I See a Dark Stranger

Synopsis: Determined, independent Bridie Quilty comes of age in 1944 Ireland thinking all Englishmen are devils. Her desire to join the IRA meets no encouragement, but a German spy finds her easy to recruit. We next find her working in a pub near a British military prison, using her sex appeal in the service of the enemy. But chance puts a really vital secret into her hands, leading to a chase involving Bridie, a British officer who's fallen for her, a German agent unknown to them both, and the police...paralleled by Bridie's own internal conflicts.
Genre: Drama, Thriller, War
Director(s): Frank Launder
Production: Odeon Entertainment
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min

An Isle of Man signpost

outside a French town?

That's odd.

But we've started this tale

at the wrong moment.

It really began much earlier.

It's the story of a very strange

little character named Bridie Quilty.

The village of Ballygarry...

Deep in the west of Ireland...

...in the year 1937.


A shot rang out...


We knew then, Eoghan was caught.

The English were on the floor below

in countless hosts.

Myself and Michael O'Callaghan...

...to keep the fair and sacred

name of Ireland unbesmirched.

Ah... it was a shockin' moment

right enough.

For we didn't stall...

I looks at Mick...

...and Mick looks at me...

There was a strange stillness

on the day.

We crept behind the back of them,

and waited.

Then I heard the boards on the stairs

begin to creak.

And the head of the first Englishman

come round the door.


With me first bullet, I put a partin' in his

hair that his mother could be proud of!

Then they were on us.

Up the stairs

like rats up a waterspout.

The fight was on!

Ah... it was a grand bit of a fight,

right enough.

I remember one time...

I turns around and looks at Mick.

Now, I'll never be sure

what he was thinking just then...

I know there was only one thought

in MY mind...

I was thinkin' about Cromwell!


...caused the death and destruction,

the poverty and persecution...

The suffering and starvation

that he brought...

...on the sacred soil of holy Ireland.

We fought like a dozen men,

so we did.

Myself and Mick.

'Til our last bullet was gone.

They took us then.

And dragged us into the street

to join the others.

There we were...

just a handful of us.

Worn, torn and bedraggled.

Marching down O'Connor Street...

The city we loved, burning around us...

The crowd silent and sad...

And then it was...

Like as if heaven itself

would bring hope to us, and justice.

A miracle happened.

A little black-haired angel of a girleen...

...pushed through the line

of English bayonets.

She caught a hold of Michael's hand

and started to sing.

A simple little song it was only...

Down O'Connor Street it swept...

...like a forest fire.

The Revolution was born again...

They would not die in vain.

Night after night, Bridie listened

to that same old tale.

That same old song of the Revolution.

With her father's death, she grew up

with a bitter hatred of everything British.

Until, in the spring of 1944,

she came of age.

Bridie, why do you suddenly have to confront

us with a terrible thing, the like of this?

Don't you dare bang the table at me,

Terence Delaney...

I've told you so, I have...

'til I'm nearly dumb with talk.

The day I'm 21 I said,

and I come in the inheritance...

I'll take the 10.42 from Glenderry Station,

I said, to travel to Dublin.

And that's exactly what I'm doing.

I'm not asking you

what you're doing...

I'm asking you why

you're doing it.

Why child, do you have to choose

a sinful place, the like of Dublin.

Uncle Timothy I'm surprised at you

asking a question like that...

...of Danny Quilty's daughter.

Timothy Hogan... are you going to sit there

and let a skirt of a girl defy you?

I'm 21... I'm my own mistress.

That's an occupation that could

change hands overnight!

Can it indeed?

I'm well able to look after myself...

...be it in Dublin or Ballygarry...

as Terence here will tell you.

...say nothing at all of Mr McGee there.

And Mr Clougherty.

Well HE knows I can take care of myself.

And while we're on the subject...

I fancy we're all being

rather overanxious.

After all, Bridie has a mind of her own.

She appears to have made it up.

Thank you, Mr Ransome.

