The film for tonight is one of those neglected gems that really deserve to be seen much more often than they are. Emergency Call is a drama/thriller made in the UK in 1953 and is gripping from beginning to end.
The film opens with a shot of an ambulance racing through the London streets taking a 5 year old girl to hospital. This girl has a rare condition and also a very rare blood group. In order for her to survive she needs three pints of blood from donors who are scattered throughout the country.
A police inspector played by Jack Warner (of Dixon of Dock Green fame) organises a search for the three people whose blood could save this little girl’s life. From here on in, the film concentrates on the lives and motivations of the three potential donors. The donors are an unusual lot, a sailor about to leave on a merchant ship who is haunted by one particular aspect of his wartime experiences; an almost washed up professional boxer, played incidentally by a real light-heavyweight boxing champion Freddie Mills and a man with a shady past who is on the run.
It’s worth looking out for the Carry On actor Sid James in one of his early straight acting roles as a boxing promoter under pressure from a gangster bookie to get one of his fighters to throw a fight and deliberately lose. A young-ish Thora Hird also puts in an appearance as well.
This film is well worth 84 minutes of anyone’s time and although this film has been around for well over half a century, I was delighted to discover it recently.
Here is Emergency Call (released as ‘The Hundred Hour Hunt’ in the United States) and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.