Dulcimer Street (1948) - full transcript

Percy Boon lives with his mother in a shared rented house with an assortment of characters in central London. Although well intentioned, Percy becomes mixed up with gangsters and a murder. The story focuses on the effects this has on Percy and the other residents.

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Stand at the comer of Dulcimer Street,

and you can see
down the whole length of the terrace.

And fine houses they are, too.

Those on the right date from 1839,

when the neighbourhood was quite exclusive.

But since then
they've come down in the world a bit.

You know - "Apartment to let“ and
"Furnished room for single gent.“

Like number ten, for instance.

Let's start with the ground floor,
where Mr Josser lives.

After all, it's as much his story as anybody's.

R's the morning of Christmas Eve, 1938,

a very important date for Mr Josser,

and he's got a lot on his mind.

"Mr Battlebury, sir, ladies and gentlemen...

I just wanted you to know
howl don't know how to thank you

for all your great kindness during my illness.

42 years I've been with you,
and that's a long time.

I well remember...

I well remember..."

Oh, I've forgotten it.

"Mr Battlebury, sir, ladies and gentlemen..."

While Mr Josser is preparing for his ordeal,
let's take a look at the neighbours over here.

Upstairs, on the first floor,
there's Mrs Boon and her onty son, Percy.

1ST GANGSTER: Did ya plug him?

- Did ya get the dough?
- Sure, I got the dough.


On the top floor there's Connie Coke,

a little lady of uncertain age and irregular habits.

Mm-mm. Not back yet.

She's a night bird, Connie is.

Out with the cat and home with the milk.

ls that you, Miss Coke?

Miss Coke? I thought I heard you.
One moment, please.

Ah, good morning, Mrs Vizzard.
Merry Christmas.

You owe me two weeks' rent.

Two weeks? Really? Fancy that!
I must pay you, then, mustn't I?

- If you please.
- Sol shall, directly after Christmas.

- If you can't now, I must ask for your room.
- You mean you want me to hop?

You can't really expect me
to keep tenants who don't pay.

An empty top-floor back
pays sweet fanny adams.

It won't be empty long.

That's what you always say
about your old back basement.

My lower ground floor
is nothing to do with the case.

All right. I'm only trying to save you
from yourself...before the rot sets in.

L don't expect any thanks.
After all, it's your funeral.

Well, you can have till next Saturday.
That's my last word.

Oh, thanks, ducks.



- Sure you've got everything?
- I think so.

Come on, Doris.

Don't make that speech too long.

- Me, make a speech, Mother?
- You were doing it in your sleep.

Oh, well, goodbye, Mother.

- Bye-bye, Fred.
- So long, Mum.

- Don't say anything silly.
- No, I won't.


- Good morning, Doris.
- Oh, hello, Percy.

Morning, Mr Josser.

- Percy said "good morning", Dad.
- Oh, hello, Percy.

I'll be glad when I get today over.
See you tonight, Doris.

Good luck, Dad.

It's Dad's last day at Battlebury's.


- It'll er...make a change.
- What?

Well, I mean, it'll be a nice change for your dad.

- Yes, it will, won't it?
- That's right. Doris, I...

- You go that way, don't you?
- That's right.

Doris, er...
there's a good picture on at the Astoria tonight.

Is there?

Yes, and I wonder
if maybe you'd like to come and see it.

Oh, well, I'd love to, but...
it's Christmas Eve, and there's all my shopping.

Thanks, all the same.

Oh, OK.

(Music from funfair)


♪ Girl in blue

♪ Little girl in blue

(Thinks) I'm in love. That's what it is.
The real thing this time.

Oh, you're the girl for me, Doris.

h'! had a girl like you, I'd be OK.

♪ You on your side

♪ Me on mine

♪ We could walk a bit, talk a bit, after a...

WOMAN: Good morning, Percy.

Yes, it's me.

- Oh, hello, Myrna.
- Quite a stranger, aren't I?

I've been meaning to drop over and see you.

- That's a lie, for a start.
- It's not. I've been busy.

I couldn't care less.
I only came because Jimmy sent me over.

Oh. What's he want?

Don't know. Think he'd have better things to do.
Shall I tell him you're coming?


(Music continues)

- Hello, Perce.
- Jimmy.

- Meet Percy Boon. Mr Rufus.
- Pleased to meet you, Percy.

Mr Rufus has a spot of business
he can put in your way.

He can take a car to bits with one hand
tied behind his back. Couldn't you, Percy boy?

Well, I don't know about that!
What's the trouble?

Just a car I want doing up a bit.

He could take it round your place, see?
But there's no guarantee they'd put you on it.

No! (Chuckles) Where have you got it?

In a lockup. When are you through?

- About 5:30.
- Meet you by the back entrance.

- OK.
- Fine.

You know, this thing's fixed.

It ain't fixed. It's just made difficult!

- (Chuckles) See you, Percy.
- All right.

He's a lad, he is!
Don't forget I mentioned your name.

No, thanks, pal.

We do appreciate the favour
you've been doing us, Mr Boon.

- What?
- Coming over to breathe the same air as us.

Well, I told you I've been busy, didn't I?

Of course. And you work so far away.

That's right.


- Percy...
- What?

What's the matter?
Have I done something wrong?


- Ifthere's someone else, just tell me.
- Who said there was someone else?

- There is, though, isn't there?
- Well, you know best.

- Oh...!
- Look, you can't do that.

- Why not?
- Well, someone will see.

- That's all you care about.
- No, it's not. Only, I don't like you when you cry.

Oh...shut up.

I've... I've got to get back. Look...

How about us going to the pictures?
There's a good one on at the Astoria.

- Tonight?
- Well, I don't know about tonight.

You see, it being Christmas Eve,
I promised to spend it with my mother.

- Sure it's your mother?
- Of course.

Maybe Saturday night I'll drop in for you.

- Promise?
- Sure.

I'll be seeing you. So long.


PERCY: Am I late?
RUFUS: No, it's all right. Lockup's just here.

Uh-huh. What son ofjob is it?

It won't take long. Can you do it over Christmas?

I can have a go.

Just a minute.

Oh, SS, one-and-a-half litre, eh? Nice job.


- Well, what do you want doing?
- I want it sprayed black.

But there's hardly a scratch.

- My customer doesn't like Cambridge blue.
- Why not?

Went to Oxford! (Chuckles)

Oh. Anything else?

Yes, change the headlamps.
I'll give you a new pair.

I see.

And get rid ofthe mascot.
My customer's a married man. All right?

No. I don't touch hot jobs.

- Hot?
- Stolen. Pinched. I've been around.

- Well, I never!
- You'll have to try somewhere else.

There's 5O quid in it for you.
25 now, 25 when you've finished.

Oh, you've come to the wrong address.

5O quid.

- I'll throw the rug in. Keep your feet warm.
- OK.

- Everybody here, Verriter?
- Yes, Mr Battlebury.

Very well. Bring in the prisoner!

- Josser!

"..During my illness.
I well remember... l well remember..."

I've forgotten it.

Bravo, Josser! In harness to the last, eh?

Take those ledgers, somebody.

Well, now, let's see.
How long is it that you've been with us, Josser?

- 4...
- I'll tell you. 42 years. Right?

- Yes.
- 42 years is a long time.

Yes, a long time.

And now our old friend
is going to get the rest he deserves.

No more running for that early bus, eh, Josser?

- No. ..
- I almost envy you.

But the rest of us must put in
a few more years yet before we can retire.

Isn't that so, Miss Sweating?

Oh, definitely.

(Chuckles) Meanwhile,
we have no intention of letting our old friend go

without a little presentation.

First, my own modest contribution.

- Thank you.
- And here is the very handsome timepiece

to which your friends have subscribed.

Every time you look at it,
you can just sit back and remember

that the rest of your time's your own.

Good luck, and a very happy Christmas.

MAN". Speech! Speech!

Mr Battlebury, sir...

ladies and gentlemen...

(Tearfully) Thank you very much.

