Movie Mirrors Index

Seven Days to Noon

(1950 b 96')

En: 6 Ed: 7

Police try to catch a scientist with an atom bomb who is threatening to explode it in London if the Prime Minister does not renounce the nuclear weapons program.

         Superintendent Folland (André Morell) reads a letter from Professor Willingdon to the Prime Minister and goes to the research facility to find him. Folland and Willingdon’s assistant Stephen Lane (Hugh Cross) go to his house and talk with Ann Willingdon (Sheila Manahan) and Mrs. Willingdon. Folland tells Lane that Willingdon has threatened to explode a bomb on Sunday unless the Government agrees to give them up. They meet with the Prime Minister (Ronald Adam) and military leaders.

         Folland sends Lane to learn his motive without telling anyone. Folland calls on the Vicar, who says that Willingdon is troubled that his life work has been put to an evil purpose. Ann finds her father’s notes. Police are searching for Willingdon.

Professor Willingdon (Barry Jones) prays in a church and carries a bag. He rents a room from Mrs. Peckett (Joan Hickson). He marks a map and draws a large circle. Mrs. Peckett hears him pacing and goes to his door. Willingdon goes out early. Mrs. Peckett reads the paper and calls the police. Ann asks Folland what is wrong, and he shows her the letter. Lane and Ann see Willingdon get on a train. Willingdon sees police outside the rooming-house, turns back, and throws away his overcoat.

         Willingdon buys an overcoat and meets Goldie (Olive Sloane) and her dog. In a pub he comments that the next war could destroy mankind. He mails a letter to the Prime Minister, and Goldie invites him to stay in her apartment.

         On Thursday Willingdon leaves her a note and money. The Prime Minister has a meeting and plans an announcement. Rumors spread. On radio the Prime Minister says Willingdon has a weapon; but they will not bow to his threat because such weapons are necessary to stop tyrants. He declares martial law and evacuation of downtown London. Willingdon sees posters of himself. Goldie tells Folland and Ann about Willingdon. At home Goldie finds the bag, and Willingdon locks her in.

         On Friday people move out of London. Goldie says that Willingdon is mad.

         On Saturday the city is deserted. Willingdon tells Goldie that he is trying to wake people up to save civilization. The army is deployed and searches. When they enter his building, Willingdon goes out the window. Soldiers find Goldie, and she laughs. Willingdon hides.

         On Sunday the search continues. Soldiers find Willingdon in a church and call. Lane says it is Willingdon, and Ann goes in at 11:45. She pleads with him to no avail. Folland and Lane rush in. Willingdon shouts it is too late and is shot by a soldier. An expert dismantles the device, and at noon all clear is sounded.

         This early parable of the nuclear age portrays a desperate nuclear scientist trying to alert his government to renounce their nuclear policy before a devastating war occurs. The drama itself offers a similar warning without the threat. Yet these governments still possess these atrocious weapons, and humanity’s fate still hangs in the balance.

Copyright © 2007 by Sanderson Beck

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