Green for Danger (film)

Green for Danger is a 1946 British thriller film, based on the 1944 detective novel of the same name by Christianna Brand. It was directed by Sidney Gilliat and stars Alastair Sim, Trevor Howard, Sally Gray and Rosamund John. The film was shot at Pinewood Studios in England. The title is a reference to the colour-coding used on the gas canisters used by anaesthetists.

Green for Danger
Theatrical film poster
Directed bySidney Gilliat
Produced byFrank Launder
Sidney Gilliat
Written byChristianna Brand (novel)
Sidney Gilliat
Claud Gurney
StarringAlastair Sim
Leo Genn
Sally Gray
Trevor Howard
Music byWilliam Alwyn
CinematographyWilkie Cooper
Edited byThelma Myers
Individual Pictures
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
  • 7 December 1946 (1946-12-07) (UK)
  • August 1947 (1947-08) (U.S.)
Running time
91 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budgetover $1 million[1]


In August 1944, during the V-1 doodlebug offensive on London, patient Joseph Higgins (Marriott) dies on the operating table in a rural British hospital in the southeast of England. The anaesthetist, Barney Barnes (Howard), has had a patient die in similar circumstances previously, and when Sister Bates (Campbell) is killed after revealing that the death of Higgins was not an accident, Inspector Cockrill (Sim) is asked to investigate. Cockrill's investigation is hampered by the conflict between Barnes and Mr Eden (Genn) because of their competition for the affections of Nurse Linley (Gray). After a murder attempt is directed at Linley, the inspector re-stages the operation in order to unmask the murderer.



According to trade papers, the film was a "notable box office attraction" at British cinemas in 1947.[2] The film has also been highly praised by critics. Leslie Halliwell noted that it was a 'classic comedy-thriller, with serious detection balanced by excellent jokes and performances, also by moments of fright' [3]

Home video releases

The Criterion Collection released Green for Danger on laserdisc in 1993 with optional audio commentary by Bruce Eder. Home Vision Cinema released it on VHS at the same time. Criterion released the film on DVD in 2007 with Eder's commentary and a 2007 interview documentary produced by Heather Shaw, "Geoff Brown on Green for Danger" (Brown being the author of a book on the work of Gilliat and Launder). The DVD also includes a booklet with an essay on the film by Geoffrey O'Brien and a programme note by Gilliat from a 1960s revival screening.


  1. Thrill-type tales choice of british. (1946, Jul 07). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  2. Robert Murphy, Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939-48 2003 p209
  3. Halliwell's Film and Video Guide 1999 (1999), ed. J.Walker, p. 338
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