Oh, Mr Josser! Did you ring?

- It's still going.
- Oh!

"When you look at it, just remember the rest
ofthe time's your own." That's what he said.

Won't be much left to look at,
if you keep dropping it.

Well, it's still going. Nice tick, it's got. Listen.

I can hear it where I am.

Funny to think
I shall never be going back there any more.

Well, first thing in the morning
I'll start writing round.

We've nearly £500 now. We ought
to be able to get something really nice.

I can't help thinking it's hard on Doris.
There's her fares.

Well, other girls have to travel up and down.

Besides, we wouldn't have to pay rent
if we bought a cottage.

It was all right
when we were only talking about it.

Well, there's no harm in writing, is there?
Perhaps they won't have anything.

They're sure to have something
if we don't want it.

Oh, nearly forgot.
Mr Battlebury gave me something, too.

£25, from him personally.

- He can afford it.
- Well, generous, I call it.

(Tearfully) Well, I don't.

Here you've been slaving,
year in and year out, and now...

But I've got my pension.
Two pound a week for doing nothing.

Well, l... (Sniffling)

Why, Mother...

What's up?

It's nothing. It's only, after all these years...

And now...!

I've never seen you like this before.


(Chaotic chiming)

(Both laugh)

I'll take it and get it mended on Monday!


- (Theatrically) You have a room to let?
- The lower ground floor.

Single room, gas ring, part-use bath?

- Yes.
- Yes.

It's very late.

It is always later than we think.

- W-Would you like to see it?
- Thank you.

- It's downstairs.
- Naturally.

This is the room.

Of course, it looks more cheerful in the daylight.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

You mean you like it?

It is, as you say...a room.

- You know the rent?
- 15 shillings a week, I think it said.

- In advance.
- Quite so.

When would you intend to come?


Oh, I've come.

This will cover...two weeks.

Are... Are you connected with the stage?

No...quite unconnected.

Oh...your name. I didn't quite catch your name.

Naturally. I didn't mention it.

It is Squales.

Henry Squales.

S-QU-A-L-E-S .

Thank you.

(Floorboard creaking)

Percy, is that you? Percy?

- Yes, Mum.
- Come and say "good night".


- I didn't want to wake you, Mum.
- Oh, you didn't.

I've been to midnight Mass at St Joseph's.
I hoped you'd get back in time.

Well, you know. A job came in at the last minute.

- Good night, Mum.
- Merry Christmas, you mean.

Now, you close your eyes and hold out
your hand. I've got a surprise for you.


By rights, it should wait till breakfast,
but never mind.

- Oh, Mum!
- It's already filled.

Mum, it's just what I wanted.

I've been saving up.

Oh, you shouldn't have.
Of course, I've been hard at it all day...

Oh, I didn't expect anything, dear.

You're much too busy.

Well, I didn't say I hadn't got anything, did I?

Just wait there and leave it all to Perce.

Turn your head away.

- There.
- Percy!

- You like it?
- Oh, Percy!

- Keep your feet warm.
- It's lovely.

You're such a good boy.
Nobody ever had a better son!

Oh, now, now, Mum. It's only what you deserve.

(Church bells in distance)

- Here's Uncle Henry, Mother.
- Uncle Henry? What, already?

Yes. What has he been up to this time?

He'll be up on a soapbox in Hyde Park next.

Take him out. I want to get this turkey ready
before he talks the hind leg off it.

- All right, Mother.
- And do make him bring that bike in.

He can't leave it outside like that.

- That was quick.
- Carrie's getting dinner.

She wants me to take you for a walk.

What does she think I am? A tame poodle?

- No, Henry...
- I've cycled all the way from Fulham, thank you.

Wouldn't you like to bring your bike inside?

Anything wrong with it?

Well, it's not very Christmassy, is it?

Would you describe the international situation
as Christmassy?


Perhaps you'd like to deck it up
with a sprig of mistletoe.

- Be more seasonable, wouldn't it?
- That's the trouble with this country.

There's Hitler, arming to the teeth,

holding a dagger to our very vitals,
and what is our reply?

"Hey-ho, the holly! This life is so jolly!"

But how extraordinary!

(Door closing)

Oh, I do beg your pardon, I'm sure.

But I don't seem to have a shilling for the meter,
and the gas, it's run out.

Oh, we can't have that, can we?

- No, we can't, can we?
- Here you are, Connie.

Oh, thanks awfully.
I'll pay you back in the morning.

Yes, do.

(Chuckles) Well, I mustn't butt in
on your old-fashioned Christmas...must I?

Turkey and everything. (Chuckles)

No, I mustn't.

Well, thanks awfully. Bye-bye.

Bye-bye, Connie.


Glass of water, Doris, quick. Chair, Henry.


I thought she looked a bit pale.

- You want to get her head lower than her feet.
- Oh, go away, Henry. Don't fuss about it.

- Here. Take a sip ofthis, Connie.
- Oh, no, no, really. I'm quite all right.

- Are you feeling better?
- Yes, I thinkl am. I'm sure I am.

Came over faint. Can't think why.

It isn't as though it's the first time
I've skipped a meal.

You mean you've nothing to eat?

Oh, well, I'm slimming, anyway.

Good gracious! You must have something.
How about a slice of turkey?

Oh, no, no, no. That would be sponging.

Connie hasn't come to that yet.

Lay another place, Doris.

And another thing.
I ask you: why wasn't Russia invited to Munich?

Oh, wasn't she?

Wasn't she? Russia wasn't asked
because she wasn't wanted.

Wasn't she?

If we don't wake up soon,
if the rest of Europe doesn't wake up,

then Hitler's got us like this... (Cracks nut)

Oh, Henry, for goodness' sake!
Put on your hat and enter into the spirit.

Go on. Bury your head in the sand.
Fiddle while Rome burns.

That's right. On with the motley
and after you with the nutcrackers.

(Knock at door)

- Oh, l... l thought you'd all have finished.
- That's all right. We have.

Well, I just came to wish you a merry Christmas.

Thank you very much, Percy.

Don't go, Percy.
Come and have a glass of port wine.

Oh, thank you, Mr Josser.

Sit over here.

Get a glass, Doris.

- Merry Christmas, Doris.
- Thank you.

- You know Percy, Henry?
- How do.

- There you are, my boy. Drink that up.
- Ta.

What have you got there, Percy?

Well, it's a sort of Christmas present.
I thought Doris might like it. Here.

- For me?
- Well, I thought you might like it.

- Oh, but...
- Well, go on. Open it.

You shouldn't, really.

- Well!
MR JOSSER: Now, isn't that nice?

M RS JOSSER: Doris can? possibly accept it.
- Why not?

You've no call to go giving her presents.


- Thank you, Percy. It's very kind of you.
- Well, I thought you might like it.

- Aren't they sweet?
- What?

We had such a sweet engaged couple
at the Moonraker's the other night.

They never even left the dance floor.
Just cheek to cheek from 12 till dawn!

MRS JOSSER: Shameless.

I can't see anything very awful in dancing
halfthe night...if you happen to feel like it.

That's not all that goes on.

Have you got influence at the Moonraker's,
Connie? I mean, you could get anyone in?

Well, what do you think?

How about dropping in Saturday night?

- Wharf?
- You and me. Connie will get us in.

- What?
- That's one thing I'm not having, Percy.

Doris is not going there.

- Oh, really, Mother!
- It's no place for a young girl.

Think ofthe expense.
Talk about daylight robbery!

Well, I don't mind spending a bit.

No, on second thoughts,
I really can't recommend it.

- But Connie, just now you said...
- Oh, look at the time. I must be going.

I wonder, would you mind ifl was to take
just the teeniest bit of cake for my birdie, Dukey?

- No.
- No. Thanks ever so.

Bye-bye, all!

It's been ever so lovely.


- Where's your mother?
- Upstairs, Mrs Josser.

Don't you think she'll be lonely,
up there by herself?

Oh, you mean, ask her down?

Oh, yes, thanks. I'm sure she'd love to. Yes!

