The Ware Case (1938 film)

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The Ware Case
"The Ware Case" (1938).jpg
British poster
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Produced by Michael Balcon
Written by G.P. Bancroft (play)
E.V.H. Emmett
Roland Pertwee
Robert Stevenson
Starring Clive Brook
Jane Baxter
Barry K. Barnes
Francis L. Sullivan
Music by Ernest Irving
Cinematography Ronald Neame
Edited by Charles Saunders
Distributed by Associated British (UK)
20th Century Fox (US)
Release date
2 December 1938 (United Kingdom)
21 July 1939 (United States)
Running time
79 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Ware Case is a 1938 British drama film directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Clive Brook, Jane Baxter and Barry K. Barnes.[1] It is an adaptation of the play The Ware Case (1915) by George Pleydell Bancroft,[2] which had previously been made into two silent films, in 1917 and 1928.[3] It had been a celebrated stage vehicle for Sir Gerald Du Maurier. [4] The film was made at Ealing Studios with Stately home exteriors shot in the grounds of Pinewood.[4] Oscar Friedrich Werndorff worked as set designer.[5]

In Forever Ealing, George Perry wrote, "The Ware Case is a stagey, melodramatic piece. But it was made on schedule within its budget, and was thus able to go into profit." [3]


The jury looks back on events that lead to profligate baronet Sir Hubert Ware being tried for murder. His brother-in-law's corpse has been found floating in Sir Hubert's garden pond. The baronet is eventually found not guilty, but upon returning home, finds his lawyer is having an affair with his wife. In the ensuing argument, and on discovering his wife loves another man, Sir Hubert confesses his guilt and then makes a suicidal leap from a balcony.


Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times wrote, "you may find some enjoyment in the film. But this reporter found Sir Hubert such an insufferable snob—even though he was played with velvet grace by Clive Brook—and the turning out of the pseudo-mystery story such a chunk of maudlin claptrap that it stirs him to nothing more fervid than a thoroughly indifferent "So what?" And this in spite of the fact that a very good cast does its best" ;[6] while TV Guide called it a "strong, tense drama with convincing motivations." [7]



  • Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  • Perry, George. Forever Ealing. Pavilion Books, 1994.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

External links[edit]