The Way Out (1956)

78 mins | Drama | 11 April 1956

Director:

Montgomery Tully

Producer:

Alex C. Snowden

Cinematographer:

Philip Grindrod

Editor:

Geoffrey Miller

Production Designer:

Wilfred Arnold

Production Company:

Todon Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Because some onscreen production crew credits were missing from the viewed print, credit information was completed using contemporary reviews and copyright records. The opening and closing cast credits vary slightly in order. Although Paula Byrne's opening credit reads "and introducing," she actually made her film debut in the 1954 Lippert production The Black Glove (see above). The Way Out was shot in London and released there in 1955 under the title Dial 999 . The film was based on the same source as the 1942 British production Dial 999 , which was directed by Lawrence Huntington and starred John Longden and Elizabeth Kent.
       Var reported on 8 Jun 1955 that RKO had secured distribution rights to the film outside Great Britain. Although that article reported that the picture was based on a Charles O'Malley novel entitled The Way Out , the novel was written by Bruce Graeme. According to a 24 Jun 1957 HR news item, Tony Owen's Todon Productions filed a $1.5 million breach of contract suit against RKO on 21 Jun, charging that the studio turned over distribution of The Way Out , Postmark for Danger and Finger of Guilt to various independent distributors without Todon's consent. The disposition of that suit has not been ... More Less

Because some onscreen production crew credits were missing from the viewed print, credit information was completed using contemporary reviews and copyright records. The opening and closing cast credits vary slightly in order. Although Paula Byrne's opening credit reads "and introducing," she actually made her film debut in the 1954 Lippert production The Black Glove (see above). The Way Out was shot in London and released there in 1955 under the title Dial 999 . The film was based on the same source as the 1942 British production Dial 999 , which was directed by Lawrence Huntington and starred John Longden and Elizabeth Kent.
       Var reported on 8 Jun 1955 that RKO had secured distribution rights to the film outside Great Britain. Although that article reported that the picture was based on a Charles O'Malley novel entitled The Way Out , the novel was written by Bruce Graeme. According to a 24 Jun 1957 HR news item, Tony Owen's Todon Productions filed a $1.5 million breach of contract suit against RKO on 21 Jun, charging that the studio turned over distribution of The Way Out , Postmark for Danger and Finger of Guilt to various independent distributors without Todon's consent. The disposition of that suit has not been determined. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Apr 1956.
---
Daily Variety
11 Apr 56
p. 6.
Film Daily
16 Apr 56
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 1957
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Apr 56
p. 858.
Variety
8 Jun 1955.
---
Variety
11 Apr 56
p. 7.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward mistress
MUSIC
Mus dir
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Way Out by Bruce Graeme (London, 1954).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Dial 999
Release Date:
11 April 1956
Production Date:
20 June--late July 1955 at Merton Park Studios, London
Copyright Claimant:
Anglo-Guild Productions
Copyright Date:
8 December 1955
Copyright Number:
LP6828
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
78
Length(in feet):
7,052
Length(in reels):
9
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17943
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At 1:00 a.m. in London, American Terry Carradine worries about the whereabouts of her husband Greg, despite the disdain of her brother, novelist John Moffet, who considers Greg a shiftless alcoholic. Soon, Greg returns, ranting that he has killed a man and must hide. Although Terry believes that he must be innocent and should contact the police, Greg insists that she help him flee, and explains that he hit a man over the head with a bottle during a drunken brawl at the Zanzi Bar. When police detective Sgt. Seagrave knocks on the apartment door, Terry helps Greg escape, then informs Seagrave that she has no information about her husband. Later, Greg calls Terry and, aware that the phone may be tapped, Terry gives Greg coded instructions to hide at a friend’s flat and meet her the following day at “the redhead’s house,” referring to her friend, Vera Bellamy. Seagrave has indeed tapped the phone and deduces to which friend’s flat Greg has gone, and so is there the next day when Terry tries to visit Greg. The sergeant accompanies Terry to her office, where she eludes him and heads in secret to Vera’s. While Vera invites Greg to hide out at her place, Seagrave questions John about who Terry’s redheaded friend could be, but John, who is Vera’s ex-boyfriend, claims not to know. At Vera’s, Greg, who cannot leave the country legally because his passport has expired, informs Terry about an underground ring that furnishes fugitives with “the way out,” a secret escape route. Although fearful for her safety, Terry promises to contact Zanzi Bar bartender George for more information. At the bar, George is reluctant to cooperate, ... +


