Friday Night Movie Number 91 – ‘Town On Trial’


A very interesting crime movie for you this week. Town on Trial made in 1956 is a crime movie starring John Mills as a British detective trying to get to the bottom of first one murder and then another that happens in a small and very insular town.

Police Inspector Hallorran is called in to investigate the murder of a beautiful and flirtatious young woman who was extremely popular at the local tennis club and who was especially popular with the male members of the club. Inspector Hallorran has to investigate this murder and deal with a whole load of ‘red herrings’ along the way before the plot reaches its exciting climax.

Whilst investigating the murder of first girl, Molly Stevens Inspector Hallorran finds out just why the locals were unhappy about an outside officer from Scotland Yard being brought in to find out who murdered Molly. Inspector Hallorran uncovers a whole can of worms in the town including illicit relationships, violent and controlling parents, secrecy, snobbery, fake RAF officers, disbarred medics and husbands getting women other than their wives pregnant.

This is a cracking little film that I saw years ago and only just rediscovered. It’s one of those movies where you think you might know who the murderer is part way through but towards the end things are revealed to be very different. It’s got brilliant camera work that pulls you in from the first scene of a police car advancing towards the camera to the innovative editing that takes the viewer between different scenes and families involved in the plot.

I hope you enjoy this film as much as I have enjoyed watching it again.