Green for Danger

Synopsis: In a rural English hospital during WWII, a postman dies on the operating table. One of the nurses states that she has proof of who the murderer is. The facetious Inspector Cockrill suspects one of the five doctors and nurses who were in the operating theater to be the assassin. But four poisonous pills have disappeared....
Director(s): Sidney Gilliat
Production: Eagle-Lion Films
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

[Man] To the assistant commissioner

of the police, Scotland Yard.

Sir, the amazing events

which I am reporting...

may be said to have begun...

on the evening

of August the 17th, 1944.

New paragraph.

A postman was cycling

up Heron's Hill...

on his way to deliver mail

at the hospital.

His name was Joseph Higgins.

I begin with him

because he was the first to die.

The hospital itself lay a mile away...

an Elizabethan manor

requisitioned and converted...

in the emergency of war.

Another new paragraph.

In the operating theatre that night...

there was a surgeon,

Mr. Eden...

Nurse Woods...

Nurse Sanson...

the, uh...

the theatre sister, Bates...

Nurse Linley...

and the anesthetist,

Dr. Barnes.

August the 17th, 1944.

By August the 22nd...

two of these people

would be dead...

and one of them a murderer.

[Bell Jingles]

What's up? Had a puncture?

No, that second doodlebug this afternoon

dropped right behind the post office...

just as I was askin'

if these were sorted out.

They were sorted out, all right.

So were we.

That's the lot. Five.

And a bill for Dr. Barnes.

Might be a receipt.

[Chuckles] Might be.

I shall be late on duty. So long, Mac.

- Can't be in two places at once.

- Our old warden takes a different view.

- All right for darts Saturday, Joe?

- You bet. Have a quiet night.

- [Air Raid Siren Blaring]

- Some hopes.


What is good morale?

Discipline and confidence,

the one dependent on the other.

I repeat:

Discipline and confidence.

And you cannot have confidence

without positive thinking...

be you students or nurses,

under bombardment or otherwise.

A small instance...

You may smile when I tell you

that one of my first acts...

when I took over this hospital

a month ago...

was to order the word "waste"

to be painted out from the refuse bins...

and instead to substitute

the word "salvage".


A humble example of the difference

between positive and negative thinking.

[V-1 Passing Overhead]

An essential fact

in the building and maintenance of...

[V-1 Continues]


[V-1 Continues]

Woman Speaking]

Another of them coming.

Tried to race me on me bicycle.

- Bit late, aren't you, Joe?

- Yes.

- Doodlebug dropped right...

- [V-1 Stops]

Woman Continues]... is only V-1.

It remains to be seen what other numbers...

- will be suffixed to the letter "V."

- [Explosion]

Woman Continues]

As the desperate Churchill...

lies frantically to save his face...

London and the home counties are reeling

under the incessant fire of our terrible V-1.

This is Germany calling.

This is Germany calling.


That's all, Sister.

I thought it wasn't

a diverticulum.

- Is he all right?

- Hasn't turned a hair.

- You all right, Nurse Linley?

- Yes, thank you, sir. Perfectly.

It's always a bit of an ordeal

the first time.

- Wonder where that doodlebug dropped.

- Somewhere near the village?

I hope it missed my house.

What a life.

- Well, it can't last forever.

- Nurses stand up to it awfully well.

So do the doctors, sir.

One can get used to anything in time.

Still, it must have been a bit of a change

for you too, sir, considering.

- Considering what?

- Your past.

- Mmm?

- Thank you.

I mean Harley Street...

Rolls-Royce, lovely ladies.

All, all are gone,

the old familiar faces.

They left their appendixes behind them.

- They were happy to be in the fashion.

- And even happier to be in your consulting room.

It's those eyes, of course.

The wounded stag look that no woman can resist.

- I...

- Woods.

Why aren't you tidying up?

There's plenty to do.

Yes, Sister.

Clear out the swabs

and get some fresh saline.

- There may be more casualties in.

- Yes, Sister.

- You look tired, Esther.

- Oh, I'm all right.

I'll make you a cup of something

before you go to bed.

Thank you.

Sanson, will you take the patient

back to the ward?

Yes, Sister.

- Yes, Sister.

- [Barnes] I can see that. But after all...

I'm not being in the least unreasonable.

I naturally thought you'd go with me tomorrow.

Darling, it's just a tatty little hospital hop,

not a ball at the Dorchester.

- Does it matter who goes with whom?

- I suppose not, but...

I was about to add,

Eden had a nerve to ask you.

Surgeons quite often ask nurses

on informal occasions.

- I know, but...

- I don't suppose he thought twice about it.

- I wonder.

- Now you're being ridiculous.

- Am I?

- Not to say pompous.

- I'm being nothing of the kind.

- Must you shout?

You know, it's really amazing how you

always contrive to put me in the wrong.

Well, you seem to think you can even dictate

who I'm to go to a dance with.

I don't want to dictate to anybody.

I've none of the instincts of a dictator.

- Then why dictate?

- What is the matter with you these days, Freddi?

I simply took it for granted

you were going with me, that's all.

- I don't like being taken for granted.

- Well, we are supposed to be engaged.

You mean, we were.

- Is that remark intended to have any point?

- Yes. We can't go on like this.

Nurse Linley. As you have nothing to do here,

would you please move outside.

Dr. Barnes, I do hope you won't be long.

We've still a great deal of clearing up to do.

Don't know what's happened

to hospital discipline this evening.


Ready, Barney?

Let's hope that's all

for this evening.

Sorry, Sister.

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Sidney Gilliat

Sidney Gilliat (15 February 1908 – 31 May 1994) was an English film director, producer and writer. He was the son of George Gilliat, editor of the Evening Standard, born in the district of Edgeley in Stockport, Cheshire. In the 1930s he worked as a scriptwriter, most notably with Frank Launder on The Lady Vanishes (1938) for Alfred Hitchcock, and its sequel Night Train to Munich (1940), directed by Carol Reed. He and Launder made their directorial debut co-directing the home front drama Millions Like Us (1943). From 1945 he also worked as a producer, starting with The Rake's Progress, which he also wrote and directed. He and Launder made over 40 films together, founding their own production company Individual Pictures. While Launder concentrated on directing their comedies, most famously the four St Trinian's School films, Gilliat showed a preference for comedy-thrillers and dramas, including Green for Danger (1946), London Belongs to Me (1948) and State Secret (1950). He wrote the libretto for Malcolm Williamson's opera Our Man in Havana, based on the novel by Graham Greene. He had also worked on the film. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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