The High Command

The High Command is a 1937 British drama film directed by Thorold Dickinson and starring Lionel Atwill, Lucie Mannheim and James Mason.[1]

The High Command
The High Command (1937 film).jpg
U.S. poster
Directed byThorold Dickinson
Produced byGordon Wellesley
Written byWalter Meade (dialogue)
Katherine Strueby (screenplay)
Val Valentine (dialogue)
Based onnovel The General Goes Too Far by Lewis Robinson
StarringLionel Atwill
Lucie Mannheim
Music byErnest Irving
CinematographyOtto Heller
Edited bySidney Cole
Fanfare Pictures
Distributed byAssociated British Film Distributors (UK)
Release date
  • 22 March 1937 (1937-03-22) (London)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

It was shot at Ealing Studios and on location on the Gold Coast. The film's sets were designed by the art director Holmes Paul. It is an adaptation of the novel The General Goes Too Far by Lewis Robinson.


This is the tale of an English officer who murders a man in Ireland for chivalrous reasons. Years later, he has risen to the rank of Major-General, and is stationed in West Africa. There, his old crime is discovered, and he allows himself to be murdered rather than involve his daughter in his own disgrace.[2]



The Sunday Times wrote of this film: "Its avoidance of reality and its slowness make it a first-class soporific in this sultry weather."[2] Despite the film's faults, the novelist and author Graham Greene opined that the directing work by Thorold Dickinson made the film much better than it otherwise would have been.[2] Greene also pointed out that Fanfare was a newly emerging British film company that was constrained by its budget, and that it still managed to use "lyric imagination" to produce memorable scenes well designed to portray the degree of "human crisis" especially at the climax when the General's secret is revealed. Greene described the "glib" review from The Sunday Times as "rather shocking" in light of the production's efforts with their financial limitations.[3]


  1. ^ "The High Command (1937)".
  2. ^ a b c Greene, Graham. The Graham Greene Film Reader: Reviews, Essays, Interviews & Film Stories, p. 208 (Hal Leonard Corporation, 1994).
  3. ^ Greene, Graham (29 July 1937). "The High Command/On the Avenue/Yiddle with his Fiddle". Night and Day. (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russell, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. Oxford University Press. pp. 156–159. ISBN 0192812866.)

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