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Starring: Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, David Oyelowo, Ruth Wilson, Harris Dickinson, Shirley Henderson, Sian Clifford, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Reece Shearsmith, Charlie Cooper
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Period mystery thriller directed by Tom George. Set in 1950s London, See How They Run (2022) follows a desperate Hollywood film producer set out to turn a popular West End play into a film. However, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. When world-weary Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell), and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan), take on the case, the two find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid theater underground, investigating the mysterious homicide at their own peril.
Our Favorite Quotes:'It's always the insignificant detail that catches the killer in the end.' - Richard Attenborough (See How They Run) Click To Tweet
Leo Kopernick: Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. In my opinion, a second-rate murder mystery. Not that I’ve seen it, you understand. But it’s a whodunit. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
Leo Kopernick: You know the drill. An interminable prologue in which all the key players are introduced. You get a sense of the world they inhabit, and then the most unlikable character gets bumped off. Cue the entrance of a world-weary detective, who comes in and pokes his nose around. Talks to witnesses. Takes a couple of wrong turns. And then gathers all the suspects in the drawing room, and points the finger at the least likely chump because of the way the guy, I don’t know, ties his shoelaces. But what do I know? The Limeys, they just lap it up. The play’s a smash hit. Not to mention a cash cow.
Edana Romney: I sense that death is close at hand.
John Woolf: It’s probably just a draft.
Leo Kopernick: This is where I come in. Leo Kopernick’s the name. Big shot Hollywood director. Hired to make the film adaptation marginally less boring than the play. Easier said than done when the writer’s a giant pompous a**. Mervyn Cocker-Norris.
John Woolf: Mervyn. Shouldn’t you be home? I thought we had a deadline?
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: I thought so too. But then our esteemed director tore up the screenplay and told me to start all over again. He’s of the opinion that a modern audience will walk out in protest if they’re not served at least one violent death in the opening frames. Suffice to say, we are no longer on speaking terms.
Leo Kopernick: [from across the room] Merv, London’s most sensitive writer.
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: I will not stand here and be insulted.
Leo Kopernick: [as Mervyn walks off] Well, I guess he’s going to go over there and be insulted.
Richard Attenborough: It’s only fair to warn you that I learned to box in the RAF.
Leo Kopernick: Yeah? Well, I learned to fly a plane in Gleason’s Gym.
Leo Kopernick: [as he’s about to be killed] I guess I should have seen this coming. It’s always the most unlikable character who gets bumped off. It’s a whodunit. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
Inspector Stoppard: [as they walk onto the stage] Signs of a struggle.
Constable Stalker: Actually, sir, I believe that happened when Mrs. Boyle was killed.
Inspector Stoppard: Mrs. Boyle? Who’s…
Constable Stalker: Yes, sir. She’s that woman in the front row there.
Inspector Stoppard: Well, she seems to have bounced back.
Constable Stalker: I do like a good murder.
Inspector Stoppard: Yes, thank you, Constable.
Constable Stalker: Seems he was killed in the costume store initially, and then he was deposited here. Staged, so to speak.
Constable Stalker: [as Stoppard gives her a look] Sorry, sir.
Constable Stalker: [to Stoppard] Yeah, that’s the ski that he took in the face, sir. And I’m afraid it was downhill from there. Oh. Sorry, sir. That one just came out on its own.
Constable Stalker: [to Stoppard] Perhaps they were all in on it together, sir.
'It's a whodunit. You've seen one, you've seen them all.' - Leo Kopernick (See How They Run) Click To Tweet
Petula Spencer: Tell me, how much longer do you intend to keep us all hostage here?
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: Or is that the idea? “Let the galled jade wince.” Gather all the suspects, under one roof, and then interrogate each of us in turn until the mystery’s solved.
Constable Stalker: [to Stoppard] Mervyn Cocker-Norris. Overrated playwright.
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: Celebrated playwright.
Constable Stalker: Oh, I’m so sorry sir. I can’t read me own handwriting.
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: We are no longer merely suspects. We are also potential victims.
Constable Stalker: What part of France are you from, sir?
Constable Stalker: Ah, right.
