The Man Upstairs (1958 film)

The Man Upstairs is a 1958 film directed by Don Chaffey. It stars Richard Attenborough and Bernard Lee.[1] The film was produced by Robert Dunbar for Act Films Ltd.[2]

The Man Upstairs
Original UK quad poster
Directed byDon Chaffey
Produced byRobert Dunbar
Written byAlun Falconer
Robert Dunbar
Don Chaffey
StarringRichard Attenborough
Bernard Lee
Donald Houston
CinematographyGerald Gibbs
Edited byJohn Trumper
Release date
  • 30 September 1958 (1958-09-30)
Running time
88 min.
CountryUnited Kingdom


Peter Watson, a tenant of a boarding house, is infused, and troubled with pain and an inability to sleep. He repeatedly tries unsuccessfully to light the gas-fire that requires coins and seeks help from another lodger, artist Nicholas, who is spending the night with his model, and is reluctant to be disturbed. Another neighbour, Pollen, calls for police help. The other occupants in the property are awake by this time, and one of them, Mrs Barnes, tries to help the mentally confused Watson (known to them as John Wilson) but he also refuses her help. The police clash with Mr Sanderson, a mental heath worker, who thinks he can take Watson,who is armed, without complications, but when a police sergeant is injured Inspector Thompson is determined to remove him by force if necessary. Eventually Mrs Barnes manages to persuade the sick man to leave his room, and Mr Sanderson accompanies him to a waiting ambulance for hospital treatment.


Critical reception

TV Guide wrote, "a superb performance from Attenborough is at the core of this character study";[3] and The New York Times singled out Alun Falconer's "script, the tight direction by Don Chaffey, and the performances of the principals", and noted, "although they (the performances) do not make "The Man Upstairs" extraordinary, they give this modest effort the sheen of honesty and quality."[4]


  1. "The Man Upstairs (1958) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  2. Action! Fifty Years in the Life of a Union. Published: 1983 (UK). Publisher: ACTT. ISBN 0 9508993 0 5. ACT Films Limited - Ralph Bond p81 (producer listed as Robert Dunbar)
  3. "The Man Upstairs". TV Guide.
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