I'll be back in a couple of shakes.

Well! lfthat boy isn't the absolute limit!

First you jump on him for giving me a present.
Then you fly at him because he asks me out.

- I've no time for that young man.
- Neither have I.

But why shouldn't I be allowed
to say no for myself?

How was I to know you'd say no?

I've the right to say yes ifl like.
Supposing I had wanted to go?

MR JOSSER: But you didn't.
- That's not the point.

- Then what is the point?
- There's no point.

Ifl feel like going, I'll go.

- But you don't.
- And she's not.

Oh, yes, I am.
My time's my own, and I earn my own living.

And I will not be contradicted
and made to look silly, as ifl was a child.

So, when Percy Boon comes back, you can tell
him I'd be delighted to accept his kind invitation.

(Tearfully) Delighted!

I don't know what the young ones
are coming to. I don't, really.

What can you expect?
They're a doomed generation. Born doomed.

- I wish you'd shut your mouth.
- What have I done now?

It's all your fault. Croak, croak,
upsetting everybody and spoiling everything.

- Now, Fred, I ask you...
- Oh, for goodness' sake, shut up!

Well, I think I can take a hint.

- Henry, don't go...
- Good day.

- Henry...
- Ostriches.


(Mournfully) "Christmas comes but once a year."


Oh, good evening, Mrs Vizzard.
Nearly everyone's here.

Oh, splendid!

Good evening. Good evening.

Hello, Mrs Vizzard.
I'm so glad you were able to get along.

Our medium is just preparing himself.
Such a vibrant personality.

Lobster paste or sandwich spread?

Sandwich spread, please, Mr Chinkwell.

- Who have you got for us tonight?
- Professor Qualito, Mrs Jan Byl.

- Never heard of him.
- The Brighton Psychics gave a glowing report.

He materialised a pseudopod in minutes
just off Brunswick Square. Lobster paste?

The last fellow was an utter washout.

Well, we must expect our ups and down,
you know.

Let's hope this is one ofthe ups.

I'm so hoping for a message -
from my dear husband.

He's been silent since 1935.

CHI NKWE LL: Everybody, please-

As we all seem to be here now,
we might take our places, don't you think?

Qualito prefers a subdued illumination.

I'll notify him that we're ready.

Ifthis is lobster paste, I'm the Flying Dutchman.

(Qualito breathing heavily)

QUAUTO". (Meaning) Please, not now...

Not now. Please!

(Whispering) He's going off.

(Chinese accent) I greet you. I am Pi Yam.

Pi Yam is his control.

QUALITO: I am Pi Yam. I greet you.

Where are you, Pi Yam?

L am in the high, snow-covered mountains,

all alone.

ls it cold?

Where I am, there is neither heat nor cold.

Isn't the snow cold?


What were you on earth, Pi Yam?

QUALITO: A lama.

My earthly name meant Water Stillness.

But now they call me Brightly Shining.

They? I thought you said you were alone.

I am alone.

Then who is there to call you Brightly Shining?
Or anything else, for that matter.

QUAUTO". The birds, and the flowers.

Flowers? Up there among all that snow?

Snow flowers.

Have you any message for us, Pi Yam?

There is one here who is unhappy.

She is like an empty bottle containing no wine,

for she's a widow.

She is like a harp that the wind plays upon.

The music is faint and far off,

but somewhere there are ears which hear it.

Somewhere there is a strong arm,

waiting to support her.



(Breathing heavily)

ls... ls that all, Pi Yam?


(Whispering) I think it's over.

For what it was worth.
What about putting on the light?

Oh, very well.

Mr Squales...

(Soft knocking)


Mrs Vizzard...

I did not know
that you too were a fellow seeker...

or I would have disclosed myself before.

You didn't know I was to be at the seance?

Of course not. How could I?


I... I was thinking of what you said there.

Oh, I am never aware
of what passes in a trance state.

After all, it is not I who speak.

No. No, of course, it wouldn't be.

And I greatly fear that I was not at my best.

No doubt I disappointed.

- No, please don't think that.
- Oh, I'm glad.

So glad.

And if, unknown to me,
I was able to help you in any way,

then that indeed would be its own reward.

Good night.

(Car horn)

The Moonraker's Club, Soho, please.

- Is this it?
- That's right, chum.

- What's the damage?
- Four and six on the clock.

- Keep the change.
- Thank you, sir.

I suppose this is it.

It must be the Moonraker's.

You can't tell from the outside.

(Shouting and arguing)

(Dance music in background)

Just a minute. Are you a member, sonny?

- Oh, it's all right. We're friends of Miss Coke's.
- Miss who?

Coke. Connie Coke. She's an hostess here.

Connie? Oh, Connie!


- Hostess, eh? That's a good one!
- Well, she works here, doesn't she?

You bet she does.

Connie! Here are some friends of yours.

Well, good gracious!

What a small world it is, to be sure!

And tonight of all nights, with the girl
who does the cloaks down with lumbago...

- Oh, come off it, Connie.
- You said you'd get us in.

Oh, they charge you the earth
just to breathe here. Don't they?

- How much?
- (Clears throat) Give us your coats.

I'll sign you in. 25 bob each.

- Oh, Percy...
- That's all right, Doris.

Keep the change...sonny.

See you later, Connie.

(Swing band plays)

- It's filled up a bit, hasn't it?
- It has.

I can't do myselfjustice here.

When you come down the Palais,
I'll take you through my routine.

Nice band, though.

Mind you, I'd sooner have strict-tempo stuff.
There's nothing like strict tempo.

- Enjoying yourself?
- Mmm.

- What time is it, Percy?
- Oh, don't worry. The night's just started.

This is great.

Oh, I'm sorry.

They'd have guys like that
thrown offthe floor at the Palais.

(Music finishes)

Do you mind ifl ask the band
to play a number for us?

- No, of course not.
- Shan't be a minute.

Excuse me. Could I have a word with you?

- I don't think I know you.
- Are you leaving soon?

No. And when I do, it'll be with my partner.

- I think you ought to leave.
- Oh? Why?

Is it the first time you've been to a place like this?

- Is it anything to do with you?
- You're not the usual type that comes here.

- I can't return the compliment.
- You're not going?

No, of course I'm not.
What do you take me for? Please go away.

I thought you wouldn't. I'm sorry.

- What's he after? Trying to get off?
- I don't know.

- Well, I'll son him out.
- No, Percy. It's not worth it. Let's dance.

Oh, OK.

(Music starts)

There you are - they're playing it,
my favourite number. Little Girl Blue.

♪ Little girl in blue

♪ Passing by

♪ With never time to spare

You know why I asked them to play it, Doris?

Well, it reminds me of you.

♪ Wonder why...

♪ ..we don't get anywhere.

♪ You on your side

♪ Me on mine

♪ We could walk a bit, talk a bit

♪ After a little bit, dance...

♪ And dine

♪ But each day...

♪ Words I want to say

(Whistle shrills)

Beat it! Coppers!

Please stay where you are, everybody.
No-one's to leave.

Oh, dear.

MAN: Go round the back.
(Confused shouting)


Let's get out of here.

- I can't! My handbag.
- But it's the police.

- L left it on the table.
- Well, all right. You stay here. I'll get it.

Percy, you've got to get out.

- What do you think I'm doing?
- This way.

Why this way?
Doris is over there. I can't leave her.

Leave her to me. Up the staircase.

- But I can't leave Doris.
- I'll fetch her.

(Panicked cries)

MAN: The police are coming!

POLICEMAN: Nobody can leave- I'm sorry.

L tried to tip you off, but you wouldn't listen.
You don't deserve it, but I'll do my best for you.


POLICEMAN: No, I'm sorry. Nobody can leave.

- There you are. All right?
- ls this what you call "doing your best"?

- I'm dealing with you right away.
- I think it was mean of you, picking tonight.

I didn't. I'm not on the selection committee.

Why didn't you say you were a policeman?

- Name and address?
- Doris Josser, 1O Dulcimer Street, SE11.

