Cottage to Let

“Although his film appearances were sparse in the early '40s, Cottage To Let was quite literally the film that rescued Alastair Sim from supporting comedy roles and established him as both a subtle actor and an equally subtle comedian. Although not starred, his role is a major one and almost literally a forerunner of his Insp. Cockrill in Green For Danger (see September 12). An added bonus is his masquerade as a Gestapo agent in a scene that is unique for being both chilling and hilarious. Based on a very popular and topical London play, it's material that would almost certainly have been handed to Hitchcock had he not left Gaumont-British 3 years earlier. Asquith directs with frequent nods to both Hitchcock and (especially in the climax) Lang, and there is both affecting type and against-type casting - particularly in the case of John Mills. If there seems a little too much of the dithery comedy of Jeanne de Casalis, it's because her feather-brained housewife act was very popular in music halls and on radio at the time.”

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