Commissioner Harrold Scott: Not to put too fine a point on it, Inspector, but your latest blunder is front page news. Fleet Street is all over this, like hot jam on a Devonshire scone. You are slap-bang in the crosshairs. Now, we need to do everything we can to make sure the bullet doesn’t miss you and hit me.
Leo Kopernick: [referring to the script] It’s horses**t!
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: No, it isn’t! Not all of it!
'No flashbacks. They are crass, lazy, and they interrupt the flow of the story. In my opinion, they are the last refuge of a moribund imagination. Whatever next? A caption that says, “Three weeks later?”' - Mervyn Cocker-Norris Click To Tweet
Constable Stalker: That’s that then, sir. It’s as good as a confession.
Inspector Stoppard: Let’s not jump to conclusions, Constable.
Inspector Stoppard: Tell me, do you write everything down in that little notebook?
Constable Stalker: Only if it’s important, sir.
Inspector Stoppard: How do you know if it’s important?
Constable Stalker: Well, I’ll just sort of put everything in as we go, and then down the line, when we know what’s important, we’ll know that it’s already in the notebook.
Inspector Stoppard: So you do write everything down?
Constable Stalker: Yeah, everything.
Inspector Stoppard: That’s what I thought.
Constable Stalker: [relaying Mervyn’s words] “I’ll kill you for this, Kopernick. You b****rd.”
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: Well, obviously, taken out of context.
Leo Kopernick: [flashback, three weeks later] I pitched a new ending, Cockamamie-Novice over here locks himself in the bathroom.
John Woolf: Is this instead of the car chase?
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: As well as. I think he thinks “denouement” is French for “shootout”.
'People don't rip out other people's tongues because of creative differences.' - Inspector Stoppard (See How They Run) Click To Tweet
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: It’s preposterous, and totally out of keeping with the rest of the film.
Leo Kopernick: Oh, who cares? The audience only ever remembers the last twenty minutes.
Mervyn Cocker-Norris: Oh, poppycock.
Leo Kopernick: Hitchcock, actually.
Constable Stalker: I’m doing it again aren’t I, sir? Jumping to conclusions.
Inspector Stoppard: Conclusions. Yeah. Little bit.
Constable Stalker: I’d say this is the type of thing that made you want to become a police officer, was it? Me? I just sort of fell into it really. They needed people after the war, and I needed the money, so. No, it’s true. The hours can be unsociable, but I can’t type, or stand the sight of blood. So, that ruled out secretary for me.
Constable Stalker: Sir, Woolf killed Kopernick to hush up the affair. Case closed.
Inspector Stoppard: I think if that was the case, he wouldn’t have volunteered the information.
Constable Stalker: So, then he’s in the clear?
Inspector Stoppard: No, not necessarily. He might have killed Kopernick for another reason entirely.
Inspector Stoppard: [referring to seeing Stoppard coming out of the pub] I’d only gone in there to get rid of the taste of the mouthwash.
Constable Stalker: So you had a gin, sir.
Inspector Stoppard: It’s an antiseptic. I had a filling.
Constable Stalker: I thought you said it was a routine checkup.
Inspector Stoppard: I see we’ve read the chapter on interrogation techniques.
'This beanpole assaulted me, and I woke up in a carpet.' - Edana Romney (See How They Run) Click To Tweet
Constable Stalker: Have you seen the play, sir?
Commissioner Harrold Scott: Oh. Yes. I’m afraid I took the wife for her birthday. Of course, it didn’t fool me for a moment. I knew who did it right away. She was baffled though. Even after the chap explained everything. It was a trying night for all concerned. I’ll stick to flowers in future.
Constable Stalker: Yes, always a safe bet, sir.
Dennis Corrigan: He had on like a darkish overcoat.
Inspector Stoppard: I see. Anything else?
Dennis Corrigan: A pair of trousers. And a hat. It was on his head.
Inspector Stoppard: So, what did he do that made you suspicious?
Dennis Corrigan: It wasn’t so much what he did, it was more, you know, the way he did it.
Inspector Stoppard: Right. How did he do it?
Dennis Corrigan: Well, sort of suspiciously.