Girl in the News

Girl in the News is a 1940 British thriller film directed by Carol Reed and starring Margaret Lockwood, Barry K. Barnes and Emlyn Williams.[1]

Girl in the News
Australian theatrical poster
Directed byCarol Reed
Produced byEdward Black
Maurice Ostrer
Screenplay bySidney Gilliat
Based onnovel by Roy Vickers
StarringMargaret Lockwood
Barry K. Barnes
Emlyn Williams
Music byLouis Levy (uncredited)
Charles Williams (uncredited)
CinematographyOtto Kanturek
Edited byR.E. Dearing
Twentieth Century Productions
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer (UK)
20th Century Fox (U.S.)
Release date
28 August 1940 (UK)
31 January 1941 (U.S.)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


When her elderly patient is poisoned, innocent nurse Anne Graham is charged with murder, but is controversially acquitted by lawyer Stephen Farringdon. With the press and public opinion against her, Anne finds it difficult to get another job. It doesn't help that her own lawyer is suspicious. Changing her name she finds employment nursing wheelchair bound Edward Bentley. When Bentley is found dead, Scotland Yard detective Bill Mather arrests Anne, but lawyer Farringdon fights again to prove her innocence.



The film was based on a best selling novel by Roy Vickers.[2] It was originally meant to star Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave, who had just appeared in The Lady Vanishes together.[3]

It marked the film debut of Michael Hordern who had one line, during a court scene, as a junior counsel to senior counsel played by Felix Aylmer.

The film was the first of several collaborations between director Carol Reed and writer Sidney Gilliat. Gilliat later recalled:

He [Reed] seemed to me an interpreter rather than a creator; he followed the screenplay quite closely rather than bringing forth original ideas of his own. I felt he was not at all interested in The Girl in the News, which I think was a pallid job. The chief obstacle was Carol's stage background - the couldn't really believe in the screenwriter. He needed close collaboration with a writer.[4]

Critical reception

The Radio Times called it a "workmanlike if rather transparent murder mystery";[5] whereas The New York Times wrote, "bring out the smelling salts, folks. Another spellbinding English thriller has come to town!"[6] and Allmovie said, "this early Carol Reed effort tended to be dismissed or ignored by its director in later interviews. Even so, the film is a worthwhile effort, with an intricate and sometimes amusing script by Sydney Gilliat."[7]

Radio adaptation

Girl in the News was presented on Philip Morris Playhouse 21 November 1941. The adaptation starred Joan Bennett.[8]


  1. "The Girl in the News (1940)". BFI.
  2. A LADY WHO HAS LOOKS New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 05 June 1938: 156.
  3. "BRITISH FILMS OF 1939". Western Mail. 59, (2, 742). Western Australia. 15 September 1938. p. 30. Retrieved 4 May 2016 via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  4. Brian McFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema p 224
  5. David Parkinson. "The Girl in the News". RadioTimes.
  6. "THE SCREEN; 'The Girl in the News,' Another Suspensive Drama Directed by Carol Reed, Opens at the Globe". 5 May 1941 via
  7. Hal Erickson. "The Girl in the News (1940) - Carol Reed - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  8. "(photo caption)". Harrisburg Telegraph. 15 November 1941. p. 29. Retrieved 26 July 2015 via
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