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The Green Man

7.11 h 20 min1957PG
Alastair Sim plays Hawkins, a part time professional assassin planning to bump off MP Sir Gregory Upshott (Raymond Huntley) but vacuum cleaner salesman William Blake (George Cole) and Hawkins’ neighbour Ann (Jill Adams) repeatedly get in the way.
Robert Day
Alastair SimGeorge ColeTerry-Thomas
None Available
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Supporting actors
Jill AdamsRaymond Huntley
Sidney GilliatFrank LaunderLeslie Gilliat
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4.5 out of 5 stars

357 global ratings

  1. 70% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 18% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

coraReviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 July 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fun Little Farce
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This is a highly entertaining little farce with the ever enjoyable Alastair Sim in the lead. He plays the amiable assassin to perfection. He is lovable enough that you root for him right to the end even though you know he is the villain of the piece. It's a black comedy that fits right in with the likes of The Lady Killers and Kind Hears and Coronets.

There is much fun to be had in a neighbourhood with identical houses, couples having affairs and not having affairs, a murder committed right under the nose of the local police officer, a body that is moved around, a ladies string trio that'll speed up the tempo to get to the bar a bit sooner, and that ubiquitous joke of British comedy at the time, the vacuum salesman. And once he's in the picture he's just not going away. Ideal to while away a slow evening with some gentle entertainment. And a must for any fan of Alastair Sim.

The film is from 1956, it's in crisp black and white. The 4:3 aspect ratio is the original format and while it's less than perfect for modern widescreen devices, it's not a cropped version and should not be faulted. The DVD I purchased (Studio Canal, green and white cover) is very basic. No subtitles, no extra features. Picture and sound quality are good.
One person found this helpful
Laurence PaulReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 June 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Alistair Sim is a master of reserved wickedness joined to a manipulative personality that gives us humour to die for
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This jovial black comedy entertains as it aches your ribs with laughter. I've found that Studio Canal have re-released many older British films and they seem to excel at cherry-picking the very best of what our own classic studios offered decades ago. This film is no exception. Alistair Sim excels as Hawkins - a skilled, quiet clockmaker, but who also doubles as a deadly hired assassin. Hawkins must murder Sir Gregory, an overbearing but not hard-to-get-to government minister before the latter can take up a new posting to the Middle East. As Sir Gregory wants a naughty time at 'The Green Man Inn' all seems too easy for the slick, darkly comic, yet emotionally restrained Sim, whose performance in this role is tailor-made for him as it allows his understated brilliance to shine. Sim's mannerisms, facial twists, understatement, cagey reticence and the way that he seems to play with the practicalities of murder whilst observing and manipulating the emotions of all around, combine to give us an Alistair Sim master-class. Farce enters the story in the guise of the minister's secretary who suspects what is really happening, and when her fears are joined to the antics and persistence of a visiting vacuum salesman played wonderfully by George Cole, then Sim's calmly revised plan must now embrace more victims. The outdoor scenes take you back to a different age and the nostalgic tenseness throughout compliments the humour. You even have an appearance by Terry Thomas. In mood and eloquence it reminded me distinctly of 'Kind Hearts & Coronets' and 'The Ladykillers.' It's a classic that can be watched again and again, and I believe that I will.
11 people found this helpful
KaleHawkwoodReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 December 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Comedy heaven
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{N.B. Unlike some of the reviews here, this is for the single-disc copy of The Green Man.}

This glorious farce, based on the play Meet a Body by Launder & Gilliat, was directed in 1956 by the enterprising Robert Day {who died at 94 earlier this year} and stars the sublime Alastair Sim as a serial murderer, with George Cole, Jill Adams, Raymond Huntley, Colin Gordon, Avril Angers, Dora Bryan, Eileen Moore, and Terry-Thomas hilarious in an unusually small role. All are superb.
The plot involves a possibly dead body, two houses named Windyridge and Appleby, a young engaged couple (Adams and Gordon}, an eager vacuum cleaner salesman {Cole ~ the 'green' man ~ blissfully good}, and a public figure Sim wants to kill, who all end up in the seaside hotel of the title. Naturally, a certain amount of havoc ensues.
The whole thing is so well executed, with some of the finest comic actors of the era {led by Sim at his peak} in a film which really only has to point the cameras at the action and let them get on with it. Sim's scenes with the Palm Court trio of fey but flirty ladies are the stuff of comedy heaven; and I'd watch the film for Terry-Thomas alone, even though his part is so meagre. He makes each precisely written line so wonderfully funny . . . oh look, just see it!

A modest film, with a big heart and large laughs.
3 people found this helpful
Ian PolkReviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 January 2022
1.0 out of 5 stars
Not a classic, in my opinion, and not worth watching
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Alistair Sim ('Scrooge' in the classic 1951 rendering of 'A Christmas Carol') is always terrific, which is the factor that prompted me to buy it, but I was very disappointed, despite my also being an avid fan of many older films.
The reason for my disappointment is that it is of the high-farce genre, which is one of no appeal whatsoever to me and never has been, but if you like that sort of thing then you'll like this; if you don't, you won't.
P. WILLIAMSReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 February 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Treat yourself to a laugh!
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A welcome return -me for me at least - to the era of 'innocent comedy' where your joy and fun watching such a film was not brought about by innuendos, blue jokes, unnecessary swearing or nudity. Call me 'square' or 'old-fashioned' but to me from about 1940 - 1966 British Cinema reigned. This film has Alastair Sim playing another scoundrel but also an assassin who is also a charmer. He 'courts' the Secretary of his next impending victim as a way of establishing the man's routine and agenda. Only 76 minutes running time it stars also George Cole - Sim's real-life foster son, pretty Jill Adams, an almost 'young' Arthur Brough, Richard Wattis - stalwart of SO many UK comedy films in a cameo role, Raymond Huntley - doyen of comedic snobbery, Dora Bryan, Terry Thomas and Michael Ripper, known for his 'Hammer Horror' film roles through the '60s.
One person found this helpful
Mr. M. G. BlakeReviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 August 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Absolute shower!
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School for Scoundrels is of course a five star movie from the golden age of British Comedy movie making. T-T and Carmichael are as superb as ever, and Alaistair Sim's lugubrious mug is a delight (my what a huge growth of earlobe hair he had) as ever.
The Green Man is less successful, a minor entry in the canon, but still a hoot. These are Saturday or Sunday teatime movies now and best enjoyed with crumpets (I say!) marmite and Radio Four on low in the background. A most evocative time of cads and bounders, schemes and scams, farce and frivolity from an era long gone. One can't help but miss seeing roads without cameras or clutter, endless signage and all the detritus of modern life. Both films really talk of the emergent middle classes and the dissolution of the upper in post war austerity Britain.

Sheer delight. Hard cheese!
2 people found this helpful
Jody Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 February 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Delightful Dark Comedy
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George Cole just shines in this, supported by a great cast. Very funny without descending too much into slapstick and dark without being nasty. A must see.
F. M. StockdaleReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 December 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
A masterpiece
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Quite simply one of the three funniest British films: this, The Court Jester and Clockwise. Impossible to praise its invention and comic business too highly. A masterpiece.
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