A wonderfully sardonic whodunit

Whodunit? The bitter, shifty-eyed anesthetist? The hysterically lovelorn nurse? The suave surgeon/cad?

Maybe all of them. There sure are enough bodies piling up in the village hospital in Green for Danger, a wonderfully sardonic multiple-murder mystery newly available on DVD (2/13). This 60-year-old film not only has style to burn, it has a perfect (and perfectly odd) mixture of tense mystery and wry comedy — the latter mostly thanks to Alastair Sim, who plays the mischievous, self-satisfied Inspector Cockrill of Scotland Yard. Peter Falk’s Columbo has nothing on this guy.

Written and directed by Hitchcock collaborator Sidney Gilliat, this is a game of Clue gone topsy-turvy. “On the whole, don’t trust your neighbor, your roommate, your fiancée, or your friend,” Cockrill tells the assembled suspects early on. “He or she may be the murderer.” Serious business, sure, but that doesn’t stop this loopy detective from having a helluva lot of fun in this lost British classic — which, at its best, is as thrilling and witty as Hitchcock, yet mostly unknown in the U.S.

“>BUY Green for Danger

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A wonderfully sardonic whodunit