- Any telephone number? Might need it.
- City 0501. That's the office.


Why are you writing that in a different place?

For easy reference.

(Vehicle approaches, door opens)


- Doris...
- Well?

Connie said she'd fetch you, and before I knew
where I was, I found myself outside. I'm sorry.

Even if you did lose your nerve, you could have
gone to the station and said you were with me.

Oh, I neverthought ofthat.

No, you wouldn't.

- Done the whole job, Percy?
- Yeah.

Quick work.

Mm-mm. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

I wouldn't be surprised
if you had a streak ofthe artist in you.

Oh, I don't know about that.

Oh, don't be ashamed of it, boy.
Don't be ashamed. Much obliged.

I'll let you know when something else blows in.


Here, Jack, there's only a fiver here.

Yes, it's the best I can do.

But you said another 25.

Blame the international situation,
the income tax going up,

and the bottom dropping out ofthe market.

But it hasn't dropped out since last week!

As far as you're concerned, it has.

'Ere, wait a minute!

- I look after the real risk-takers.
- I'm not standing for it!

Aren't you?

What are you going to do, Percy?

Well, I... I've a good mind
to do the whole job myself next time.

- What, you? (Laughs)
- What's so funny?

It takes nerve, Percy. Plenty of it.

Now, you're a nice lad. Take a tip from me.

Stay in your depth. (Chuckles)

(Thinks) Nerve!

How does he know I haven't the nerve?

He'd change his tune if he opened the garage
door and found another car parked there.

Come from nowhere.

I'd like to see his face.

Icould, too.

He never took back that key.

Milk and sugar, Mr Squales?

Both, ifl may. And two lumps, please.
I like it very sweet and rather milky.

Thank you. How very delightful of you
to invite me, Mrs Vizzard.

And what a charming room!
Have you lived long in this house, Mrs Vizzard?

I came here as a bride.


And is it long ago
since Mr Vizzard died...passed over?

1922. Michaelmas Quarter Day.

And since then you have been a solitary?

I've been quite content.

The departed left me provided for.

Ah, even a material consolation is something...
however small.

He left me very comfortable.

Good. It is a very pleasant thing
to be free from anxiety.

Ah, but loneliness can be a terrible thing,

as I know only too well.


How very strange.

I see now how wrong I was.

Do you know that when I first met you,
I took you to be a much older person?

I took you to be almost middle-aged.

(Spoon falls)

(Laughs nervously)

It's always as well to be on the safe side.

SQUALES: It's many years
since I've been to the moving pictures,

but even the most unworldly of us
must unbend from time to time.

Yes, yes, indeed.

(Door closes)

- Good evening, Mrs Vizzard.
- Good evening.

- Good evening.
- Off to the flicks?

Oh...it crossed our minds.

You're not thinking of going to the Carlton?

No, the Astoria.

Oh, that's right. That's the best programme.
Good night.

- Good night.
- Nosy little devil.


L was only reflecting
that he has all the curiosity of youth! (Chuckles)

May I?

(Music from cinema)

(Music finishes)

(Voices from cinema film)

(Car engine)

MAN: Where did we leave it?
WOMAN: Over there somewhere.

(Car doors open and close)

(Car drives off)

Easy as falling off a log.

(Thinks) Ought to clear 150 quid on this.

How's that for a nest egg, Doris?

Once I've got you, I'll be OK.

I'll get my own garage on the level.

I'll do repairs and reboring...

(Door opens)

(Horn blares)

Easy as falling off a log.

(Car horn toots)

- Good evening, Percy.
- Where have you come from?

Saw you from Funland.
Thought I'd give you a surprise.

- Come out ofthere.
- Lovely picture you took me to the other night.

Most fun I've had in years.

- Look, Myrna...
- Fine fool I felt, waiting there like a dummy!

- But...
- I believe you clean forgot.

Look, I've got to put this car away, see?

You're going to give me a lift home.

I can't. It's a customer's car.
I'm doing a private job on it.

- Wouldn't be the first time.
- Look, it's too far. Do come on out, Myrna.

- It's only across the common.
- (Shouts) Come on out!

The way you're going on,
anyone would think you pinched it.

(Metal rattling)

Shove over.

See? We're nearly there.

Come up for a drink, if you like. Like you used to.

- I've got to get back.
- So you keep saying.

It's all you have said. What's the matter?

- Nothing.
- I suppose you took her out the other night.

- Who?
- You know.

Why don't you choose someone your own type?
Me, for instance.

I wouldn't give you the run-round.

(Car accelerates)

'Ere, look out! Go easy.

- You've got me in the car, remember.
- I'm OK.

What's that?

It's a policeman. He's signalling.
'Ere, Percy, he's holding you up.

- They're not going to get me!
- (Shriek)

Have you gone crazy?
There's been an accident.

- Accident?
- Well, what do you think you're doing? Stop!

I can't now.

'Ere, let me out of here.
I don't like this. Let me out.

- You would get in. Now you've got to stay in.
- Let me out. Stop the car!

- Oh, shut up!
- 'Ere...

Myrna, don't be a fool!

- Let me go!
- Myrna, don't be a fool.

' 3% n!
“ Myrna!

- Sit still.
- Stop the car! Stop it.

Sit still.

Stop it! Stop it!

You asked for it.
You can't say you didn't ask for it.



(Vehicle approaching)

(Whimpers) Oh... Oh, Mum!

I never meant to do it.

I never meant to hurt her, Mum.

I didn't mean to do it, Mum.

(Clock ticking)


(Door closing)

Allow me.

- Oh, thanks.
- Not at all.

Good night.

- No? Done in?
- Knocked over the head, thrown out of a car.

- The girl at the cash desk, you mean?
- Yes, you know- Myrna.

- Did they get the fella?
- Who said it was a fella?

Well, it wouldn't be a woman, would it?

The cops reckon he must have picked her up
when she came out ofthe underground.

- Well, it might be anyone, then.
- That's just it. Might be anyone.

Dead girl found on common! Special!


Police search for car bandit! Read all about it!

- (Clears throat) The racing results, please.
- All there.

It's a national disgrace. That's what it is.
A crying scandal.

Evening, Mr Knockell.

Giving all that space to a tuppenny-ha'penny
piece ofthuggery, with Europe on the brink!

How are you, young Boon?

- Fine, thanks.
- Doping the masses, I see.

- What?
- Pap for the multitude, eh?

Evening News.

All over the front page, of course.
No sense of proportion.

It makes me speechless, Boon.
That's what it makes me. Speechless.

What do you think ofthe international situation?

Well, I don't know much about it.

He don't know much about it!

He don't know much about it...

"Police are anxious to interview a man who...
who they believe can help with their inquiries.

Aged about 45, last seen wearing..."

Aged about 45!

Henry Squales...

...have you sunk so low as to do this thing?

There can only be one answer.

Yes, you have.

Who is it?

A friend. May I come in?

Yes, certainly.


I have come to say goodbye.

You don't mean you're leaving here?

You see before you one who is...


During the past month
I have pawned everything I possess.

- Does that matter?
- To a gentleman, it is the only thing that matters.

Not to be a burden.
That is why I must say goodbye.

- But Henry...
- You'll find your rent on the mantelpiece.

Sixpence short.

All I could get for my propelling pencil.

Don't go away.

You mean you need me, too?



There's nothing about it at all.

It isn't even mentioned.

They've drawn a blank. That's what it is.

Couple of months now.

You're OK, Percy boy.

You're OK.

Oh, thanks. Saved me the trouble of knocking.

- Oh, yes?
- You're Percy Boon, aren't you?

- Yes. What do you want?
- I've heard about you.

- You have?
- Don't you remember me?

Policeman who blew the whistle
at the Moonraker's.

- You want me?
- Not just now, Percy! I'm off duty.


DUNS: Oh, hello, Bill. Come in.

Bloomin' police cop!

Giving her flowers!

Can't be earning more than five quid a week.

(Thinks) And Doris, as soon as my back's
turned, chucking me away like a worn-out glove.

