Green for Danger (PG)
+ Presentation from Dr Tom Clutton-Brock

Green for Danger is a 1946 British thriller film, based on the 1944 detective novel of the same name by Christianna Brand. The film stars Alastair Sim, Trevor Howard, Sally Gray and Rosamund John. The film was shot at Pinewood Studios in England. The title is a reference to the colour-coding used on anaesthetists’ gas cylinders.  In August 1944, during the V-1 Doodlebug offensive on London, a murder is committed in a rural British hospital somewhere in the Southeast of England.  A patient dies on the operating table after being injured by a flying bomb. The anaesthetist has had a patient die in similar circumstances previously.  Inspector Cockrill is asked to investigate when the theatre Sister is killed after revealing that the death was not an accident. Cockrill’s investigation is hampered because of a competition over the affections of one of the nurses.  After another murder attempt, the inspector restages the operation in order to unmask the murderer.  The murder “weapon” was the gas carbon dioxide delivered in error from a re-painted cylinder.

Over 3 million patients have a general anaesthetic in the UK every year.  To many, the thought of anaesthesia is frightening and is associated with all sorts of perceived risk and dangers.  In reality, over the last 50 or so years, anaesthesia has become a remarkably safe procedure and there is a need to better educate both patients and the public about what really goes on.  The talk will explain why the murder which forms the basis for the death under anaesthesia in the film could not happen in modern anaesthetic practice.  Using easily understood images and examples it will explain the numerous safety features built into modern anaesthetic equipment.  Better drugs, better training and better monitoring have all played their part in making anaesthesia as safe as it is today.  The talk will be informative, entertaining and reassuring.  The film is a wonderful flash back to the 1940’s with delightful scenes of intrigue, mischief and romance.


Dr Tom Clutton-Brock qualified in medicine from Bristol University (UK) in 1980. He went on to gain an FRCP, FRCA and FFICM. Tom has been a Senior Lecturer and then Reader in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Birmingham (UK) since 1990.  He has maintained a career long research interest in medical technology with particular interests in patient safety, monitoring systems and point-of-care testing.  Tom was a (part time) Senior Medical Officer (Devices Clinical) at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for many years.  As well as having a clinical commitment at University Hospitals Birmingham, Tom is Associate Medical Director at UHB, Chair of NICE Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee and a past member of Council at the Royal College of Anaesthetists where he chaired the Safe Anaesthesia Liaison Group.  Since 2013 Tom has been the Clinical Director of the NIHR Trauma Management Health Technology Cooperative and from October 2014 the Interim and then Deputy Director of the Institute of Translational Medicine in Birmingham.  In 2016 he became Director of the ERDF Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre and was named as one of the “100 most influential drivers of the health technology revolution, globally”

The Science on Screen ‘Green for Danger’ talk and screening is one of the many events and activities taking place across the UK to celebrate a quarter of a century of anaesthesia and the Royal College of Anaesthetists. For more information please see here for details:

Date & Time

17th October 2017 @ 6.15pm


The Barbican
Cinema 2