Emergency Call (1952)
In the Blood
With a young girl have just days to live her only hope is a life saving blood transfusion, the trouble is that she has an incredibly rare blood type. At a loss Dr. Carter (Anthony Steel) calls on the help of Inspector Lane (Jack Warner) to help track down 3 possible donors. But as Lane tracks down these possible donors it becomes a matter of convincing them to donate blood as each of them from black sailor George (Earl Cameron) to boxer Tim (Freddie Mills) and wanted killer Jackson (Geoffrey Hibbert) all have doubts over doing it.
As I watched "Emergency Call" a smile came across my face as I reckon if someone pitched this medical drama now most studios would not be interested with maybe the exception of Lifetime. But that would be now and whilst I can picture "Emergency Call" as a lifetime movie this is in fact a British b-movie from the early 50s which now works more as a look at the movies of the 50s rather than an exciting, edge of your seat, race against time medical drama.
As such I would be lying if I said that "Emergency Call" was entertaining, it is okay with some nice moments of drama but nothing remarkable. But it does serve up some interesting social scenarios such as the black sailor who has various reasons why he doesn't want to give blood including something which happened during the war. And then there is the wanted killer whose situation ends up precarious and if he had a good heart he would have nothing to lose but might gain something in the process.
I would also be lying if I said there was a memorable performance in the entire movie. Yes there are plenty of familiar faces such as Jack Warner, Sidney James and Earl Cameron but all these actors whilst delivering solid performances only deliver the sort of performance and characters which were common to these forgotten about movies.
What this all boils down to is that "Emergency Call" isn't a bad movie but just another movie from the past which has little value now other than as an example of old British cinema with a few familiar faces.
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