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Serious Charge

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Serious Charge is a 1959 British drama film directed by Terence Young and written by John McCormick. The film stars Anthony Quayle, Sarah Churchill, and Andrew Ray in the lead roles. The plot revolves around a young clergyman who is falsely accused of improper conduct with two underage girls from his parish.

The story begins with Reverend Howard Phillips (Andrew Ray) arriving at St. Mark's, a small village parish. He soon becomes acquainted with two young girls in his Sunday school class, Jenny (Ann Hanslip) and Carol (Julia Lockwood). Howard takes an interest in the girls and tries to help them with their troubles at home. However, when the girls accuse Howard of inappropriate behavior, the situation quickly spirals out of control.

The accusations shock the entire community, and Howard's reputation is ruined. He is arrested and charged with indecent assault. The case goes to court, and Howard's fate lies in the hands of a jury. His defense attorney, David Thompson (Anthony Quayle), works tirelessly to prove Howard's innocence. However, the prosecution's case is strong, and it seems like there is no way out for Howard.

As the trial progresses, it becomes clear that the case is not as straightforward as it seems. Secrets from the girls' past emerge, and it becomes apparent that they have a motive to lie. While Howard maintains his innocence, the jury is torn between the evidence presented before them and the possibility that the girls might be lying. Thompson's cross-examination of the prosecution's witnesses is gripping, and the trial builds to a tense and emotional climax.

The film deals with difficult subject matter, but it does so with sensitivity and skill. The performances of the lead actors are superb, particularly Andrew Ray as the young clergyman who is wrongly accused. His portrayal of Howard is nuanced and powerful, conveying both his innocence and the emotional turmoil he experiences throughout the trial. Anthony Quayle is also excellent as his defense attorney, David Thompson, bringing depth and gravitas to his performance.

Sarah Churchill, the daughter of Winston Churchill, delivers a strong supporting performance as the girls' mother, who is torn between her loyalty to her daughters and her knowledge of their troubled past. The film also features an early performance by Cliff Richard, who plays a young singer in the village pub.

The cinematography is excellent, capturing both the idyllic countryside and the emotional intensity of the courtroom scenes. The score by Benjamin Frankel is haunting and memorable, adding to the film's atmosphere of tension and drama.

Serious Charge is a powerful and thought-provoking film that deals with issues that are still relevant today. It explores the themes of truth and justice, and the devastating effects of false accusations. The film's courtroom scenes are gripping and intense, and the performances of the lead actors are outstanding. Overall, Serious Charge is a must-see film for fans of courtroom dramas and social issue films.

Serious Charge is a Drama movie released in 1959. It has a runtime of 95. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.3..

Terence Young
Anthony Quayle, Cliff Richard, Sarah Churchill, Andrew Ray
Also starring Anthony Quayle
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