- Nice of you to call. Yes.
- Yes.

- Take a seat, Mr Todds.
- Oh, thanks, Mr Josser.

- Nice flowers, aren't they?
- Yes.

I'll just put them in water.

- Erm...did you...
- Do sit down, Fred.

Won't be long before summer's here,
Mrs Josser.


We're a bit cramped here.
We're going to move when we find a place.

If we ever do find one.

- Busy?
- Yes, I...

Fancy asking a policeman a question like that!

Only thought he might be.

It... It...


(Chaotic chiming)


- I'll take it and get it mended on Monday!
- That's what you're always saying.

His firm gave it to him when he retired.

- Like to see the inscription?
- Yes, I would, Mr Josser.

- You'd better come and help with the supper.
- Oh, all right, Mother.

You show it to him, Doris.

Why did you sit there without saying a word?

- Well, I like that!
- Cruel.

What he'll think of us, I don't know.

- Don't go getting yourself in such a state.
- Get the doilies.

Funny if we find ourselves
with a policeman in the family.

Doesn't seem quite respectable.
I hope we've got enough ham and tongue.

You might have said something,
instead ofjust sitting there.

Well, I couldn't think of anything to say.
I don't think your mother likes me much.

That's just her way with strangers.

Is there any chance,
once she gets more used to me?

- I hope so.
- Well, how about tomorrow night, then?

I've seen you three times this week.
If you don't mind...

What? Oh.

Oh. Where did you get this?

Percy Boon gave it to me for Christmas.
It's rather nice.

Yes. A car mascot, isn't it?

Might be. Percy works in a garage.


MR JOSSER: Give us a hand with the table.
- All right, Dad.

You know - Roper's on the Streatham Road.

It's the figure of a dancing girl with fan, sir.

Maker's name Lejeune,
and number stamped on base.

Todds thought he recognised it,
and he found it in the December list.

Belonged to a stolen SS. One-and-a-half litre.

- Yes, sir.
- All right. Go on, Todds.

Well, I thought, since I knew Boon slightly,
I might have a word with him,

ask him how he got hold of it.

So, I called in on my way this morning
at the garage where he works.

L saw Boon there.

- I was just going to talk to him.
(Music from funfair)

Then I found that Funland was just opposite, sir.

The Funland in Mercer Street,
where Myrna Watson used to work.

- Yes, sir.

- Maybe a coincidence.
- A stolen car in each case, sir.

Yes. Well, this opens up a new line
with a vengeance. Thank you, Todds.

You'd better lend him to us.
We'll need him inside the house.

Is that absolutely necessary, sir?

I gather you have access to 1O Dulcimer Street.

I... I'm a bit involved there, sir.

Involved? Wonderful!
Couldn't ask anything better.

So long as you keep your mouth closed.

Yes, sir.

(Music from funfair)

Can you spare a minute?

- You want something?
- We 're just checking up on things.

- From head office?
- No, police.

You got your cards?

- OK.
- Ever go to the funfair?

- Which one?
- Funland, the nearest.


Yeah, I've been over to Funland.
Not lately, though.

- Stopped going?
- Well, I never went much.

Recognise her?

Oh, pity. You can't help us, then.

Can't I? What do you want to know?

Who killed her. Cigarette?

No, thanks. Who is she?

- Cashier over there. Name of Watson.
- She's been murdered?

- Don't you read the papers?
- Yes, I did see it. I remember now.

- It was all there.
- Well, I wasn't all that interested.

- Perhaps she came after you stopped going.
- That's right. She did.

- How do you know, if you'd stopped going?
- She must have, or I'd have known her.

- Ever write her any letters?
- Not a line.

How could he? Didn't even know her, did he?

No, of course not. Sorry, chum. My mistake.
Just routine, you understand.

Yeah, sure.

- I... I hope you get him.
- Don't worry. We will.

(Car horn blares)

(Door opens)

- Are you going out, Percy?
- Well, I don't know, Mum.

Well, I'm just off to benediction.
I shan't be late back. Ta-ta.


- Ah, someone at the door. Shall I answer it?

No. Your supper will get cold.

Hess you.

- Oh!
- Good evening, Mrs Vizzard.

Well, Mr Chinkwell, this is a surprise! Come in.

I'm afraid
I've called on a somewhat delicate matter.

- Would you like to come downstairs?
- No, no, I think not.

I... I understand
Professor Qualito is staying here.

You mean Mr Squales?
What has he to do with it?

He has everything to do with it, I fear.

You may recall
Mrs Jan Byl had doubts concerning him.

That woman has doubts about everything.

She communicated her doubt
to the Brighton circle.

As a result,
they examined certain spirit photographs

obtained under Mr Squales' supervision.

She had absolutely no right! I won't listen.

Mrs Vizzard, those photographs were faked.


The features of a figure which he claimed to be
"an astral projection ofthe first Lord Birkenhead"

have turned out to be those
of a well-known professional footballer.

- Suitably touched up, of course.
- I don't believe it.

How I wish I could turn a blind eye to it, myself!

But we must face the fact
that we have been the dupes of a charlatan.

A common adventurer.


Oh, Kitty, I've been thinking.

Why shouldn't we make our little announcement
tomorrow, hm?

We might have a little celebration.
Nothing elaborate.

Claret cup, prawns in aspic, chipolata sausages
on sticks. What do you say, Kitty?

Get out of here.

And get out ofthis house.

- Hey?
- You heard what I said.

- Are you feeling quite well, Kitty?
- I'm giving you notice.

- But what on earth's come over...
- The truth. That's what's come over me.

I've no use for...
for fakes and common adventurers.

- Who's been talking?
- One word should be enough for you: Brighton.

- Brighton?
- I see you know what it means.

Ifthere is one spot in this world where
my enemies are congregated most thickly,

that spot is Brighton.

I'm not interested
in any excuses or explanations.

I've never been so humiliated in my life.

Oh, Kitty, you can talk like this...to me?

You must be gone by the morning.

I shall be gone within the hour.

You leave me no choice.

(Door buzzer)

- Hello.
- Bill! I thought you were on duty.

They switched the rota.

- Why didn't you telephone my office?
- No time.

- You might have let me know.
- Aren't you pleased to see me?

Don't be an idiot.
It's just that everything's in a mess.

You came when I'm in the middle ofthe ironing,
and my hair's simply awful.

- Nobody at home'?
- No, Dad's taken Mother to look for a cottage.

They're not back yet. I simply must
put something on. I look an absolute fright.

Sit down and read the paper, Bill.
I shan't be long.

All right.

- Doris...
- Yes'?

Could I use the telephone while I'm waiting?

Well, there isn't one in the house.
You can use the tobacconist's.



- Campbell...
- Yes, Sergeant?

- You know what to do. Make it snappy.
- Yes, sarge.

Percy Boon...

(Squales groaning)

(Groaning continues)



Mr Squales!

- (Groaning)
- Mr Squales, what's the matter?

- What is this?
- Not now! Please, not now!

I think he must have eaten something.

Shall I run and fetch Mr Lilell
from the chemisfs?

If he thinks he'll get anywhere by pretending...

SQUALES: Take care. Take care.

(Theatrically) The shadow over this house...

Be warned.

- 'Ere, this is more in your line than mine.
- If you think...

- The shadow of a hand...
- What hand?

The hand ofthe law.

I see it closing on this house.

The mark of Cain.

Murder most foul.

Shades ofthe prison house are closing round...

the growing boy.

What's he mean?

Be warned. Be warned!

Mr Squales! Mr Squales, listen.
Can't you hear me?

- Here.
- (Gasps)

- Where am I?
- Numberten.


- I was leaving.
- That's what I thought.

I must have been overcome with sleep.

I've no idea what you think you're up to,
but you can't deceive me any longer.

Oh, I don't know what you're talking about.

Oh, I'm tired.

Bed's the place for you, after a do like that.

So very, very tired...

You must be out of here
by tomorrow morning at the latest.

