Cottage to Let
Cottage to Let is a 1941 British spy thriller film directed by Anthony Asquith starring Leslie Banks, Alastair Sim and John Mills. Set in Second World War Scotland, its plot concerns Nazi spies trying to kidnap an inventor.
|Cottage to Let|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Anthony Asquith|
|Produced by||Edward Black|
|Written by||Geoffrey Kerr (play)|
J. O. C. Orton
Anatole de Grunwald
|Music by||Charles Williams|
|Cinematography||Jack E. Cox|
|Edited by||R.E. Dearing|
|Distributed by||General Film Distributors|
|6 September 1941|
Upper class Mrs. Barrington (Jeanne de Casalis) takes in two child evacuees from London, including cocky teenager Ronald (George Cole), lodging them in a cottage she owns. However, it has already been let to annoyingly inquisitive Charles Dimble (Alastair Sim). To compound the confusion, Mrs. Barrington had also agreed to allow it to be converted into a military hospital. Spitfire pilot Flight Lieutenant Perry (John Mills) parachutes into the nearby loch and becomes the first patient, tended by Mrs. Barrington's pretty daughter Helen (Carla Lehmann). Mrs. Barrington moves Ronald to the main house, while Dimble and Perry remain in the cottage.
Ronald makes friends with Mrs. Barrington's husband John (Leslie Banks), a brilliant but eccentric inventor, currently working on a bombsight for the Royal Air Force. However, he insists on working on his own. His assistant, Alan Trently (Michael Wilding), becomes jealous when Helen starts spending too much time with Perry. Eventually though, Helen lets Trently know that she prefers him.
Meanwhile, the government grows concerned about Barrington's security; his last invention, a self-sealing fuel tank, was copied by the Germans within a month of its mass production. Trently comes under suspicion, as he had been educated in Germany.
It turns out that there is cause for concern; German agents kidnap Barrington. Ronald stows away in the car used to take the captive to an isolated water mill. When Perry shows up, Ronald attacks one of the spies to help in the "rescue". Unfortunately, it is all in vain, as Perry is revealed to be the ringleader. Perry intends to take Barrington to Berlin on a seaplane which is due to arrive the next night.
However, Dimble turns out to be a British counterintelligence officer. He manages to infiltrate the ring and learn where Barrington is being held. All but one of the spies are captured and the prisoners are freed. Perry initially escapes, but is eventually tracked down and killed in a shootout with Dimble.
- Leslie Banks as John Barrington
- Alastair Sim as Charles Dimble
- John Mills as Flight Lieutenant Perry
- Jeanne de Casalis as Mrs. Barrington
- Carla Lehmann as Helen Barrington
- George Cole as Ronald
- Michael Wilding as Alan Trently
- Frank Cellier as Ernest Forest
- Muriel Aked as Miss Fernery
- Wally Patch as Evans
- Muriel George as Mrs. Trimm
- Hay Petrie as Dr. Truscott
- Catherine Lacey as Mrs. Stokes
- Annie Esmond as Lady wrapping parcels for the bazaar (uncredited)
- Peter Gawthorne as Senior RAF officer (uncredited)
- Arthur Hambling as Scotland Yard Inspector (uncredited)
- Roddy Hughes as German agent (uncredited)
- Brefni O'Rorke as Scottish Police Inspector (uncredited)
- Charles Rolfe as German agent (uncredited)
- Ben Williams as Scottish fisherman (uncredited)
- Ryall, Tom. Anthony Asquith. Manchester University Press, 2013.