Jigsaw (1962 film)

Jigsaw is a 1962 British crime drama film written and directed by Val Guest and starring Jack Warner and Ronald Lewis. It is based on the police procedural novel Sleep Long, My Love by Hillary Waugh,[1] with the setting changed from the fictional small town of Stockford, Connecticut,[n 1] to Brighton, Sussex, while retaining the names and basic natures of its two police protagonists and most of the other characters. It was filmed with the full cooperation of the County Borough of Brighton Police, which was under the shadow of a major corruption scandal, and the East Sussex Constabulary.[n 2]

Directed byVal Guest
Produced byVal Guest
Screenplay byVal Guest
Based ona novel by Hillary Waugh
StarringJack Warner
Ronald Lewis
Yolande Donlan
Michael Goodliffe
John Le Mesurier
CinematographyArthur Grant
Edited byBill Lenny
Distributed byBrittania Films (UK)
Beverly Pictures (USA)
Release date
21 August 1962
Running time
107 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom


A woman is found partially dismembered in Saltdean, near Brighton. Two local detectives, following up a simple burglary of an estate agent's office, discover the body and take on the investigation of the death. The dead woman is unidentified and the suspect of what is presumed to be a murder is an unknown man who has used a false identity to rent the house in which the woman was found. The detectives methodically develop and follow up leads to identify both, mostly in Brighton, but also further afield in Lewes and Greenwich.

One lead appears to identify the dead woman, but their follow-up reveals that the name is of a woman who was at the house but is still living. They track down and arrest a suspect described by several persons as the man who occupied the house, but the case takes an unexpected turn when he admits he was there but denies any involvement.

After the dead woman is positively identified, the veteran inspector leading the case develops a "wild idea" on the identity of another suspect, then orders a standard procedure that confirms his theory in a non-standard fashion. This suspect admits knowledge of the death but his contention that it was accidental appears to be unshakeable until the detectives realise he has tripped himself up in a crucial detail.[2]


Critical response

Britmovie wrote that Jigsaw is "a chilling murder mystery," adding, "at 107 minutes, the film is long but never tiresome";[3] while The Guardian described the film as "one of the finest postwar British crime movies and possibly the best depiction of the seaside town on film. Caught in its seedy corruption, Brighton emerges as a far cry from the bumbling world with which (Val) Guest had until then been associated."

The Duke of Edinburgh dismissed the film as "bloody boring". [4]


  1. The fictional Stockford is also located in a fictional part of Connecticut, 12 miles north of Stamford, a location actually in New York state.
  2. The Brighton Borough Police and East Sussex Constabulary were amalgamated as part of the Sussex Constabulary by the Police Act 1964.
  1. "Jigsaw". BFI.
  2. "Jigsaw (1962) - Overview". TCM.com. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  3. "Jigsaw 1962 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
  4. Christopher Hawtree. "Obituary: Val Guest". the Guardian.

The film was shot in CinemaScope, but this is uncredited.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.