CONNIE: Wett, t woutdnt have missed that
for anything! It's better than the pictures.

(Door closes)

- Good morning, Dad. Any news?
- Yes, it gets worse and worse.

This is from the estate agents,
about that cottage we saw.

- What do they say'?
- If we make an offer of £500, they might take it.

- I thought they would.
- How's that, Doris?

It sounds lovely, but isn't it a bit far out?

Oh, I don't know. Besides, you may not
be travelling up and down much longer!

Eh, Mother? (Chuckles)

(Tyres screeching)
- Hello? What's that?

It's the police.


Mr Josser. ..

- They're... They're after me.
- What?

DORIS; Bill!

Better come outside, Boon.
We want to talk to you.

I'm sorry.

You're Percy Boon?

(Weakly) Yes, sir.

I have a warrant for your arrest in connection
with the death of Myrna Watson on 3O January.

I must ask you to come to the police station,
where you'll be formally charged.

- What with?
- Wilful murder.

I warn you that anything you say will be taken
down in writing and may be given in evidence.

- I never done it.
- Come along.




Give us a hand, Constable. She's fainted.

That's right. Let's get her to her room.

The disgrace of it! It'll be in all the papers.

But Percy... He's such a kid.

I'll never live it down. Never.

I've always done my best to keep this house
respectable, and nowl shall...

- "The mark of Cain..."
- What?

- "Murder most foul." Isn't that what he said?
- Who?

Him. It's all happened just as he said it would.

MRS WIZARD'. Oh, yes...


- Don't go.
- I beg your pardon?

Please come back.

If you're thinking ofthe rent,
it is on the mantelpiece.

Henry, you were right. It's happened.
Percy Boon's been arrested.

Oh? What for?

Murder. Just like you told us last night.

- L?
- Don't you remember?


I have my unconscious moments of revelation,

but I doubt
whether they are acknowledged in Brighton.

I know I was wrong.
If you go, I'll never forgive myself.

Poor, weak little Kitty.

You'll stay?

I'm willing to discuss the possibility.

- Did you have any breakfast?
- No thought of food has entered my mind.

Would you like something?

We'll discuss that, too.

Just a minute.

I'm afraid I'll have to ask you some questions.

- I won't say a word against Percy.
- We have to take a statement from everyone.

Well, why don't you start with him - Mr Squales?
He saw it all before it happened.

- What do you mean?
- He told us Percy was going to be arrested.

I heard it myself. He's psychic, you know.

- Just exactly what did he say?
- Well...

You will have something to eat, won't you?
I've got some nice sausages.

Kitty, Kitty, you don't seem to realise:

I've had a sleepless night,
and my sensibilities have been deeply shocked.

I'm so sorry. If you'd rather not have anything...

No, no, no, Kitty.
Anything you say. Anything you say.

(Knock at door)
- Yes?

Mr Squales?


I wonder, could we have a word with you?
It's in connection with Percy Boon.


I don't see howl can help you in any way.

It won'! take a minute.

Very well, then.

Now, Mr Squales...

Perhaps...we'd better go into my room.

Excuse me, my dear.

Thank you.


- ls this likely to go any further?
- That's not for me to say.

What happened, Henry? What did they want?


Just advice.

I told them that my gifts were not for sale.

Just a minute, Doris.
I'm sorry all this has happened.

Sorry? Why?
You'll get your promotion, won't you?

You don't think I did it because ofthat?

How do you think I'm going to face
poor Mrs Boon now, and Dad and the others?

I couldn't help it, Doris. I was only doing my job.

It's no use saying anything.
I'll never feel I can trust you again.

And I don't believe Percy did it, anyway.


Oh, Doris...

There you are, Doris. I done it all for you.

Course you did, Perce! (Chuckles)

- (Affectedly) Thousand in cash, please.
- Certainly, sir. Anything else you'd like'?

♪ There you are

Hello, Perce.

♪ Girl in blue

♪ Wonder why...

Percy Boon, you are charged with wilful murder.

I never done it! I never done it. I never done it.

I never done it. I never...

R's only a dream.

When I wake up, I'll be OK.

It's... It's only a dream.




No! (Sobbing)

- Mr Josser, Mr Barks.
- Morning. Can't spare much time. What is it?

You're the solicitor for Percy Boon?

- That's right. You a relative?
- No, sir.

- Witness?
- No, his mother sent me along...

Tell her everything's being done.
ls that all? I'm busy.

Well, I've come along to help.
She's got £200 to put up for the defence.

Oh, I see. Er...take a seat.


We want Percy to be defended by the best man
you can get. We thought of Patrick Hastings...

£200 is no good. Wrong sort of sum.
Wouldn't attract a KC at all. (Coughs)

Oh. How much would you need?

- Much as you can get.
- Would... Would 300 be any good?

Better than 200. £100 better.
£400, better still. Can you do it?

- No...well...
- Find out how you stand.

Call again. I'm a very busy man. (Coughs)


Where have you been, Fred?
Your supper's in the kitchen.

- Oh, thank you, Mother.
- I promised I'd pop round to Mrs Boon.

Oh, by the way, that man from the estate agent
came round. You never wrote that letter.

No, I forgot it, with all this.

Well, you'd better do it now,
or we'll lose that cottage.

I left the pen and paper out for you.

Oh, thank you, Mother.

BARKS: 300's better than 200.
400, better still. Can you do it?


(Coughing) I've had a talk with Mr Josser.
I've briefed Veezey Blaize for you.

Veezey Blaize, you know.
You've heard of Veezey Blaize, haven't you?

(Tuts) A very big man. Expensive.


- What's he going to do?
- To do?

He's going to defend you - that's what.

- You mean you're chucking it up?
- Chucking it?

I'm instructing him.

Oh. Oh, OK. I get you.

He may want to talk to you himself. (Coughing)

- ls he the judge?
- The}?

You'll find out soon enough.

Try and get your mind clear for him, will you?


That's all.

They said I could give you this, Percy.

It's from your mother.

Why did the nurse write the letter for her
the last time?

- I told you, she's got to rest.
- It's not her hands, is it?

No, Percy. No, she's just lying down. Resting.

Well, goodbye, my boy. Keep your chin up.

Goodbye, Mr Josser. Thanks for coming.

That's all right.

Well, this is a pretty stupendous kettle of fish.

You can't say it's not a grim prospect now.

- You mean about Percy Boon?
- Percy Boon? Gah, what's he got to do with it?

Listen to the radio. Hitler's demands on Poland,
chaos in Danzig - you know what that means?

- Do you know, Carrie?
- Armageddon. Give him a teacloth, Fred.

You won't laugh when the sky over London's
black with chickens coming home to roost.

Twin-engined chickens
laying high-explosive eggs.

Just as well we're moving outside. Eh, Fred?

Er...yes, Mother.

- You did send that letter, didn't you?
- No, Mother.

- Fred! You don'! mean you never wrote it?
- No.

- Why not?
- Does this matter?

- I spent some ofthe money.
- You did what?

I spent it on Percy's defence. I had to do it.

- He's got Percy Boon on the brain!
- How much?


£200? You must be mad.

- He is mad.
- The boy's nothing to us at all.

After all these years, looking for a cottage,
and now we'll never have one!

Not long ago you weren't keen on it yourself.

It's what I've always wanted.

And now, because you get some sloppy idea
into your head, you go and...

You go straight to them
and ask for your money back!

I can't do that now, Mother.


- Well, you asked for that, Fred, I must say.
- You're a lot of help.

Well, naturally, I'm the sort of man
that takes a large view,

so when I see a little chap like you
playing the Don Quixote,

while the sick world all round him's
tottering to its collapse...

Supposing the world is sick?
Isn't that lad pan of it?

- My dear Fred...
- The world's human beings, not a lot of books.

Ifl want to give a helping hand, I will.

- It isn't a question...
- Oh, go and shoot your mouth off in Hyde Park!

I pity you, Fred.

From the bottom of my heart, I pity you.

Mr Henry Squales?

Do I look like him?

Mr Squales!

