Libel (film)

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Libel - 1959- poster.png
1959 Theatrical Poster
Directed by Anthony Asquith
Produced by Anatole de Grunwald
Written by Edward Wooll (play)
Anatole de Grunwald
Karl Tunberg
Based on Libel!  
by Edward Wooll
Starring Dirk Bogarde
Olivia de Havilland
Paul Massie
Robert Morley
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Music by Benjamin Frankel
Cinematography Robert Krasker
Edited by Frank Clarke
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • 23 October 1959 (1959-10-23)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $615,000[1]
Box office $1,170,000[1]

Libel is a 1959 British drama film.[2][3] It stars Olivia de Havilland, Dirk Bogarde, Paul Massie, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Robert Morley. The film's screenplay was written by Anatole de Grunwald and Karl Tunberg from a 1935 play of the same name by Edward Wooll,[4] and it was directed by Anthony Asquith.

The Broadway play, which had starred Colin Clive, was adapted for radio in 1941 using the original references to World War I. Ronald Colman played the leading role in the Jan. 13, 1941, CBS network Lux Radio Theater broadcast, with Otto Kruger and Frances Robinson. The role of an amnesiac World War I veteran had similarities to Colman's 1942 hit Random Harvest.[5]

A 1938 BBC television production,[6] featured actor Wyndham Goldie, husband of eventual BBC television producer Grace Wyndham Goldie.


While traveling in London, Jeffrey Buckenham (Massie), a Canadian Second World War veteran, sees Sir Mark Sebastian Loddon (Bogarde) on television leading a tour of his grand family home. Buckenham was held in a German POW camp with Loddon, and while watching him, becomes convinced that he is in fact another former POW, Frank Wellney, an actor (also played by Bogarde). Buckenham publicly announces his suspicion that Wellney murdered Loddon during an escape from the POW camp, and has taken the young baronet's place. Loddon sues Buckenham for libel, but his mind is still battered by some terrible incident that occurred during his escape fifteen years before, and in time even his loyal wife (de Havilland) begins to doubt him.

Box office[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $245,000 in the US and Canada and $925,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $10,000.[1]


The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound (A. W. Watkins).[7]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Variety film review; October 21, 1959, page 6.
  3. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; October 24, 1959, page 170.
  4. ^ Libel! by Edward Wooll played on Broadway for 159 performances in 1935-1936. IBDB "Libel"
  5. ^ "Libel" on Lux Radio Theater; January 13, 1941; at Internet Archive: Overview [1] and Recording [2]
  6. ^ "Libel" (TV) 1938 Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ "The 32nd Academy Awards (1960) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-08-21. 

External links[edit]