Wanted for Murder
Directed byLawrence Huntington
Written byEmeric Pressburger
Rodney Ackland

Maurice Cowan (additional dialogue)
Based onWanted for Murder (play)
by Terence De Marney and Percy Robinson
Produced byMarcel Hellman
StarringEric Portman
Dulcie Gray
Derek Farr
Roland Culver
CinematographyMax Greene
Edited byEdward B. Jarvis
Music byMischa Spoliansky
Excelsior Productions
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Exclusive Films
Bejöhr-Film KG
Release dates
  • 23 May 1946 (1946-05-23) (London)
  • November 2, 1946 (1946-11-02) (USA)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Wanted for Murder is a 1946 British crime film directed by Lawrence Huntington and starring Eric Portman, Dulcie Gray, Derek Farr, and Roland Culver.[1]


Anne Fielding is delayed on the London Underground, making her late for a meeting with her friend Victor James Colebrooke. She meets Jack Williams who is also delayed. The two take an immediate liking to each other. After they emerge from the Underground Jack helps her to locate Victor.

Victor, the grandson of a notorious hangman, is gradually becoming insane and unable to resist the urge to strangle women to death. He is in love with Anne, but he does not know how much longer he can prevent himself from killing her. Inspector Conway investigates Victor's murders and pieces together the evidence that Victor leaves behind.



The score, by the Russian-born émigré composer Mischa Spoliansky, includes extracts from a fake piano concerto, A Voice in the Night using the soloist Eric Harrison. It is an example of the so-called "Denham Concerto", a term coined by Steve Race to describe the short romantic pieces, written for piano and orchestra for use in film scores, which became popular in Britain during the 1940s and 1950s, inspired by the success of Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto, composed for the film Dangerous Moonlight in 1941. Like the Warsaw Concerto and Hubert Bath's Cornish Rhapsody (from Love Story, 1944), A Voice in the Night was released commercially.[2]


The film was based on a play by Terence de Marney and Percy Robinson, which debuted on stage in London in 1937. De Marney played the killer in the original production.[3]

In January 1946 it was announced that 20th Century Fox had signed a deal with Marcel Hellman to make the film, for which Fox put up 50 per cent of the budget.[4]

The screenplay was one of two that Emeric Pressburger wrote for Hellman, the other being for Men Against Britannia.[5]

The film was shot at Welwyn Studios and at Star House, 14, The Royal Exchange, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, used as the home of Eric Portman's character and his mother (Barbara Everest).[6] There were also scenes filmed at Scotland Yard.[7][8]

In April 1946 Spyros Skouras signed a three-picture deal with Hellman for 20th Century Fox to distribute three of Hellman's films. The first was to be Wanted for Murder, which had been completed. (The other films were Meet Me at Dawn and This Was a Woman.)[9]


  1. ^ Wanted for Murder in Monthly Film Bulletin, Vol. 13, issue 145 (1 January 1946), p. 45.
  2. ^ Lane, Philip. Notes to The Film Music of Mischa Spolianski, Chandos CH10543 (2009)
  3. ^ "CRIME PLAY IN LONDON: De Marney, Co-Author of 'Wanted for Murder,' Has Leading Role", New York Times, 29 June 1937, p. 18.
  4. ^ "British Biz Up 40%". Variety. January 1945. p. 3.
  5. ^ MacDonald, Kevin. Emeric Pressburger. p. 138.
  6. ^ R.H. Simon, London Film Location Guide, London: Batsford 2007 (ISBN 978-0713490626), p. 111
  7. ^ ""Star British Team at Work Again"". The Sun (LATE FINAL EXTRA ed.). New South Wales, Australia. 7 February 1946. p. 13. Retrieved 19 June 2020 – via Trove.
  8. ^ "Wanted for Murder". Reel Streets.
  9. ^ "Skouras Details 20th". Variety. 24 April 1946. p. 3.