Now that's all settled

to nobody's satisfaction but my own...

...I'll be getting my things together.

I just want to say how grateful I am

to you all, for your kindness...

One of these days you'll be as proud of me

as you were of my father.

Uncle Timothy... are you taking me

to the station?

I'd better go and harness the mare,

I suppose.

Let ME take you, Bridie...

No..no..no..nobody's to come to the

station... Only Uncle Timothy.

I don't want my 21st birthday celebrations


You know it is my belief...

...that it was her father who put

all that nonsense into her head.

Maybe... he had a power of words

and a very far-reaching imagination.

What are you hinting at, Maggie?

I'm hinting at nothing.

Only I'm told, that

of all the men of Ireland...

...that are supposed to have fought

in the Rise and did fight...

...the General Post Office and all the buildings

of Dublin put together, wouldn't hold them.

Not that I'm saying a word

against Danny, mind you.

Indeed, I should hope not!

Anyone in Ballygarry can tell you

that he set out on his bicycle for Dublin.

He set out, alright.

But there's a terrible lot of pubs

between here and Dublin.

Goodbye, Terence!

Quickly... the train's here!

Hurry now... we'll miss it.

Goodbye Uncle Timothy!

Take care of yourself, Bridie!

His hair is going Grey.

But it looks very nice,

the way he has it brushed.

He has a faraway look in his eyes.

A poet, maybe.

No... he's much too clean.

And he puts his trousers under the

mattress, like Terence Delaney!

Hasn't he the lovely nails!

He's a gentleman, I think.

I don't like being alone with a

strange man, at this time of night.

He doesn't look that sort of man,

of course, but...

How can you tell?

Mr McGee didn't look

that sort of man.

And Mr Clougherty

was a terrible shock to me.

He's a traveller from abroad.

"Miller"...that can't be an Irish name.

He's English!

Of all the compartments in this train,

I have to get into one with an Englishman!

Now I might have known it...

will you look at him...

Will you look at the cruel set

of his jaw!

You could mistake him for Cromwell!

If he speaks to me,

I shall lose my temper.

I shall tell him he looks like Cromwell.

If he speaks to me.

Business... that's all the English

ever think about.

You say?

Oh, I was saying nothing at all...

It was just my thoughts

expressing themselves in private.

I beg your pardon.

I feel I should add... there are

other things we think about.

I'd rather not discuss the matter further,

if you don't mind.

You should visit England one day...

It may change your mind.

There's no need... I have an aunt there,

who's told me all about it.

She says the upper classes

are cringing...

...and always moaning

about their troubles.

And the lower classes are arrogant...

and think they own the earth.

I thought it was the other way round!

My aunt runs a servants registry office.


There's no "ah" about it...

She hates the whole lot of them,

and so do I.

My father fought for Ireland

against the English, in 1916...

And if I ever get the chance,

I'll do the same.

For the subject of a neutral country...

aren't you being a little belligerent?

There's nothing belligerent about it.

It's entirely a question

of which side I'm neutral on.

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Frank Launder

Frank Launder (28 January 1906 – 23 February 1997) was a British writer, film director and producer, who made more than 40 films, many of them in collaboration with Sidney Gilliat.He was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England and worked briefly as a clerk before becoming an actor and then a playwright. He began working as a screenwriter on British films in the 1930s, contributing the original story for the classic Will Hay comedy Oh, Mr Porter! (1937). After writing a number of screenplays with Gilliat, including The Lady Vanishes (1938) for Alfred Hitchcock, and Night Train to Munich for Carol Reed; the two men wrote and directed the wartime drama Millions Like Us (1943).After founding their own production company Individual Pictures, they produced a number of memorable dramas and thrillers including I See a Dark Stranger (1945) and Green for Danger (1946), but were best known for their comedies including The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) and most famously, the St Trinians series, based on Ronald Searle's cartoons set in an anarchic girls school. He was married to actress Bernadette O'Farrell from 1950 until his death in Monaco. The couple had two children. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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