Val Guest
Produced by Val Guest
Screenplay by Val Guest
Based on a novel by Hillary Waugh
Starring Jack Warner
Ronald Lewis
Yolande Donlan
Michael Goodliffe
John Le Mesurier
Cinematography Arthur Grant
Edited by Bill Lenny
Distributed by Brittania Films (UK)
Beverly Pictures (USA)
Release date
21 August 1962
Running time
107 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Jigsaw is a 1962 British crime drama film written and directed by Val Guest and starring Jack Warner and Ronald Lewis. It is based on the police procedural novel Sleep Long, My Love by Hillary Waugh,[1] with the setting changed from the fictional small town of Stockford, Connecticut,[n 1] to Brighton, Sussex, while retaining the names and basic natures of its two police protagonists and most of the other characters. It was filmed with the full cooperation of the County Borough of Brighton Police, which was under the shadow of a major corruption scandal, and the East Sussex Constabulary.[n 2]


A woman is murdered and partially dismembered in Saltdean, near Brighton. Two local detectives, following up a simple burglary of an estate agent's office, discover the body and take on the investigation of the murder. The victim is unidentified and the murder suspect is an unknown man who has used a false identity to rent the house in which the crime was committed. The detectives methodically develop and follow up leads to identify both, mostly in Brighton, but also further afield in Lewes and Greenwich. One lead appears to identify the victim, but their follow-up reveals that the name is of a woman not only still living, but who was almost a second victim as well. They track down and arrest the suspect described by several persons as the man who leased the house, but the case takes an unexpected turn when he makes his statement confirming what the witnesses saw. After the victim is positively identified, the veteran inspector leading the case develops a "wild idea" on the identity of the suspect, then orders a standard procedure that confirms his theory in a non-standard fashion. The murderer's contention that the death was accidental appears to be foolproof until the detectives realize he has tripped himself up in a single crucial detail.[2]


Critical response[edit]

Britmovie wrote that Jigsaw is "a chilling murder mystery," adding, "at 107 minutes, the film is long but never tiresome";[3] while The Guardian described the film as "one of the finest postwar British crime movies and possibly the best depiction of the seaside town on film. Caught in its seedy corruption, Brighton emerges as a far cry from the bumbling world with which (Val) Guest had until then been associated."[4]


  1. ^ The fictional Stockford is also located in a fictional part of Connecticut, 12 miles north of Stamford, a location actually in New York state.
  2. ^ The Brighton Borough Police and East Sussex Constabulary were amalgamated as part of the Sussex Constabulary by the Police Act 1964.
  1. ^ "Jigsaw". BFI. 
  2. ^ "Jigsaw (1962) - Overview". TCM.com. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  3. ^ "Jigsaw 1962 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  4. ^ Christopher Hawtree. "Obituary: Val Guest". the Guardian. 

External links[edit]