Director: Francis Searle
Cast: Glyn Houston, Zena Walker, Dermot Walsh
Synopsis: Police search for the only three donors with the right blood needed for an operation on a little girl.
In a surprisingly graphic shot for an early-60s b-movie, we see a truck plough into little Marion Bell (Candy Pibworth) after we see her wandering the streets without adult supervision. Considering the force with which the tonne-plus truck strikes her, it’s something of a surprise to learn that not only has the little girl survived the encounter, but she doesn’t have a mark on her face as she lies in a hospital bed awaiting blood donors for the vital operation necessary to save her life. Trouble is, Marion’s blood group is so rare that there are only three suitable donors in the entire country. One of them’s a child-killing prisoner who refuses to donate unless he receives a reprieve, one’s a boffin whose been passing secrets to the other side and who immediately goes on the run when he discovers that the police are looking for him, and the third is an English football player about to play in his 100th – and final – England international.
The race against time format should lend a measure of energy to this modestly produced (by the Butcher Brothers) British b-movie, but the pace is so sedate that it fails to generate hardly any excitement. Glyn Houston (Turn the Key Softly, Are You Being Served?) plays the copper charged with tracking down the potential donors, but he’s not much of a cop, though – he doesn’t even give chase when the scientist absconds through his lab window, even though he’s only just left the facility. There’s a lukewarm sub-plot which sees Marion’s separated parents (Dermot Walsh – Sea of Sand – and Zena Walker – The Dresser) tentatively rebuilding their relationship as the clock ticks down, but that too is a strictly by-the-numbers device which lacks pathos. Although Emergency is well-produced for a low budget movie, the storyline is nothing more than ordinary.
(Reviewed 9th September 2015)