Behind the Headlines (1956 film)

Behind the Headlines is a 1956 British crime film directed by Charles Saunders and starring Paul Carpenter, Adrienne Corri, Hazel Court and Alfie Bass.[1] The plot revolves around a male and female journalist joining forces to hunt down a murderer.

Behind the Headlines
Directed byCharles Saunders
Produced byGuido Coen
Written byAllan MacKinnon
Based onBehind the Headlines (novel)
by Robert Chapman
Music byStanley Black
CinematographyGeoffrey Faithfull
Edited byMargery Saunders
Kenilworth Film Productions
Distributed byRank Organisation
Release date
July 1956
Running time
65 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

It was made at Southall Studios. The film was based on the novel Behind the Headlines by Robert Chapman.[2]


American Paul Banner (Paul Carpenter) used to be a reporter working in London. Recently leaving his paper, he has gone freelance, so that he can focus more on chasing down facts and selling his stories once he gets them. He has no regrets in leaving his job as there will be no more deadlines or misguided editors to divert his attention. He starts up a news agency, Banners Agency, whose motto is "ferret out the facts and sell them to the highest bidder."

When showgirl Nina Duke (Magda Miller) is murdered, the press are all harrying the police for statements and facts but Banner hangs back and does a little work of his own to uncover the story. Nina, it transpires, was previously in jail for blackmail, so it is possible that this was why she was killed. Banner initially falls for the affections of rival reporter Pam Barnes (Adrienne Corri), but his true affections lie with his secretary, Maxine (Hazel Court.

A race to find the killer has Banner trying to get the story that the police cannot.



Director Charles Saunders made One Jump Ahead (1955), which had many similarities to Behind the Headlines.[3] The story of a news reporter investigating a murder, was again played by Paul Carpenter from a story by Robert Chapman. Saunders specialized in the B movie at the Kenilworth Films Production house which turned out 11 mainly crime thrillers between 1948 and 1956.[4]

Critical reception

In its review of Behind the Headlines, TV Guide concluded, "Weak script and stiff direction offer little suspense in this routine yarn";[5] whereas the Radio Times wrote, "... this is elevated above the morass of British crime B-movies by a sure sense of newsroom atmosphere that owes more to Hollywood than Pinewood... there's a convincing seediness about the backstage milieu thanks to Geoffrey Faithfull's unfussy photography. It may lack suspense and newsman Paul Carpenter is short on charisma, but there's admirable support from the likes of Adrienne Corri, Hazel Court and Alfie Bass."[6]



  1. "Film details: 'Behind the Headlines' (1956)." British Film Institute, 2016. Retrieved: 24 August 2016.
  2. Goble 1999, p. 81.
  3. "Behind the Headlines (1956)." IMDb. Retrieved: 1 July 2013.
  4. Chibnall and McFarland 2009, p. 68.
  5. "Overview: 'Behind The Headlines'." TV Guide, 2016. Retrieved: @4 August 2016.
  6. "Behind the Headlines.' RadioTimes. Retrieved: @4 August 2016.


  • Chibnall, Steve and Brian McFarlane. The British 'B' Film. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009. ISBN 978-1-8445-7320-2.
  • Goble, Alan. The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. London: Walter de Gruyter, 1999. ISBN 978-1-8573-9229-6.
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