(Cheerfufly) Hello!

Are you Mr Squales?

Yes. What is it?

You're subpoenaed to appear at
the Central Criminal Court on Monday week,

as a witness for the Crown
in the case of Rex versus Percy Boon.

Good evening, sir. Thank you very much.

- Who was it?
- Oh, just a telegram for me.

A professional engagement.

They want me to give them the direct voice
at St Albans on Monday week.

Oh, Monday week?
Why, that's the day ofthe trial.

Is it? Oh, yes, so it is.

Oh, Kitty, I've been thinking.
Couldn't we get married sooner?

It's only three weeks now.

If only we could face the sordid publicity
of this case already united.

You wouldn't reconsider a registry office?

Now, you know
I've quite made up my mind about that, Henry.

Well, then, promise me
that you won't go near the trial.

Well, of course, I won't go if it would upset you.

- It would.
- Well, then...

- You promise?
- Of course.

Ah, Kitty...

Well...goodbye, my dear.


This is for you, Henry.

Oh? What is it?

An apple,
an orange and a piece of my home-made cake.

I thought you might get hungry.

I can easily slip out for a meal.

I meant on the train.

Oh, yes, of course. The...yes, the train.

What time will you be back?

Oh, now, let me see.
Oh...between half-past five or six.

All right. Well, goodbye, Henry.


There. That ought to keep us going.

Thanks, Doris.
What did I do with the clothes brush?

- Oh, thanks, Carrie.
- Isn't it time you went?

- I'm not meeting Mr Barks till 9:15.
- What does he think will happen?

I don't know. It's like that in a law court.
You can't tell from one moment to the next.

- You ever been in one?
- No, not if you put it like that, I haven't.

Poor Percy. I don't know how I'm going
to stand it. Not if anything goes wrong, that is.

Would you feel better if I came with you?

You know, Mother, I would.
It'd make all the difference.

Just look at you...

Do you think this He's OK?

Oh, I don't know.

Very quiet, these legal gentlemen.
Very sober when it comes to dress.

Got anything quieter?

I think you'd have a better chance with the first.

I hope you're right.

CLERK OF THE COURT: PercyA/oysius Boon.

You are charged on indictment that you,
on the 30th day of January in this year,

did kill and murder one Myrna Watson.

Percy Aloysius Boon,

are you guilty or not guilty?

Not guilty, sir.

Prisoner at the Bar, if you wish to object
to any of the names I am about to call

to form the jury to try you,

you must object
as they severally come to the book to be sworn,

before they are sworn, and you will be heard.

Will the jury answer their names
and come to the box as they are called?

- George Porberry.
- Here.

- William George Carter.
- Here.

- Charles Matthews.
- Here.

- George Martin Slessor.
- Here.

- Lilian Marshall Stapleton.
- Here.

- Elizabeth May Ferguson.
- Here.

- Ronald Digby James.
- Here.

- Joan Dorothy Phillips.
- Here.

- Peter Leonard Catesby.
- Here.

That's Veezey Blaize down there.

- Philip Martin.
- Here.

- Davis Johns.
- Here.

Swear the jury.

The evidence will demonstrate

that at about the time
when the car was missed from the cinema park,

Police Constable Lamb was signalling
that same car to stop on the common.

He will tell you that he had to jump for his life.

But before the car disappeared
at an estimated speed of 5O miles an hour...

In my opinion, the wound in the forehead

was caused by a blow
administered before she struck the road.

In your opinion, could the blow
have been delivered with a spanner?

Pass Exhibit 5 to the witness, please.

It would be consistent
with the nature ofthe injury.

- Thank you.
- No questions.

(General murmuring)

CLERK". Call Detective Sergeant Wilson.

Detective Sergeant Wilson!

I was present when the canal was dragged

and a car door handle was discovered
directly underneath the bridge.

Do you identify Exhibit number 4 as the handle?

- I do.
- What did you do then?

Itried the handle on the nearside front door
of the Austin car PQJ 1776.

- And what did you find?
- It fitted perfectly, sir.

- Thank you.
- No questions.

- Henry Squales.
- Call Henry Squales.

Call Henry Squales.

Henry Squales!

Henry Squales!

You are Henry Ricardo Squales,
of 1O Dulcimer Street, Southeast 11?

- Yes, I am.
- What is your occupation?



CLERK". Silence in court.

PROSECUTOR: Do you recall seeing
the prisoner on the night of January 30th?


Do you recall seeing the prisoner
on the night of 30th January?

- I don't remember.
- You don't remember?

- (General murmuring)
- Are you quite sure, Mr Squales?

No. Yes. I mean...

I see.

Mr Squales, will you look at the statement
you made to the police on April 4th?

You remember making it
in the presence of Detective Sergeant Taylor

and Detective Sergeant Todds?

ts that your signature at the foot of it?

Very well.

Now, then, Mr Squales...

I believe that from time to time you give
voiced prophecies concerning the future.

Prophecies, Mr Wassall?

I use the term for want of a better one, my lord.

I understand Mr Squales
to be a... a medium of sons.

Thank you, Mr Wassall.

Now, then...on the day before his arrest,

you prophesied that the prisoner
would be charged with murder, did you not?

I am unaware of what passes in the trance state.

'NASSAU; t quote from your statement.

"I saw Boon pass through the hall at about 1am.

He dropped an object on the floor.

I picked it up. It was a car door handle."

It was this incident that enabled you
to make such an accurate prophecy.

Eh, Mr Squales?


- Well?
- Kitty...

- I don't like the way the jury's looking at Percy.
- You wait till Veezey Blaize gets going.

About time he did.
We haven't seen much for our £200 yet.

You wait.

Well, I was nearly offthe road by then.

Then, when I straightened up and looked
around, the door was open and she'd gone.

And that, of course, was the defective door.

Yes, sir.

And you can honestly tell the court that you felt
your life to be endangered by her attack on you?

- That's right, sir.
- Thank you.

This er...spanner, Boon. Look at it.

You say that Myrna Watson hit you with it.

Will you tell the court where she got it?

Oh, I don't know, sir.
She must have found it somewhere.

- It suddenly appeared in her hand?
- That's right.

- Like magic?
- Well, she must have picked it up.

- Anyway, she hit you with it? You're certain?
- Yes, sir, I am.

- And it cut you?
- Yes, sir.

You know the police surgeon
was not able to find any scar?

PERCY: Well.--it wasn't much of a cut, sir.

- Wasn't much of a cut?
- No, sir.

It wasn't much of a cut.

But in return, and in self-defence,

you struck her so forcibly,
as to send her to her death.

No, sir, I... I never hit herthat hard.
It all happened so quickly.

Ah, I see.

You gave her a light blow, the door
neatly opened, and she fell out accidentally?

- That's right.
- And all strictly in self-defence?

- Well, she went for me.
- Why?

- Because she wanted to get out?
- That's right.

At 5O miles an hour?

Well, she was scared
because we were going so fast.

And because she was scared of going so fast,

she seized a spanner
she found conveniently to hand,

and struck you, the driver,
all at 50 miles an hour?

Yes, sir.

This is no murderer you see before you,

but a youth whom one might almost describe
as the victim of circumstance.

A devoted son,
the only support of his widowed mother,

who, since her son's arrest,
has been lying helpless,

longing for the return of her only prop and stay...

That car was stolen deliberately, premeditatedly.

When Police Constable Lamb tried to stop him,

the prisoner drove on unswervingly at him.

And when that poor girl
unwittingly became a menace to his plans,

he silenced her brutally
and thrust her from the car.

You have heard the evidence, and I have given
my guidance as to the law on these matters.

You will now retire to consider your verdict
and tell me what you find.

(Softly) My lord, might I ask...

Speak up, please. I can't hear you.

(More forcefully) Suppose we decided that
the prisoner killed the girl but didn't mean to?

What verdict do we bring in then?


There are occasions when it seems impossible
to impart information by word of mouth.

Perhaps writing would be better. I don't know.

However, I will repeal.

