The Final Test

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This article is about the 1953 film. For the similarly-titled episode of Doctor Who, see The Celestial Toymaker.
The Final Test
Directed by Anthony Asquith
Written by Terence Rattigan
Starring Jack Warner
Robert Morley
Ray Jackson
Music by Benjamin Frankel
Distributed by Rank Organisation
Release date
Running time
90 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Final Test is a 1953 British sports film written by Terence Rattigan, directed by Anthony Asquith, and starring Jack Warner, Robert Morley, George Relph and Ray Jackson.[1] A number of leading cricketers also appear including Denis Compton, Len Hutton and Cyril Washbrook. The film was produced by R J Minney for Act Films Ltd.[2]


The film is a comedy drama, set around leading cricketer Sam Palmer's last appearance for England. He desperately wants his son to be there at The Oval to witness this, but the son is more concerned with meeting a leading poet Alexander Whitehead. Whitehead, it turns out, is more interested in cricket.[3] Whitehead takes Reggie along to the match, in time to see Sam get out for a duck.


The England cricketers Len Hutton, Denis Compton, Alec Bedser, Godfrey Evans, Jim Laker and Cyril Washbrook appear as themselves with John Arlott providing the match commentary.


The writer Terence Rattigan was an excellent cricketer in his school days. He played opening batsman for the Harrow Eleven, often in partnership with Victor Rothschild, and in 1929 he represented Harrow at Lord's in the annual match against Eton College. He originally wrote The Final Test as a television play in 1951, partly as a tribute to Sir Donald Bradman, who was out for a duck in his final test in 1948. That production was directed by Royston Morley and also starred Jack Warner.

As with almost all of Rattigan's plays, the theme of the relationship between father and son, and the tension between parental expectations and the son's driving force leading him in different directions, is explored.

It was filmed in 1953, directed by Anthony Asquith.

Media releases[edit]

The film was released on Region 2 DVD on 6 August 2007.[4]


  1. ^ The Final Test at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Action! Fifty Years in the Life of a Union. Published: 1983 (UK). Publisher: ACTT. ISBN 0 9508993 0 5. ACT Films Limited - Ralph Bond p81 (producer listed as R J Minney) - "ACT Films was, of course, anxious to make more first features with bigger budgets and more shooting time. The opportunity came in 1952 when Terence Rattigan offered us his script for The Final Test..."
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External links[edit]