Seven Days to Noon

Date: 1950
Director: John Boulting and Roy Boulting
Production Company: London Film Productions, Boulting Brothers, British Lion

Stars: Barry Jones, Olive Sloane, André Morell, Sheila Manahan, Hugh Cross
Location(s): London

Region(s): ,


Becoming wary of the nuclear weapons he is helping to build, a Professor threatens to detonate a warhead in London unless the government begins disarmament.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

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On Monday morning the Postman delivers a letter addressed to the Prime Minister at number 10. This is Downing Street in SW1.

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The citizens of London commute to work in the City. Waterloo station in SE1.

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Workers file from the station to complete their journeys on foot.

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London Bridge with the tower of Southwark Cathedral to the centre top. The bridge was seen in 'Brothers in Law' and 'All Night Long'.

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When he discovers that the Professor and a device have disappeared, Superintendent Folland (André Morell) arrives at the Wallingford Research Centre.

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Superintendent Folland and the Professor's assistant Stephen Lane (Hugh Cross) call at the nuclear scientist's house.

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Steve and the Superintendent set off to return to London after questioning the Professor's Wife and daughter, Ann.

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Professor John Malcolm Francis Willingdon (Barry Jones) collects his Gladstone bag from the left luggage office at Waterloo station.

Steve is taken to meet with the Prime Minister to brief him and the cabinet about the threat. Facing south along Whitehall SW1.

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Almost all the elements are visible in this shot from ground level by Peter.

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On Tuesday morning the Professor buys a paper from a News Vendor (Jack May). St Margaret Street on the east side of Parliament Square in SW1.

Seeing his photograph on the front page, John Willingdon hurries to find a barber. The corner of Parliament Street and Bridge Street

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An equally busy view in Peter's modern shot.

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Now clean shaven, the Professor leaves a Barber’s shop.

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Professor Willingdon looks for a room where he can lay low until the conclusion of his plan.

Having found suitable accommodation, the Professor arrives at Mrs. Emily Peckett's address on fictional Glisby Road. Westbourne Park Villas, London W2.

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And this is 70 Westbourne Park Villas. SJ

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Wednesday sees the more activity outside the First Lord’s Residence on Downing Street . . . Number 10 to you and me.

After Ann is given the details about her father's plan to detonate a nuclear device in the centre of London, she and Steve leave Scotland Yard. In the background is the old New Scotland Yard on Derby Gate SW1.

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But not the very old one used until 1890: this is the Norman Shaw one called New Scotland Yard between Victoria Embankment and Whitehall . . . . and then they moved again in the late 60s to St James's. SJ

Steve hails a taxi. The corner of Parliament Street and Derby Gate.

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Nigel Matthews captures the scene with a little less sunshine. (RL)

The cab turns in the street before heading towards Trafalgar Square. The junction of Parliament Street and King Charles Street originally identified by Terry Guntrip.

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Just opposite Derby Gate. SJ

As the couple talk in the back of the taxi, Steve spots Ann's father in the street. Trafalgar Square at the corner of The Mall in WC2.

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Now restyled as an entrance to Charing Cross underground station. Image by Richard Lovejoy.

The taxi is stops to let Steve and Ann follow the Professor into Trafalgar Square station. Trafalgar Square with Northumberland Avenue in the right background.

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Peter provides this comparison.

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Professor Willingdon rides the escalator down to platform level.

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David Harrison provides this comparison shot of the same escalator at, what is now, Charing Cross Underground station.

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As Steve and Ann rush down the stairs, the Professor boards a waiting train.

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The same platform at the previously named Trafalgar Square Underground station. Image from David Harrison.

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Having seen the train depart, Steve and Ann rush back to street level to find a phone booth. Logically, this should be the former Trafalgar Square station on the Bakerloo Line, now part of the Charing Cross station complex.

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David Harrison provides this view of the station passageways now.

Alighting in the suburbs, John Willingdon walks back to his lodgings. The frontage of Westbourne Park station on Great Western Road in W11 recognised by Kim Rennie.

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And again, Richard's picture proves the location.

The Professor turns down an alleyway. Pete Robinson points out that this is the footpath running from Great Western Road to Tavistock Crescent between the Metropolitan public house and Westbourne Park Station.

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The passageway is now inaccessible and buildings at the far end have been demolished. Image by Neville Taylor.

The police arrive at the Professor's lodgings when Mrs. Peckett reports her suspicions about him being a landlady killer. Westbourne Park Villas in W2.

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The area now. SJ

Professor Willingdon nears his lodgings. Westbourne Park Passage leading from Westbourne Park Road to Westbourne Park Villas.

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Westbourne Park Passage now, also seen in 'Children of the Damned'. SJ.

