An Inspector Calls Film Details
Overview: When a young girl is found dead an inspector is sent to investigate a prosperous Yorkshire household. It emerges that each member of the family has a guilty secret – each one is partly responsible for her death.
Review: Being a classic film fan (though do watch films and television of all genres/medium old and new), that ‘An Inspector Calls’ was based on the classic play with a great story by JB Priestley and had a great actor in Alastair Sim on board were reasons enough to see it. ‘An Inspector Calls’ thankfully did not disappoint. While the 2015 television adaptation with David Thewlis was also wonderful, this film version from 1954 is the marginally better one. Even if it does open up the deliberately confined setting and atmosphere of the play with the inclusion of flashbacks for cinematic reasons no doubt, which some may feel tones down the claustrophobia. To me it isn’t as strong as it is on stage but is present still. As well as changing the Inspector’s name from Goole to Poole, some may, and have done, find that it misses the point of the character for reasons that won’t be gone into here at the risk of spoiling crucial elements of the story. Didn’t have as big a problem with this change though it does take away a little from the character’s mysteriousness. But what makes this version of ‘An Inspector Calls’ so good is how well it succeeds on its own merits. It is an incredibly atmospheric film first and foremost, it’s not the most technically polished film there is but it does look good. The setting do maintain the sense of confinement and claustrophobia and are produced elegantly. The cinematography and lighting are suitably ominous and while not the most polished look beautiful and add hugely to the atmosphere. A big shout out also has to go to the editing, with ‘An Inspector Calls’ containing to me some of the best editing of any film seen recently by me and of its kind, with its fluid and seamless transitions between present day and the flashbacks. Something that has been done with wildly variable results elsewhere, many films do it well and just as many others executing it rather clumsily. Regarding the music, much of it is very haunting and adds a lot in giving a sense of constant unease. There are a few instances where it’s a touch heavy-handed, my sole complaint of the film but it is not significant enough to bring it down. The script is droll and thought-provoking, never once found it trite, the best lines belong to the Inspector and Sim’s delivery has a lot to do with it. Story goes at a deliberate but efficient and never too slow pace, it is unsettlingly suspenseful and very intriguing. The portrayal and dynamic of the central family were beautifully established, there is a lot of great psychological tension and unease when the family are interrogated and the flashbacks were a great way of opening up the story and solving the potential problem while stage to screen adaptations of being stagy. They allowed us to get to know the victim and care for her plight and also the members of the Birling family and how it all affects them. The final twist, while open to interpretation, really sends a chill down the spine. The performances are very fine across the board. Didn’t have a problem with Bryan Forbes, though he fares better as a director than an actor in a way. ‘An Inspector Calls’ is compelling from the get go , but gets even better once the inspector shows up and interrogates the Birlings to utterly transfixing effect. Alastair Sim always had a knack for scene-stealing, whether in lead or support, and he does here in a superb performance that perhaps ranks among his best. Loved his witty but serious line delivery and even more so his understated and oh so expressive eyes and face. Jane Wenham is very touching in her here pathos-filled role. Arthur Young has the right amount of patriarchal authority and crustiness and Olga Lindo brings dignity and class. Concluding, wonderful and not easy to forget. 10/10 Bethany Cox
Country: United Kingdom
Duration: 80 min
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Also known as: Un inspecteur vous demande,Váratlan vendég,Llama un inspector,An Inspector Calls,Está Lá Fora um Inspetor,Ein Inspector kommt,Pan inspektor przyszedl,Det är från polisen,夜の来訪者,Визит инспектора,Inspektor je došao,En inspektør ringer på