Dock Brief, The

Date: 1962
Director: James Hill
Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British Studios

Stars: Peter Sellers, Richard Attenborough, Beryl Reid, David Lodge, Frank Pettingell
Location(s): London, Surrey

Region(s): ,


An incompetent barrister is assigned to defend a wife murderer.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

Also known as ‘Trial and Error’ (US Title)


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In flashback, the story of Wilfred Morgenhall (Peter Sellers) is told by a later version of himself accompanied by accused murderer, Herbert Fowle. The grounds of Littleton Park House at Shepperton Studios in Surrey.

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Wilfred and his tennis Opponent (Audrey Nicholson) get drinks for themselves. Littleton Park House has featured in many productions including 'Joey Boy', 'The Constant Husband', 'The Earth Dies Screaming' and 'The Belles of St. Trinian's'.

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Herbert and his brief continue to watch as Wilfred learns that he has passed the bar examination. More of Littleton Park House.

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Moving on, the story advances to the wedding day of Herbert (Richard Attenborough) and Doris Fowle (Beryl Reid). St. Mary Magdalene church in Littleton, Surrey with Squire's Bridge Road in the distance.

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The Photographer (Frank Thornton) attempts to take a decent picture of Doris, who can't stop laughing. St. Mary Magdalene church has been seen from various angles in 'The Jigsaw Man', 'Adventures of a Private Eye' and 'Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter'.

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After Herbert is found guilty, the unsuccessful barrister walks through town. To the left are the windows of Bentalls Department Store on the corner of Wood Street and Clarence Street in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey.

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Wilfred crosses the road. Market Place in Kingston upon Thames with the Market House in the centre background. The Market Place was seen in 'The Lost Hours' and 'Operation Diplomat'.

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The solicitor enters a pub to drown his sorrows. The public house is The Druid's Head Hotel in Market Place, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey.

The Home Office overrules the verdict and Fowle is declared not guilty. The familiar gateway to Wandsworth Prison on Heathfield Road in London SW18 that was also used in 'The Criminal', 'There Was a Crooked Man', 'Time Without Pity’, ‘Daybreak’, ‘Calculated Risk’, ‘Emergency’ and 'Fog for a Killer'.

image no 9

Just need to be a tiny little closer. SJ

Wilfred and Herbert cross Westminster Bridge SW1 which has been driven, walked and run across so many times before, and since, in 'Genevieve', 'The Admirable Crichton', 'Magicians', '28 Days Later . . . ' . . . . .

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Peter provides this replication of the shot from ground level.