Trent's Last Case (1952 film)

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Trent's Last Case
"Trent's Last Case" (1952).jpg
British theatrical poster
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Produced by Herbert Wilcox
Written by E.C. Bentley (novel)
Pamela Bower
Starring Michael Wilding
Margaret Lockwood
Orson Welles
John McCallum
Music by Anthony Collins
Cinematography Mutz Greenbaum
Edited by Bill Lewthwaite
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Release date
29 October 1952
Running time
90 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office ₤155,903 (UK)[1]

Trent's Last Case (1952) is a British detective film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Michael Wilding, Margaret Lockwood, Orson Welles and John McCallum.[2] It was based on the novel Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley, and had been filmed previously in the UK with Clive Brook in 1920, and in a 1929 US version.[3][4]


A major international financier is found dead at his Hampshire home. The Record newspaper assigns its leading investigative reporter, Phillip Trent, to the case. In spite of the police cordon, he manages to gain entry to the house by posing as a relative. While there he manages to pick up some of the background to the case from Inspector Murch, the Irish detective leading the investigation. Despite Murch's suggestion that the death is suicide, Trent quickly becomes convinced that it was in fact murder.

At the inquest, the coroner swiftly concludes that the deceased, Sigsbee Manderson, had killed himself. Trent, however, is given permission by his editor to continue to pursue the story. His attention is drawn to Manderson's widow, Margaret.


Critical reception[edit]

Leonard Maltin rated the film 2.5 out of 4 stars, and noted "superior cast in lukewarm tale of the investigation of businessman's death." [5] while Jay Carr on the TCM website, wrote, "In Trent's Last Case, Welles shares the spotlight with his spectacular putty nose. It's a mighty ice-breaker of a nose, straight-edged as a steel blade, pulverizing all in its path, including whatever pretension to credibility this creaky British murder mystery might have retained."[6]


  1. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p498
  2. ^ "Trent's Last Case (1952) - BFI". BFI. 
  3. ^ "Trent's Last Case (1920) - BFI". BFI. 
  4. ^ Hal Erickson. "Trent's Last Case (1952) - Herbert Wilcox - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie. 
  5. ^ "Trent's Last Case (1953) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. 
  6. ^ "Trent's Last Case (1953) - Articles -". Turner Classic Movies. 

External links[edit]