1hr 42mins
Dir: Thorold Dickenson
Starring: Mervyn Johns and Nova Pilbeam

A commando raid is jeopardised by careless talk

This propaganda film was originally commissioned by the British War Office as a training film to promote the government propaganda message that “Careless talk costs lives”. After being taken on by Ealing Studios, the project was expanded, and given a successful commercial release. After the war and up until at least the mid-1960s, services in British Commonwealth countries continued to use The Next of Kin as part of security training. It is sometimes referred to as Next of Kin without the definite article. There are a number of railway journey sequences in this film that take place entirely in the studio with just one darkened stock shot of an LMS ‘Royal Scot’ Class 6P 4-6-0 on an express in the Lune Gorge. This is the much used shot that first appeared in A Honeymoon Adventure (1931), followed by No Limit (1935), Quiet Wedding (1941), The Black Sheep of Whitehall (1942), The Echo Murders (1945), and The Hangman Waits (1947).

The silhouette of a ‘Royal Scot’ looms forth out of the dark, but it is a shame that the genuine railway shots get no better than this