Archive Q

Q Planes (1939)

When bomber planes go missing, Inspector Ralph Richardson investigates.

Exciting and patriotic nonsense. Richardson's performance was the inspiration for Patrick Macnee's Steed in The Avengers.

Poster for Q-Planes

Script: Ian Dalrymple, Brock Williams, Arthur Wimperis

Director: Tim Whelan

Players: Laurence Olivier, Valerie Hobson, George Curzon, George Merritt, Gus McNaughton, David Tree, Sandra Storm, Hay Petrie, John Longden, Frank Fox, Gordon McLeod, Reginald Purdell, Pat Aherne, Gertrude Musgrove, Ronald Adam, Ian Fleming, Lewis Stringer, Morland Graham, Eileen Bennett, Derek Farr

Quartet (1948)

Somerset Maugham introduces four of his short stories. Most of the stories are slight but the film is a great compendium of British acting talent. The best one is The Colonel's Lady with Cecil Parker as the colonel and Nora Swinburne as his dowdy wife who publishes a collection of racy poetry. Worst is The Alien Corn with Dirk Bogarde being truly rotten as an inadequate pianist.  

Script adapt.: R.C. Sherriff. (o.a. W. Somerset Maugham)

Director: Ralph Smart (The Facts of Life), Harold French (The Alien Corn), Arthur Crabtree (The Kite), Ken Annakin (The Colonel's Lady)

Players: (The Facts of Life) Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, Mai Zetterling, Jack Watling, James Robertson Justice, Angela Baddley, Ian Fleming; (The Alien Corn) Francoise Rosay, Honor Blackman, Maurice Denham; (The Kite) George Cole, Hermione Baddley, Susan Shaw, Mervyn Johns, Bernard Lee; (The Colonel's Lady) Linden Travers, Ernest Thesiger, Felix Aylmer, Henry Edwards, Wilfrid Hyde White, Clive Morton

The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

Professor Quatermass is in charge of Britain's first successful space rocket launch. But when the rocket returns to Earth, two of the astronauts are missing, and the third is slowly turning into a new, killer life form that could take over the world.

The original series was a landmark in TV history. Cheap studio Hammer bought the rights to cash in on the fuss, and the film's massive success established Hammer as Britain's premier exploitation studio. 

Script adapt.: Val Guest, Richard Landau. (o.a. Nigel Kneale)

Director: Val Guest

Players: Brian Donlevy, Richard Wordsworth, Jack Warner, David King-Wood, Gordon Jackson, Harold Lang, Thora Hird, Margia Dean, Lionel Jeffries, Maurice Kaufman, Frank Philips, Gron Davies, Arthur Lovegrove, Toke Townley, Marianne Stone

Quatermass II (1957)

After his previous project ends in disaster, Professor Quatermass investigates a mysterious research station.

The least known of the Quatermass movies doesn't have the grand special effects of the first and third, but is still fun. Most notable for being the first sequel to use roman numerals in the title.

Script adapt.: (o.a.) Nigel Kneale, Val Guest

Director: Val Guest

Players: Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James, Bryan Forbes, Vera Day, William Franklyn, Charles Lloyd Pack, Tom Chatto, John Van Eyssen, Percy Herbert, Michael Ripper, Marianne Stone, Lloyd Lamble, Edwin Richfield, Jan Holden

Queen of Hearts (1936)

A seamstress gets mistaken for a wealthy backer by a producer and finds herself in a show.

Enjoyable Gracie Fields vehicle. 

Script: Clifford Grey, HF Maltby

Director: Monty Banks

Players: John Loder, Enid Stamp-Taylor, Fred Duprez, Edward Rigby, Julie Suedo, Hal Gordon, Syd Crossley, Madeleine Seymour, HF Maltby, Margaret Yarde, Tom Gill, Edith Fields, Vera Hillard, Tom Payne, Vera Lennox, Mike Johnson, Pat Williams, Balliol and Merton, Jean Lister, Monte Banks

The Queen of Spades (1949)

A gambler tries to uncover an old woman's secret system at cards.

Classic version of the Pushkin short story.

Script adapt.: Rodney Ackland, Arthur Boys. (o.a. Alexander Pushkin)

Director: Thorold Dickinson

Players: Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans, Yvonne Mitchell, Mary Jerrold, Ronald Howard, Anthony Dawson, Miles Malleson, Athene Seyler, Michael Medwin, Pauline Tennant, Ivor Barnard, Valentine Dyall, Yusef Ramart, Gibb McLaughlin, Jacqueline Clarke, Gordon Begg, Aubrey Mallalieu, Drusilla Wills, George Woodbridge, Pauline Jameson, Hay Petrie

Quiet Wedding (1940)

A middle-class family gathers for a wedding.

A modest, unassuming film that worked so well it became a massive hit. And it still works.

Script adapt.: Terence Rattigan, Anatole de Grunwald. (o.a. Esther McCracken)

Director: Anthony Asquith

Players: Margaret Lockwood, Derek Farr, Athene Seyler, Marjorie Fielding, A.E. Matthews, Margaretta Scott, Peggy Ashcroft, Frank Cellier, Roland Culver, Jean Cadell, David Tomlinson, Sydney King, Michael Sheply, Roddy Hughes, Muriel Pavlow, O.B. Clarence, Margaret Rutherford, Wally Patch, Bernard Miles, Martita Hunt, Muriel George, Esma Cannon, Hay Petrie

Quiet Weekend (1946)

Sequel to the hugely successful comedy Quiet Wedding. Instead of the wedding in the previous film there's a weekend in the country (but then I think you could have worked that out for yourself). Some of the same cast reappear but the stars have gone and it's just not in the same league as its predecessor.

Script adapt.: Warwick Ward, Victor Skutezky, Stephen Black, T.J. Morrison. (o.a. Esther McCracken)

Director: Harold French

Players: George Thorpe, Marjorie Fielding, Derek Farr, Helen Shingler, Barbara White, Frank Cellier, Edward Rigby, Ballard Berkeley, Judith Furse

The Quiet Woman (1950)

A woman takes over the running of a seaside pub, but her escaped convict husband turns up looking for refuge.

Nothing to get worked up about.

Script: John Gilling

Director: John Gilling

Players: Derek Bond, Jane Hylton, Dora Bryan, Dianne Foster, Michael Balfour, John Horsley, Harry Towb, Campbell Singer