At 1:00 a.m. in London, American Terry Carradine worries about the whereabouts of her husband Greg, despite the disdain of her brother, novelist John Moffet, who considers Greg a shiftless alcoholic. Soon, Greg returns, ranting that he has killed a man and must hide. Although Terry believes that he must be innocent and should contact the police, Greg insists that she help him flee, and explains that he hit a man over the head with a bottle during a drunken brawl at the Zanzi Bar. When police detective Sgt. Seagrave knocks on the apartment door, Terry helps Greg escape, then informs Seagrave that she has no information about her husband. Later, Greg calls Terry and, aware that the phone may be tapped, Terry gives Greg coded instructions to hide at a friend’s flat and meet her the following day at “the redhead’s house,” referring to her friend, Vera Bellamy. Seagrave has indeed tapped the phone and deduces to which friend’s flat Greg has gone, and so is there the next day when Terry tries to visit Greg. The sergeant accompanies Terry to her office, where she eludes him and heads in secret to Vera’s. While Vera invites Greg to hide out at her place, Seagrave questions John about who Terry’s redheaded friend could be, but John, who is Vera’s ex-boyfriend, claims not to know. At Vera’s, Greg, who cannot leave the country legally because his passport has expired, informs Terry about an underground ring that furnishes fugitives with “the way out,” a secret escape route. Although fearful for her safety, Terry promises to contact Zanzi Bar bartender George for more information. At the bar, George is reluctant to cooperate, but Terry pleads with him to tell her what happened the night of the murder. George reveals that Greg, who vowed to Terry that he had never been in the bar before, was in fact a regular, as well as a gambler who owed money all over town. On the night of the murder, George says, a drunken Greg flirted with a blonde, then fought with bookie Anderson, killing him by smashing a bottle over his head. Terry, stunned to learn of Greg’s true nature but loyal nonetheless, takes George’s advice and approaches Alf Cressett about “the way out.” Meanwhile, at Vera’s, Greg grabs Vera and tries to kiss her, but she pushes him away. Cressett at first feigns ignorance but, upon hearing that Terry has money, instructs her to bring £700 to Tom Smithers at the local greyhound kennel. Meanwhile, Seagrave, who has discovered that one of John’s books is dedicated to “my favorite redhead, Vera B.,” obtains Vera’s address from John’s publisher. By the time he reaches her flat, however, Vera has already kicked out Greg for making repeated advances. Vera acts seductively toward Seagrave and refuses to reveal anything about Greg. Greg has gone to John’s, where Terry meets them and convinces her brother to hide Greg and lend them £700. Smithers then gives them explicit instructions about how to leave town, but Greg is enraged to discover that he must wait three days. Soon, Seagrave deduces that Greg is hiding at John’s, and arrives to search the flat. Greg slips out the kitchen window and calls Terry, almost revealing his whereabouts until she stops him, knowing the phone is tapped. She instructs him, in code, to meet her in two hours, and when he complains about the delay, she agrees to ask Smithers if he can leave the country immediately. John accompanies Terry to the pub where Smithers works, and although they attempt to elude the policeman following them, they fail to realize that a female officer is also tailing them. At the pub, Smithers at first refuses to change Greg’s escape plan but is finally persuaded by Terry and gives her new instructions. With Seagrave in pursuit, Terry takes one of Smithers’ vans while John drives another. She picks up Greg at their appointed spot and drives toward the coast, with John driving in front of the following police to confuse them. Later, John and Terry switch vans and disguise the vehicles’ outer features, so that Terry’s van now looks like a post office truck. Hours later, Seagrave figures out the ruse and has the post office truck tailed, but by that time Terry is able to switch again to a large truck, according to Smithers’ plan, and drive to the town of Kent incognito. Seagrave soon catches up with them once again, and after he instructs a police car to follow the truck, Greg opens the back door and sprays it with a fire extinguisher, disabling it. While Terry and Greg reach their next hideout, the barn of a local farmer, the police form a ring around the district, prompting the farmer to inform them that they must remain hidden. That night, Terry informs Greg that she no longer loves him, and when she pulls away from his attempt to kiss her, he accuses her of obtaining his escape by dispensing sexual favors. The next morning, when the farmer again refuses to drive them across the border, Greg flies into a rage and runs off alone, followed by Terry. Within moments he is stopped by policemen and fights them. At the same moment that Seagrave pulls up and Terry reaches the group, the policemen are forced to kill Greg to incapacitate him. As Seagrave leads Terry away, she wonders aloud if Greg found the right “way out,” after all. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.