80,000 Suspects

Date: 1963
Director: Val Guest
Production Company: The Rank Organisation

Stars: Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Yolande Donlan, Cyril Cusack, Michael Goodliffe
Location(s): Bristol, Somerset, Bath



A mystery carrier is hunted during the fight against a smallpox epidemic.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson


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New Year's Eve celebrations are in full swing as the film opens. This is the west front of the Abbey Church of St. Peter & St. Paul in the North East Somerset city of Bath.

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Looking east. SJ

The camera tilts and tracks to find revellers spilling onto the street. Abbey Church Yard with the Abbey in the left background and the Grand Pump Room to the right.

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Now full of touristic revellers visiting Aquae Sulis. SJ

Inside the Pump Room a New Year's Eve dance is in full swing.

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Hmm, I may be looking the wrong way. SJ

Dr. Steven Monks (Richard Johnson) leaves the dance and finds his friend's wife Ruth in the arms of a new House Surgeon. This is the Great Bath at the Roman Baths.

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The arches have been filled in so there's less light. The plinth is now empty. SJ

As his wife looks after Ruth, Steven brings the car to the Pump Room. Stall Street with Abbey Church Yard through the colonnade.

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Now pedestrianised. SJ

Julie Monks (Claire Bloom) leads a very inebriated Ruth Preston (Yolande Donlan) from the dance. Looking into Abbey Church Yard from Stall Street.

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Tricky to reproduce with lack of lens innovation. SJ

Steven says farewell to the two women before returning to the hospital to pick up his camera. Stall Street in Bath.

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Pillars intact but no longer possible to drive up. SJ

Julie drives Ruth home. The Circus with Gay Street to the right.

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Bath architecture has not changed and for good reason. SJ

The car is brought to a stand. The Circus in Bath, Somerset.

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Quite tricky to pinpoint the exact match. SJ

The two women enter the house where Julie puts Ruth to bed before heading home. The Circus.

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Guided by the upper window arrangement of the main door, I'm guessing here. SJ

A cab brings Steven to the hospital where his colleague Dr. Clifford Preston is on night duty. Identified by John Branston as the former Bath Spa nurses home, now Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel. (RL)

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A few changes here. This is east of the Avon so a little bit of a trek from the centre. SJ

Inside the hospital, Steven is asked by Dr. Preston to examine a patient who's causing concern. The main entrance to the former Bath Spa nurses home now the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel says John Branston. (RL)

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Off angle as I forgot to move to the right. SJ

Early the next morning, Dr. Monks arrives home after diagnosing smallpox in the patient. Cleveland Walk, Bath as well as 014 and 015 identifies John. (RL)

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And now with slight alterations to the right. SJ

Steven finds Julie loading the car, ready for their well earned holiday in France. John Branston pinpoints this as 48 Cleveland Walk, Bath (RL)

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Taken with the kind permission of the current owner, who was unaware of his property's cinematic fame. SJ

Julie tells her husband that they can't leave now as he has been exposed to the disease. Another shot of 48 Cleveland Walk, Bath says John. (RL)

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Taken from the front door. SJ

In the city centre, Health Officers drive to the Guildhall. Facing Cheap Street from High Street with the Abbey taking up the background.

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With a bright red tourist bus. SJ

The Land Rover comes to a stand and an Officer enters the building to see Buckridge. Outside the Guildhall on High Street.

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Looks like the pavement's wider. SJ

A car precedes the disinfectant team as they approach a crowd waiting outside the house where the smallpox victim lived. This is Pera Place with Clarence Street heading down the hill. The left side of the road has been widened and new buildings have been erected.

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There's been some rebuilding here and I met a local whose husband had a walk on in the film and then was cut out from these very scenes. SJ

Boswell (Basil Dignam), the Medical Officer, is briefed by Steven Monks. Pera Place in the north of the city.

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That house to the left is the key. SJ

Harold Davis (Norman Bird) opens the door to Dr. Monks and the officials. The stepped terrace still stands on Pera Place.

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The terrace comprises similar fronts but I think this is the one. SJ

The authorities organise a search for people who may have been in contact with Mrs. Davies' son. The Theatre Royal at the corner of Saw Close and St. John's Place in Bath.

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The theatre has extended its flank somewhat inelegantly though at least the balustrade has softened the effect. SJ

Police and Health Officials arrive outside the theatre. The Theatre Royal Bath fronting Saw Close with Barton Street to the right.

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"No scaffolding but some serious road and pavement litter. To be improved." as I wrote the year before. This is (I hope) an improvement exactly a year later. SJ

With bells sounding, an ambulance carrying another victim speeds towards the hospital. Lansdown Crescent, Bath.

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This is high up to the north of the city. Also seen in The Hireling. SJ

Buckridge (Mervyn Johns) and Dr. Monks arrive at the hospital.

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Aha, it looks like a bit of restoration has since taken place with the stairs no longer sheltered. SJ

Behind a superimposed list of names, officials ask questions throughout the city. This appears to be Northumberland Place.

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And this replaces my unconvincing "now" of last year as it was looking the wrong way down Northumberland Place. This view is looking west with High Street behind me. SJ

  • 'Now' required

Everyone is asked about their movements in an effort to trace who the rising number of victims have been in contact with.

