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Grand National Night (1953) [DVD]

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Racehorse trainer Gerald Coates argues with his alcoholic wife Babs on the evening after his horse has won the Grand National. Maybe not his "latest and greatest screen role" as it said in the publicity blurb, but it's not a bad vehicle for a star who does enough here to keep it interesting, if not exactly intriguing with what must have been a fairly limited budget. In 1953 it was made into a British film of the same title starring Nigel Patrick, Moira Lister and Beatrice Campbell. After race horse trainer Gerald Coates' (Nigel Patrick) horse wins the Grand National, his wife comes home drunk, and the two of them have a violent argument, and she is accidentally killed.

Grand National Night is a 1953 British thriller film brought to the screen by George Minter, produced by Phil C. Nigel and his staff and friends are sad at the tragedy, which was caused by his thoughtless wife's cruel behaviour.

Despite part of the plot of this thriller making use of a journey by train, all this appears as studio sets and model work. It premiered at the New Theatre, Oxford before transferring to the Apollo Theatre in London's West End where it ran for 268 performances between 12 June 1946 and 1 February 1947.

It skips along nicely and engagingly for eighty minutes with a solid contribution from the usually reliable Noel Purcell and a soupçon of glamour from the underused Beatrice Campbell too. Nigel Patrick is assured and convincing in the central role of a gentlemen horse trainer who becomes involved in a game of cat-and-mouse with a Scotland Yard inspector who suspects him of murder. The crime element of the story isn't particularly gripping, but the acting, rural setting and old-fashioned drawing room atmosphere add up to an enjoyable film - more of a melodrama with a mystery element than a thriller. It is not known where exactly this scene was filmed, and it seems rather out of sync with the rest of the film, which is set in Liverpool.

A racehorse owner (Nigel Patrick) who accidentally killed his wife (Moira Lister) matches wits with a detective.

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