25 user 11 critic

The Upturned Glass (1947)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 1 August 1947 (UK)
A British brain surgeon punishes the murderess of his lover.


John Monaghan (from the original story by) (as Jno P. Monaghan), John Monaghan (screenplay) (as Jno. P. Monaghan) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
James Mason ... Michael Joyce
Rosamund John ... Emma Wright
Pamela Mason ... Kate Howard (as Pamela Kellino)
Ann Stephens ... Ann Wright
Morland Graham Morland Graham ... Clay
Brefni O'Rorke ... Dr. Farrell
Henry Oscar ... Coroner
Jane Hylton ... Miss Marsh
Sheila Huntington Sheila Huntington ... 1st Girl Student
Susan Shaw ... 2nd Girl Student
Peter Cotes Peter Cotes ... Male Student
Nuna Davey ... Mrs. Jenny Deva
Judith Carol Judith Carol ... Joan Scott-Trotter
John Monaghan John Monaghan ... U.S. Driver (as Jno. P. Monaghan)
Maurice Denham ... Mobile Policeman


A prominent neurosurgeon relates to his students in medical school a story about an affair he had with a married woman and how, after the affair was over, the woman one day fell out a window and died. The surgeon, suspecting that she was murdered, set out to find her killer--but, instead of turning the suspect over to the police, he planned to take his own revenge on the murderer. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From the original story by Jno P. Monaghan. See more »


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The waiter hands Kate Howard the menu, then immediately hands it to her again. See more »


Michael Joyce: Up to this point in the present series of lectures, we've dealt exclusively with abnormal mentalities. I emphasise the fact that in civilised communities eighty percent of our murderers and violent criminals were those whose minds had been conditioned by exceptional nervous stress and unhealthy environment. Last Friday we dealt with the smaller group of strictly moronic criminals. And now we come to that much more interesting phenomenon - the sane criminal. The man who is prepared to pursue his...
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Featured in James Mason: The Star They Loved to Hate (1984) See more »


We Plough the Fields and Scatter
Music by Johann Schultz (1800)
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User Reviews

Throw it away
28 August 2017 | by AAdaSCSee all my reviews

That's the advice that doctor Brefni O'Rorke (Dr Farrell) gives to surgeon James Mason (Joyce) when giving an analogy comparing insanity to an upturned glass balancing on a mantelpiece. So, that's exactly what Mason does! The film is told in flashback as Mason narrates a lecture to students on the topic of the criminal mind. He presents a case of a sane man committing murder. It's no revelation to the film audience that he is recounting his own story. What is interesting in this technique is that we realize he hasn't actually carried out the act and we then find ourselves in real time at the end of the lecture as he goes ahead with his plan after what can be seen as his confession to the students.

The root of his problem is a love affair with Rosamund Wright (Emma) which cannot be. The ending of the relationship coincides with some tragic news and Mason then turns to Pamela Mason (Kate) to discover the truth and exact revenge. The real events of the tragedy are never fully confirmed and so Mason's actions are very suspect. Is he insane? He certainly seems to be acting on a whim. Pamela Mason is excellent in her role and certainly had me rooting for her. I'm not sure this was the intention, though!

The young girl whose sight Mason saves at the beginning of the film is played by Ann Stephens who died aged 35 in 1966. I can't find any details on how she died. Can anyone help on this? It would be interesting to know. She delivers some amusing dialogue about not liking her hair and Pamela Mason's dialogue regarding her is flippantly wonderful – I'll send her boarding – ha ha. The best of us have all spent time boarding as a child. As for the film's title, I still don't know what an upturned glass means? Which way?

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Release Date:

1 August 1947 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Upturned Glass See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sydney Box Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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