Dangerous Medicine

Dangerous Medicine is a 1938 British crime film, directed by Arthur B. Woods and starring Elizabeth Allan and Cyril Ritchard. It is now classed as a lost film.[1]

Dangerous Medicine
Directed byArthur B. Woods
Produced byJerome Jackson
Written byPaul England
Paul Gangelin
StarringElizabeth Allan
Cyril Ritchard
CinematographyBasil Emmott
Distributed byWarner Brothers-First National Productions
Release date
August 1938
Running time
72 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Secretary Victoria Ainswell (Allan) marries her wealthy elderly boss. Soon after the wedding he dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances, and the autopsy reveals that the police have a murderer on their hands. Everything points to Victoria as the only person with means, opportunity and motive, and as she can provide no sensible explanation as to who else could have killed her husband, she is arrested and put on trial for murder.

Victoria is found guilty and sentenced to hang. As she is being driven back to prison, the car is involved in a serious road accident. Victoria is critically injured and is rushed to hospital, where brilliant doctor Noel Penwood (Ritchard) fights desperately against the odds to save her life. He finds a shard of glass has pierced her heart, and has to perform extremely risky surgery to remove it.

Once the operation is over and Victoria is off the danger list, Penwood learns that she faces execution. He is appalled by the horrendous irony that he has saved her life so heroically, only for it to soon to be taken anyway through process of law. As Victoria recovers, he listens to her story, believes in her innocence and starts to fall in love with her. Against all ethics, he smuggles her out of the hospital and puts her in hiding. The now romantically-involved couple do some sleuthing of their own, and finally stumble on the identity of the real killer. The police are extremely grateful and apologetic, and Victoria is exonerated, leaving her free to pursue the romance with Penwood.



The Monthly Film Bulletin opined the film was a "improbable story" that was "briskly told, and opens with a clever and ingeniously staged scene at the Old Bailey."[2] The review noted "resoucreful direction, crisp and pointed dialogue" and that "the settings are varied and attractive and the production qualities excellent"[2] The review commented on the acting noting that "Elizabeth Allen was "competent" while Edmond Breon "steals every scene in which he appears".[2]


  1. Missing Believed Lost British Pictures Article Archive.
  2. E.P. (1938). "Dangerous Medicine". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 5 no. 49. London: British Film Institute. p. 196.
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