Seeing the police, the Professor stops in his tracks. Facing east on Westbourne Park Villas.

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The view now. SJ

A likely escape route is taken. Looking at the northern section of Westbourne Park Passage on Westbourne Park Villas. Also seen in 'Children of the Damned'.

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This replaces my 29/1/09 shot which showed an older version of the footbridge and not the best angle. SJ

The Professor looks back to see if he is being followed. Westbourne Park Passage running from Westbourne Park Villas to Hampden Crescent. The bridge was seen in ‘The Knack’.

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A good angle. SJ

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The Professor throws his distinctive overcoat over the bridge where it falls onto railway coaches being prepared for the evacuation. Peter Brown believes that this is fact the Carriage Sidings at Clapham Junction as viewed from the passenger bridge between the SW main lines and the Windsor lines looking south west. He says that the window over the shed doors, still in evidence in 1977, together with the white blocks of flats in the far right distance are confirmation. (RL)

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When her King Charles Spaniel Trixie takes a liking to him, Goldie Phillips (Olive Sloane) begins to speak with the Professor. Arthur Mervyn Pullin (Pawnbroker) was at 105 Golborne Road, London W10 (RL)

Given away by Trixie whilst hiding in the shadows outside a theatre, the Professor is approached by Goldie who takes him to her small flat.

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What was at the time the Bedford Theatre, Camden High Street, London NW1 that closed in 1959. The passageway is not in exactly the same place as the shot should show two shops to the left. (RL)

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Crowds gather outside 10 Downing Street on Thursday. The once freely accessible Downing Street with Whitehall in the left distance.

In cameo, actors John Stone and Charles Groves give comment whist reading a copy of The Stage outside the Garrick Theatre on Charing Cross Road WC2.

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Peter took this modern view of the theatre.

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Having listened to the Prime Minister’s radio broadcast outlining the Governments evacuation plan, Professor Willingdon leaves the Natural History Museum. The steps of the Natural History Museum on Cromwell Road SW7.

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David Harrison provides an up to date shot with less tension in the air. (RL)

Goldie makes her way from the local pub after the Prime Ministers announcement is heard. The Queens Head public house at the corner of Black Prince Road and Vauxhall Walk in SE11 with buildings on Newport Street in the right background.

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The pub and the building in the left background survive. (PW)

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Troops begin to move after the broadcast. Cromwell Road outside the Natural History Museum.

The Professor waits for the Army trucks to pass. The junction of Cromwell Gardens and Exhibition Road in SW7.

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"The Cromwell Road sign and bollards at the traffic light convince me" confirms RL.

John Willingdon crosses the road between buses carrying his likeness.

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Richard Lovejoy sent this image adding 'Whilst I have had my doubts I have convinced myself that it is the V&A on the corner of Exhibition Road and Cromwell Gardens before it was "cleaned up"'.

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More headlines urge people to buy the news as the Professor descends into a subway. Looking east along Cromwell Gardens with Exhibition Road and the entrance to the South Kensington station subway on the right.

On Friday, Art treasures are removed to safety. The Tate Gallery on Millbank SW1, also seen in 'The Horse's Mouth'.

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Now. SJ.

Chelsea Pensioners prepare to be evacuated. The Royal Hospital on Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3.

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That'll be Prince Harry investigating the location in person and giving his royal approval. (PW)

The elderly residents are helped onto coaches.

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Peter visited the Royal Hospital.

The Royal Hospital on Royal Hospital Road SW3.

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A view of the almost unchanged location from Peter.

Evacuees queue for special trains at Waterloo station.

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Peter captures a very different scene, at least the clock remains. (RL)

Buses are loaded with evacuees. Philip Sherwood tells us that this shot was taken on Methley Street in Kennington SE11 adding "My grandfather was used as an extra and I have a press cutting which states that the residents of Methley street were all used as extras".

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Methley Street, SE11. Chaplin once lived on this street. SJ

The buses move off, taking the evacuees to safety. The corner of Methley Street and Milverton Street.

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The same corner. (PW)

The street stands deserted after the last bus departs. Methley Street in Kennington.

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Nice blurred shot . . . . totally on purpose, of course. SJ

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Crowds wait to board boats at piers on the River Thames. This is Tower Pier off Lower Thames Street in EC3.

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Transport of all types is utilised to take the City’s residents away from the threat. Western Avenue in W3 with the corner of Perryn Road to the top left.

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Trains run side by side after leaving the City’s termini. Battersea Rise bridge in Wandsworth SW18 on the railway route between Clapham Junction and Earlsfield stations.

