british film notes

Appointment in London (1952)


2nd World War Drama

In 1943, the RAF Bomber Offensive against Nazi Germany is at its height. Night after night, the young crews of the Lancasters of RAF Bomber Command fly some of the most dangerous missions of the entire war. Their chances of surviving their of duty – just one in three.

Wing Commander Tim Mason (Dirk Bogarde) has flown 89 missions. He has just one more combat raid to fly before he is rotated to the safety of a desk job.

But confidence in Mason is waning amongst his superior officers. They think he’s no longer fit to carry on and ground him prematurely. Mason defies orders and takes off on one last dangerous raid. As he flies into the bursting shrapnel and web of searchlights over his target, Mason believes he is certain to face court martial on his return, but the outcome of his actions are very different to those he believes he faces.

Often compared with Angels One Five for its realism (veterans of Bomber Command were consulted during the production at every stage), Appointment in London is one of the finest films ever made about wartime Bomber Command and its young crews who were asked to fly in the face of insurmountable odds.

    “The Climactic raid is about the
    best thing of its kind seen on
    screen to date”

    - TV Times Film & Video Guide

This is a surprisingly good British war movie. I say 'surprisingly' because somehow the director Philip Leacock manages to get out of the main star, Dirk Bogarde, a performance both touching and sympathetic. Very few directors managed to get that out of old coldfish. The love interest, the gorgeous Dinah Sheridan is perfect as the supportive girlfriend. The rest of the cast are good though barring Bryan Forbes their fame has long since vanished. Except one. Sam Kydd. Was there a British movie in the 1940s and 50s he wasn't in?

It is a talky rather than action kind of film but that doesn't detract from the drama in the film. Rather, we get inside the mindset of Bogarde and feel the pressure he is under as the director allows us time to get to know the characters.

Very few directors of his era allowed us such a privilege.

4 Stars out of 5

Anthony Forwood, Bogarde's long-term partner and manager, also appears in the film. Previously Forwood had been marrried to the actress Glynis Johns.


British Lion Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK

RAF Upwood, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England, UK

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  • Certificate: U
  • Running Time: Approx. 92 minutes
  • Audio: English, Mono
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 (Fullframe), Black & White
  • Release Date: 1952
  • Released By: Mayflower Pictures Corporation

    Directed by

  • Philip Leacock

    Writing credits

  • John Wooldridge (screenplay) and
  • Robert Westerby (screenplay)

  • John Wooldridge (story)

    Cast (in credits order)

  • Dirk Bogarde ... Wing-Commander Tim Mason
  • Ian Hunter ... Group Captain Logan

  • Dinah Sheridan ... Eve Canyon
  • Bryan Forbes ... Pilot Officer Peter Greeno (The Brat)
  • Walter Fitzgerald ... Dr. Mulvaney, Group Medical Officer
  • Bill Kerr ... Flight Lieutenant Bill Brown
  • William Sylvester ... Major Mac Baker, U.S. Observer
  • Anne Leon ... Mrs. Pamela Greeno
  • Charles Victor ... Dobbie - Innkeeper
  • Richard Wattis ... Pascal - Signals Officer
  • Carl Jaffe ... German General
  • Sam Kydd ... Ackroyd - the Brat's Mechanic
  • Terence Longdon ... Dr. Buchanan
  • Michael Ripper ... Bomb Aimer (Brown's Ship)
  • Campbell Singer ... Flight Sergeant (Chief of Ground Crews)
  • Harold Siddons ... Flight Lieutenant Saunders
  • Anthony Shaw ... Smithy - Mason's Aide
  • Anthony Forwood ... Sandy - Navigation Officer

      rest of cast listed alphabetically:

  • John Colicos ... Pip (uncredited)
  • Don Sharp ... Mid Upper Gunner (uncredited)
  • Stephen Vercoe ... Sgt Pilot Finch (uncredited)

    Produced by

  • Aubrey Baring .... producer
  • Maxwell Setton .... producer

    Original Music by

  • John Wooldridge

    Cinematography by

  • Stephen Dade (director of photography)

    Film Editing by

  • Vladimir Sagovsky (as V. Sagovsky)

    Art Direction by

  • Donald M. Ashton (as Don Ashton)

    Costume Design by

  • Sheila Graham

    Makeup Department

  • Jim Hydes .... makeup artist
  • Helen Penfold .... hair stylist

    Production Management

  • C.R. Foster-Kemp .... production manager (as Cecil R. Foster Kemp)

    Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

  • Tony Bell .... second assistant director (as Anthony Bell)
  • Cecil F. Ford .... assistant director (as Cecil Ford)

    Art Department

  • David Morrison .... assistant art director (uncredited)

    Sound Department

  • Buster Ambler .... sound mixer (as A. Ambler)
  • Glenn E. Anderson .... dubbing editor (as G. Anderson)
  • John Cox .... sound supervisor
  • Buster Ambler .... sound recordist (uncredited)
  • Gerry Anderson .... sound editor (uncredited)
  • Ken Ritchie .... boom operator (uncredited)

    Camera and Electrical Department

  • Moray Grant .... camera operator (as R.D. Moray Grant)
  • Steve Birtles .... electrician (uncredited)
  • Gerry Fisher .... assistant camera (uncredited)
  • Laurie Ridley .... still photographer (uncredited)

    Costume and Wardrobe Department

  • Bill Walsh .... wardrobe master

    Music Department

  • John Wooldridge .... conductor

    Other crew

  • Constance Willis .... continuity (as Connie Willis)

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