Double Confession

Double Confession is a 1950 British crime film directed by Ken Annakin and starring Derek Farr, Joan Hopkins, William Hartnell and Peter Lorre.[2] The screenplay, written by William Templeton, is based on the novel, All On A Summer's Day by HLV Fletcher, written under the pen name "John Garden".[3]

Double Confession
Directed byKen Annakin
Produced byHarry Reynolds
Screenplay byWilliam Templeton; based on the novel, All on a Summer's Day by John Garden
StarringDerek Farr
Joan Hopkins
William Hartnell
Peter Lorre
Music byBenjamin Frankel
CinematographyGeoffrey Unsworth
Edited byCarmen Belaieff
Harry Reynolds Productions
Distributed byABPC (U.K.)
Release date
1 May 1950
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£102,299 (UK)[1]

Double Confession is missing from the BFI National Archive, and is included on the British Film Institute's list of "75 Most Wanted".[4] A complete 35mm print does exist in an independent archive in the UK. In February 2013, a restored edition was released on DVD by Renown Pictures in the UK; however, this DVD is no longer available.[5]


Arriving late at night in the seaside town of Seagate, Jim Medway (Derek Farr) heads for his estranged wife’s isolated coastal cottage. As he arrives, he sees local businessman Charlie Durham (William Hartnell) coming out of the house, in which he then finds his wife dead. With the awareness that his wife had been having an affair with Durham, Medway embarks on attempts to blackmail the rich entrepreneur or get him arrested for murdering his wife. However, Durham's sinister homicidal sidekick Paynter (Peter Lorre) is out to protect his boss by arranging a little "accident" for Medway. As Inspector Tenby (Naunton Wayne) slowly gathers clues to solve the mystery, he begins to suspect there is a less obvious culprit.


Critical reception

In The New York Times, Bosley Crowther commented, "it rambles around in maddening fashion for what seems interminable hours while Naunton Wayne as a deadpanned detective tries to figure out who killed whom...It is all very odd and disconnected, especially when Peter Lorre pops in from time to time to behave like a degenerate and offer to kill anybody in the house";[6] while more recently Allmovie wrote, "The presence of Peter Lorre assured a modicum of American business for the British meller Double Confession...Lorre's role is largely peripheral, but he does supply a few moments of genuine menace";[7] while Sky Movies wrote, "Director Ken Annakin showed in an earlier film, Holiday Camp, that he liked to be beside the seaside. But, in this superior crime drama, he makes the resort of 'Seagate' appear a very sinister place indeed. The whodunnit plot benefits enormously from Peter Lorre's almost apologetic menace";[8] and The Digital Fix concluded, "it’s an excellent piece of work. Tightly constructed, exceptionally well-performed and with a wonderful sense of place, Double Confession deserves to find an enthusiastic audience."[9]


  1. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p492
  2. "Double Confession (1950)".
  3. Goble, Alan (1 January 1999). "The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film". Walter de Gruyter via Google Books.
  4. "Double Confession / BFI Most Wanted". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  5. "Double Confession [194792] - £7.99 : Renown Films". Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  7. "Double Confession (1950) - Ken Annakin - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".
  8. "Double Confession".
  9. Fix, Anthony Nield, The Digital. "Double Confession - DVD Review - Film @ The Digital Fix".
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