  • 'Now' required

At the railway station, questions are asked about passengers movements. As the sign says, Bath Spa station which is on Dorchester Street.

People queue outside the Assembly Rooms on Bennett Street as they wait to be vaccinated.

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Just east of The Circus. SJ

Steven arrives and makes his way through the crowd towards the Assembly Rooms. Bennett Street, Bath.

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A bicycle or two but no cars. SJ

The Doctor walks past the line of people to find Julie helping out at the emergency vaccination centre. Facing Bennett Street from outside the Assembly Rooms.

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As it looks now. SJ

With the epidemic putting further pressure on their relationship, the couple talk. The Circle with Gay Street to the left of centre.

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Taken from Bennett Street. SJ

Dr. Monk watches his wife return to work as Buckridge turns up. Looking along Bennett Street from The Circle.

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Swivel to the left from above and this is the view. SJ

  • 'Now' required

At the regional television centre, news is broadcast about the outbreak. Television Wales & West's Bath Road Studios at 470 Bath Road in Brislington, Bristol. The building is currently known as 'Here'.

  • 'Now' required

Public service employees are all vaccinated at work. The public house in the left background advertises Cotswold Beers and Chris Bracey recognised it as The Blathwayt on Lansdown Road near to Bath racecourse.

On his way from the hospital, Father Maguire rides his scooter into the city. Stall Street again.

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The view today. SJ

Father Maguire (Cyril Cusack) posts mail sealed in polythene bags. Facing Abbey Church Yard from Stall Street.

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No sign of the postbox. SJ

Police escort a Civil Defence Unit along Spring Gardens Road. In the background, Pulteney Bridge crosses the River Avon.

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It's more of a path next to the Avon, with a road higher up. SJ

The camera tracks the convoy. This open space in front of The Pavilion is now occupied by Bath Sports & Leisure Centre.

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And here is the lovely centre. SJ

The shot continues to follow the procession. The Pavilion comes into view on the right while the tower of St. Mary's Church dominates the horizon.

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Panning right. SJ

The vehicles pass in front of Bath Pavilion. The open space in front of the pavilion is now occupied by Bath Sports & Leisure Centre.

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Those shrubs have shot up. SJ

Police stand by as Buckridge arrives. The steps lead up to North Parade Road on the east side of the River Avon.

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More greenery. SJ

Buckridge worries that the outbreak is beating them. Land next to North Parade Road in front of The Pavilion.

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Not the correct background but a guide for a better "now" as Buckridge is standing roughly underneath the concrete bridge with the Avon river (behind me in this photo) in the background.

After discovering a new contact named Bradley who was staying at The Crossings Hotel, Dr. Monks is called from a meeting with Boswell and Buckridge to see someone asking for him. Looking out onto High Street from the Guildhall.

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Still a bank opposite. SJ

A woman from London tells the Doctor about her friend Ruth's affair with a man named Bradley. Outside the Guildhall on High Street.

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The abbey in the background. SJ

Troops are mobilised to search for the woman known as Mrs. Bradley. Looking towards Bath Street from Hot Bath Street.

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Taken from a pillar on Hot Bath Street. SJ

  • 'Now' required

Railway lines are checked.

Police with dogs scour waste land. John Branston tells us that this is the rear of Calton Road which was demolished within a few years of filming. (RL)

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A general view of the area. I have a feeling that I should be further west, and in winter when the leaves have gone, in Calton Gardens where the properties look newer. SJ

Buckridge is interviewed by television reporter Bruce Lewis (Himself). Kingston Parade with buildings on Abbey Church Yard in the background. Bath Abbey also features in 'Savage Messiah'.

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Now that the previous year's hoarding has gone, a more accurate now is possible and replaces my effort in 2017. SJ

A van drives away to distribute newspapers carrying appeals for information. The tunnel below Bath Spa station says John Branston. (RL)

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Yes, this is just to the south of the station's entrance. SJ

As his wife recovers from smallpox, Dr. Monk walks along North Parade Road before descending steps to The Pavilion where he finds Buckridge.

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Very similar in the foreground, but (unseen) vast changes in the background. SJ

Buckridge supervises as the Civil Defence Corps operate a makeshift washing and sterilizing facility in front of Bath Pavilion.

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Now. SJ

Steven tells Buckridge that he's going to advise Preston that Mrs. Bradley is actually Ruth.

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Framed by the concrete walkway to the leisure centre. SJ

Following her recovery, Julie leaves the hospital followed by Father Maguire. Here we have a wider shot of the former Bath Spa nurses home main entrance says John Branston. It is now the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel. (RL)

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Topiary has replaced the side panels. SJ

Father Maguire and Julie discuss Ruth and Steven's brief relationship with her. The former Bath Spa nurses home as identified by John Branston. (RL)

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This can be found between North Road and Sydney Road in the east of Bath close to Cleveland Walk seen in 013-015. SJ

  • 'Now' required

At The Crossings Hotel, firemen tackle a blaze started by Ruth Preston, the last smallpox carrier. This looks like a set built for destruction.