Mr. Emmanuel

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Mr Emmanuel
Directed by Harold French
Produced by William Sistrom
Written by Louis Golding
Gordon Wellesley
Starring Felix Aylmer
Greta Gynt
Walter Rilla
Ursula Jeans
Music by Mischa Spoliansky
Cinematography Otto Heller
Edited by Alan Jaggs
Distributed by Eagle-Lion Distributors
Release date
2 October 1944
Running time
97 minutes (UK)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $229,246 (US rentals)[1]

Mr Emmanuel is a 1944 British drama film directed by Harold French and starring Felix Aylmer, Greta Gynt and Walter Rilla.

The film was made by Two Cities at Teddington Studios. It is based on a 1938 novel of the same title by Louis Golding, who adapted the novel for the screen.

Plot summary[edit]

Set in the late 1930s, Isaac Emmanuel has retired from a Jewish welfare agency in Doomington, England, and is looking for something to do with his time. A letter arrives asking him to come to the aide of a friend who is caring for three German boys who are refugees from Nazi Germany. One of the three, a Jewish boy named Bruno Rosenheim, is very despondent over the recent death of his father and the disappearance of his mother. He waits to get a letter from her, but the letter never arrives. Mr. Emmanuel, a British citizen who himself is a former refugee from Russia, sympathizes with the young man. After the lad attempts to take his life, Mr. Emmanuel promises to travel to Germany to find out what he can about Bruno's mother.

Once he arrives in Germany Emmanuel takes lodging at a boarding-house. He enquires of those around him, not realizing how unusual and potentially dangerous it is to do so. Everyone he meets is too scared to give him information. The police and even refugee organisations are also unhelpful. Late one night the Gestapo arrive and take Mr. Emmanuel from his bed to a prison for questioning. The initial line of questioning is of being a spy and communist sympathizer. Mr. Emmanuel believes that his British citizenship will provide some measure of protection, but the police then tie him to the assignation of a high-ranking party official, and the criminal charge places Mr. Emmanuel beyond the help of the British embassy. While incarcerated Mr Emmanuel watches as fellow prisoners are tortured and led off to execution.

Elsie Silver, a half-Jewish nightclub singer and the toast of Berlin society, recognises Emmanuel from England, where she grew up. She tries to intervene, but gets nowhere. She convinces her social-climbing Nazi protector to assist, and Emmanuel is released, with twelve hours to leave Germany. Instead of leaving the country, he continues to search for Bruno's mother. He eventually finds her, but she is now married to a prominent Nazi and denies that she is Jewish or that she has a son.

Sadly, Mr Emmanuel returns to Britain and tells Bruno that his mother is dead.

Main cast[edit]


  1. ^ Geoffrey Macnab, J. Arthur Rank and the British Film Industry, London, Routledge (1993) p163

External links[edit]