Basil Herbert Dean CBE (27 September 1888 – 22 April 1978) was an English actor, writer, film producer/film director and theatrical producer/director.
Born in Croydon, Surrey, Dean started his career in showbusiness in London as a West End stage actor, and then later became a theatrical producer. He later moved into the film industry and in the early 1930s founded Associated Talking Pictures, which later became Ealing Studios. He publicised and worked alongside Gracie Fields and George Formby, among other entertainers. When the war started he left the film industry and became the head of ENSA, the government-sponsored body responsible for bringing live performances to the armed services. He was awarded the CBE for his work with ENSA.
His wives included Lady Mercy Greville and Esther Van Gruisen. From August 1934 until 1939 he was married to British stage and film actress, Victoria Hopper. Dean had a relationship with one of his theatre and film stars Meggie Albanesi and… read more
A film that challenges the use of circumstantial evidence in the courtroom. Most of the criticism has been leveled at the sets, direction and acting. I think the film works on a different level. The entire time we know who the murderer is and that the man that stands accused is innocent. So the long drawn out courtroom scenes aren't to drive the plot, but to drive home that point that justice is fallible.
Some of the mechanizations within the story are a bit forced. Considering the cast involved (Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh), the acting is rather stagey and subpar. The conflict within Olivier should have been stronger (almost immediately, he wants to do the right thing... the film would have been stronger had he actually contemplated letting the wrongly accused man hang). Overall a disappointing film.