Tuesday, August 17, 2021

#2,601. The Night My Number Came Up (1955) - Spotlight on England


This lesser-known Ealing Studios release plays like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone.

While at a party in Hong Kong, British Naval Commander Lindsey (Michael Horndem) tells some of the other guests, including Air Marshall Hardie (Michael Redgrave), Hardie’s personal assistant McKenzie (Denholm Elliott), and government official Owen Robertson (Alexander Knox), about a dream he had the night before, in which the plane the three men were scheduled to board the next day along with 5 additional passengers crashed off the coast of Japan.

Though they initially laugh it off, Hardie, McKenzie, and Robertson soon find themselves worrying when even the most unlikely details of Lindsey’s dream start coming true.

Supposedly based on a true story (lifted from the personal journal of British Air Marshal Sir Victor Goddard), The Night My Number Came Up is an intriguing supernatural thriller, yet it’s the more dramatic moments, when the passengers on board the plane slowly realize they may be in great danger, where the film truly shines.

Redgrave, Elliott, and Knox deliver top-notch performances, as does Shelia Sim, playing yet another passenger. The script, smartly written by R.C. Sherriff, delves a little into the issue of fate versus free will, and even though we know up-front what’s ultimately going to happen (it’s revealed in the opening scene), the movie nonetheless remains tense throughout.
Rating: 8 out of 10

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