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As Friday draws to a close, one of the last evacuation trains heads west from the Capital. Looking westward from South Road bridge opposite Southall station in Middlesex with a gasometer of Southall gasworks and Southall Water Tower on the right.

Saturday dawns on a silent City. The junction of Pall Mall and Cockspur Street in SW1 with the statue of King George III to the right.

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Trees have sprouted in Peter's image of the location.

Looters are shot as they take to the streets. Regent Street with the Duke of York Column in the centre distance.

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There were no looters in the far busier street when Peter arrived.

Smithfield Market is deserted. The location appears in 'Go to Blazes'.

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South of the market at West Smithfield. SJ.

Covent Garden stands lifeless. To the top left runs King Street WC2.

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More lively in this street level view. (PW)

Barrows stand empty. This is the north-east side of Covent Garden with Russell Street to the left.

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No barrows here now. (PW)

Huge houses in Belgravia stand vacant. Looking from Belgrave Place into Belgrave Square SW1.

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They certainly don't stand vacant today. (RL)

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Humble terraces are also abandoned.

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Troops take up their positions, ready to locate Professor Willingdon and his bomb. Threadneedle Street and Cornhill converge in front of the Royal Exchange with the Bank of England to the left. The location has been seen many times including in 'Bank Holiday', 'Four Days', 'A Touch of Class' and 'The Mackintosh Man'.

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Soldiers stand around near the empty high class properties.

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The military ready themselves on suburban avenues.

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Pete Robinson throws his "pennyworth" in and suggests the now demolished White City Stadium. (RL)

Cleaver Square in Kennington SE11.

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More foliage these days. (PW)

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The waiting continues . . .

. . . even in the City. At the corner of Fleet Lane and Old Bailey with the dome of the Central Criminal Court to the top. The location features in 'The Naked Edge', 'Hostile Witness', 'Dr. Crippen', 'Brothers in Law' and an almost identical shot appeared in 'The Long Dark Hall'.

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And here's Peter's almost identical shot.

The signal to start the search is given. This appears to be the south side of Cleaver Square.

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The buildings match but this may not be the exact spot. (PW)

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The hunt for Professor Willingdon begins. Looking over Bloomsbury towards St. Paul’s Cathedral with Victoria House in the centre of the image.

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Troops comb the terraces of Wembley Stadium. The terraces of the Empire Stadium in Wembley, Middlesex.

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The stadium was closed in 2000 and demolished in 2003 to be replaced by the current Wembley Stadium which was opened in 2007.

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Except for the animals left behind, a deserted London Zoo is methodically checked. Seen from the Mappin Terraces, to the top of the capture stands the Mappin Pavilion, which was also seen in ‘The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer’.

Bomb sites in the City are scoured. Looking at St. Paul’s Cathedral from Cannon Street in EC4. The building to the left is at the corner of St. Paul’s Churchyard and Old Change.

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Peter provides this shot, recycled from October 2016, adding that "There's a new building obliterating the view now".

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Along with the myriad of London’s sewers, the Underground is searched. The Bakerloo Line’s Edgware Road station below Chapel Street in NW1.

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The location is confirmed as a Soldier swings the beam of his torch onto one of the station’s signs.

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On Sunday morning troops continue their search, moving nearer to the seat of government. Harley Street at the junction with Marylebone Road.

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David Harrison provides a comparative shot with the all too usual RS scaffolding. (RL)

Looking towards Trafalgar Square from Pall Mall with the National Gallery and St. Martin-in-the-Fields forming the background.

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Peter provides a similar shot. (RL)

Facing Whitehall from Trafalgar Square.

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Peter visited the area.

As the net closes, troops encircle fictional St. Stephen’s church in Westminster where the Professor is eventually discovered praying at the altar. St. John's Gardens in W11 with St. John’s church as the background.

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Definitely St John's Gardens in Notting Hill W11. The church also appears in 'Hennessy' and 'Steptoe and Son'. SJ

Superintendent Folland, Steve and Ann leave the Operations Room and are driven to St. Stephen’s church. Horse Guards Parade in SW1.

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A ground level shot of the parade ground from Peter. (RL)

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Most of the troops are dismissed as Superintendent Folland and Steve accompany Ann into the church to speak with her father. St. John's Gardens in London W11.

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Private Jackson (Victor Maddern) stands guard outside the church. Looking towards St. John’s Gardens from outside the south entrance to St. John’s church in Notting Hill.

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As the Professor runs from the church after being confronted by his daughter, Jackson aims and fires. The south door to St. John’s church.

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David Harrison was only shooting with a camera. (RL)

The all clear siren sounds as Goldie and Trixie watch the last of the troop carriers cross Westminster Bridge.

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A time for Peter to reflect following recent events. (RL)