To administer a blow in anger in a drawing room
may be an act of common assault.

A similar blow administered upon a man
standing on top of Beachy Head may be murder.

In this case the prisoner has admitted to striking
his fellow passenger in a fast-moving car,

while in the process of committing a felony.

As a result, she fell into the road and was killed.

You have heard evidence
that the door was faulty.

You may therefore decide that the succession
of events was out of the prisoner's hands.

if you decide that the blow struck within the car

set that succession of events in train...

then it will be your duty
to find the prisoner guilty of murder.

If, on the other hand, you regard...

(Glamour of animated discussion)

- Quiet, please.
- Suppose he only meant to stun her?

Yes, exactly.

If a person commits an act on another person,

and that person dies as a result of what has
been done by that person to the other person,

then the first person who started it all...is guilty.

But only ifthe first person
is standing on Beachy Head.

- Well, a moving car's the same thing.
- Who said so?

Don't let's fall out about small things, please.
We don't want to stay locked in here for ever.

Bring up the prisoner.

CLERK". Members of the jury,
are you agreed upon your verdict?

We are.

Do you find Percy Boon
guilty or not guilty of wilful murder?

- ls it over?
- Now, you've got to keep calm, for Percy's sake.

They found him guilty?

But the jury recommended him to mercy.

He never meant to do it, Clarice.
We all know that.

Was he brave?

- Very.
- Percy would be.

There's still the appeal. Mr Barks is going to see
about that right away. You mustn't give up hope.

He'll be all right. I know he will.
We're all praying for him.

Fred...don't you worry.


Yes, yes, yes.

- Isn't there anything we can do, Fred?
- Not a thing.

- It says here there's only ten more days.
- I know.

They wouldn't... Would they, Fred?

I don't know, Carrie. We've done our best.

(Door buzzer)

- Now, who on earth can that be?
- Henry.

- L hope not. Not at this time of night.
- Tell him it's too late.


- I want to talk to you. It's urgent.
- Shh. You'll wake everyone up.

It'll do this country good to be woken up.
It's what it needs.

- We're in bed, Henry.
MRS JOSSER: You can't come in here now!

Do you realise that even now
it may be too late to prevent it?

- Prevent what?
- A human sacrifice to society.

- What are you talking about?
- Percy Boon.

I didn't know you were interested in Percy.

You were quite right.
It came to me like a flash at the trial.

I saw him for what he is - a symptom ofthe
whole putrid mess we're in. See what I mean?

- No.
- It's class vengeance.

If Percy was the scion of a noble family,
would he be where he is now?

- Yes.
- Ah, we're wasting our time.

- Our work begins tomorrow morning at dawn.
- What?

- We're going to rescue him.
- Rescue?

Oh, yes, Henry, of course.
But how do we set about it?

In this street, and the next, and the next,
until we have the whole of London on our side.

- You mean start a revolution?
- Not yet.

Not till the hour is ripe and the fruit is falling.

We won't overthrow our rulers this time.

- We'll petition them.
- Oh, petition.

We'll swamp the Home Secretary
with tens ofthousands of signatures.

Who will collect them?

- Fred.
- Me?

Well, I've got the organising to do.
It's going to be a colossal job.

I'll have to bring my truckle bed in here
and make this my headquarters.

- What?
- Ten days to go. That's all there is.

Ten days,
and every house in London to be visited.

Every house...

Morning, madam. I wonder if you'd sign...

I never buy from men at the door.

Sign the Percy Boon petition!

Save Percy Boon! Sign the petition!

Sign on the dotted line, ducky.

Well, more or less.

The organiser, please.

Nearly a thousand altogether.
That's more like it. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Good day.

Ah, you are the organiser!
My name is Headlam Fynne.

- I am the leader ofthe Junior Guild of Job.
- Oh, yeah?

I have been told of your splendid crusade,

and I am with you heart and soul,
my friend, heart and soul.

- You know Percy Boon?
- No, but it's the principle that counts.

Quite. Quite. Only knew him slightly myself.

- How many signatures have you?
- A thousand.

A thousand? That will never do.

I will detail members of my guild
to set up centres of outcry at key points.

When is your press conference?

- Press conference?
- Er...just about to arrange it.

Good. Call it at once.

We must have this story on every breakfast table
in the kingdom by tomorrow.

PERCY: Look. That's Doris.
That's Connie. And Uncle Henry.

And that one's Mr Josser.

See? They're working for you, my boy.

Yeah. Doris is helping, too.

In Stockholm,
they think it's war within two weeks.

Nice prospect for all of us.

Two weeks?

Your turn.

How much longer are you going to be?
Only 36 hours left and so much still to do!

You would insist on a scroll.

Well, I let you write the preamble
in Gothic script, didn't I? That took four hours.

If it's one colossal scroll,
they'll see what they're up against.

They'll see it as their own winding-sheet.

- Winding-sheet is right.
- We'll need a taxi.

- No, we shall march.
- Of course.

- Who's going to carry it?
- We shall wheel it.

- What in?
- Who cares?

We'll march across Westminster Bridge
and past the Commons,

up the steps ofthe Home Office,
right into the fortress of reaction.

- Would they tell me ifthere was any news?
- The Governor will tell you.

Your pick-up, son.


- Hurry. We're late.
- What are you going to tie it on with?

The hair ofthe dog that's always biting us -
red tape.

- Doris...
- What are you doing here?

- Can we go somewhere and talk?
- No.

- Why not?
- I'm surprised you dare show your face today.

Besides, I'm busy.

Not going with that lot?

As a matter of fact, I am. Of course I am.

Come, come. Aren't you ready yet?

- What's that?
- A torch.

- What?
- A torch.

At the head ofthe procession, it'll catch the eye.

- Head? What about this?
- That can come second.

- And who's going to push it?
- Fred isn't going to, not in public.

We can all take turns with the bassinet.

Not me with the flaming torch.
I'll stick to the bassinet.

As you please. Time is slipping through
our fingers while we argue. Have you a match?

Doris? You're not going with them, are you?

Yes, I am.

- What are you doing?
- I'm coming with you.

FYNNE: Are we all ready?


(Rain falling)

- Here. Take my coat.
- I don't want it.



- Why didn't you stop it?
- Didn't have time.

- You'd better let me carry the petition.
- What, leave this behind?

Do you want the Home Office
to be closed when we get there?

You get on with your torch! I'll manage.

(Horns blare)

Star! News! Standard! Boon reprieved!

Star! News! Standard!

Oh, look!

Henry! Henry!

- Reprieve!
- Well!

Doris, Percy's been reprieved!

Mr Fynne! Mr Fynne!

Star! News! Standard!

Come on, Doris. Come on.

Well, this is a pretty kettle of fish.

They must have planned it.
They might have told us.

Can't we have the inquest in the warm and dry?

Never! We said we'd do it. We'll do it.

There seems very little point in carrying on.

You fizzle out if you want to. We're going on.

No question of fizzling!
Our purpose has been achieved.

Not till we've delivered this.

You do what you like. I wash my hands of it all.

- Well, that's all very well. What about...
- Taxi!

- Renegade!
- Mr Fynne! Wait for me!

(Big Ben chiming)

Let's park this blasted thing somewhere
and get a drink.


NARRATOR: Five o'clock in the afternoon
by Big Ben, August 31st, 1939.

August 31st, 1939.

Will the war last long?

SQUALES: Mocking Bear, he say...no.

How long?

Mocking Bear, he say...

war finish in six months.

(Air-raid siren)

You know, the way things have turned out,
I'm not sorry we never got that cottage.

I knew you'd be patting yourself on the back
in the end.

No, I mean
I wouldn't like to leave Dulcimer Street just now.

- Wouldn't you?
- No.

Neither would you.
You'd feel out of it anywhere else, Mother.

Perhaps I would, perhaps I wouldn't.


(Chaotic chiming)

I'll take it and get it mended on Monday.

Stand at the comer of Dulcimer Street,

and you can see
down the whole length of the terrace.

And they certainly are fine houses.