The Films of Petula Clark
That Woman Opposite
(City After Midnight)

Released May 1957 [UK]
Crime - 85 minutes


The British That Woman Opposite is better known by its American title City After Midnight. Dan O'Herlihy stars as detective Kinross, presently investigating the murder of antique dealer Sir Maurice (Wilfred Hyde-White). The principal suspects are the dead man's son Toby (Jack Watling) and Toby's American fiancee Eve (Phyllis Kirk). Digging a bit deeper, Kinross discovers that Eve's ex-husband Ned (William Franklyn) had a vested interest in a rare snuff box owned by the murder victim--and it's just possible that Eve would have been his accomplice if he he'd wanted to commit the murder. Based on a novel by John Dickson Carr, That Woman Opposite bears some resemblance to the 1962 Kim Novak-Jack Lemmon starrer The Notorious Landlady.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Petula plays the victim's daughter.
Based on the novel The Emperor's Snuffbox by John Dickson Carr.


Sir Maurice.........
Janice Lawes........
Toby Lawes..........
Lady Lawes..........

Phyllis Kirk
Dan O'Herlihy
Wilfrid Hyde White
Petula Clark
Jack Watling
William Franklyn
Margaret Withers

  • Directed by Compton Bennett
  • A Monarch-British Lion Production
  • Screenplay by Compton Bennett


         "That Woman Opposite" is an engrossing tale of murder in a French villa. It was adapted to the screen from a book by thriller writer John Dickson Car, titled "The Emperior's Snuff-Box" and all lovers of sound detective fiction will want to see this brilliant example of the author at his best.
         The atmosphere of the film's setting, a quiet town on the coast of France has been effectively captured and the action of the plot is briskly paced. Suspense builds nicely to a neat climax.


    •      At last, a British thriller with class. Not just because it boasts two better than average Hollywood stars, but because here's a gloss that usually comes with an import label. Danh O'Herlihy is the insurance sleuth untangling a murder web in a sleepy off-season French resort. A benevolent antique collector is killed. Whodunnit? Surely not one of the blueblood English family? Surely not the nice American widow across the road? But they're not what they seem, you soon discover. From a rambling plot, Compton Bennett has tightly scripted a lightweight but suspenseful thriller.
           O'Herlihy and Phyllis Kirk, as the widow, are a satin smooth twosome and scoring heavily for the home team are Wilfrid Hyde White, as the collector; Petula Clark and Jack Watling as his daughter and son.
      Picturegoer - June 1957

    • Don't expect too much of this modest film, based on John Dickson Carr's thriller The Emperor's Snuffbox, and you'll be agreeably entertained by an efficiently directed work graced by many recognisable faces. The setting is a small French town where an English antique dealer is found murdered. An inconsequential plot of intrigue and romance follows, as a private detective (Dan O`Herlihy) attempts to solve the mystery. American actress Phyllis Kirk was imported to play the romantic lead, although Petula Clark, William Franklin and Wilfred Hyde White will be more familiar to British audiences.
      BB - Radio Times Review

         "I have difficulty in persuading people to forget the old Petula Clark and accept the new Me," said the blonde vivacious Petula Clark who is on of the stars of the British film "That Woman Opposite."
         Pet is willing to push overboard her song and dance routine to do some real acting. She was not getting the parts she wanted to play when she appeared in pictures for Mr. J. Arthur Rank and she turned down a chance to play opposite Norman Wisdom in his first film "Trouble in Store" because she did not want to be a stooge. That let her out to angle for the parts she had set her heart on. In "That Woman Opposite" in which she is starred with Phyllis Kirk, Dan O'Herlihy and Wilfred Hyde White, she plays a straight dramatic role as the distraught young daughter of a wealthy collector of antiques who is murdered.

    American lobby card

    British Poster


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