My Brother's Keeper (1948) Jack Warner, Jane Hylton, George Cole, Bill Owen, David Tomlinson, Yvonne Owen, Raymond Lovell, Beatrice Varley, Amy Veness, Brenda Bruce, Susan Shaw Movie Review

My Brother's Keeper (1948)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jack Warner and George Cole in My Brother's Keeper (1948)

Warner & Cole are on the Run

George Martin (Jack Warner - Against the Wind) had been a war hero but on returning to civvy street turned to a life of crime, which is how he ends up on his way to prison, handcuffed to naive youth Willie Stannard (George Cole - The Happiest Days of Your Life) who despite protesting his innocence has been found guilty of rape. When Martin makes his escape he does so taking Stannard with him, first going to a garage where his mistress works before then heading up to what they think is an abandoned cottage. But when a hunter shows up events turn dark and having managed to remove their cuffs Martin continues on the run whilst Stannard hands himself in. With the police on Martin's trail the net is closing as is the story which reporter Ronnie Waring (David Tomlinson - The Way to the Stars) is writing as whilst on his honeymoon has been ordered by his boss to cover the story.

"My Brother's Keeper" is one of those movies which throws us straight in to the mix as we come across Martin and Stannard on the run and cuffed together with it clear that Martin is the seasoned criminal dragging along the naive and frightened Stannard. What that means is that "My Brother's Keeper" then has two stories for the price of one as through exposition we get to know the back stories of Martin and Stannard from the crimes they committed to how they ended up escaping, something which Martin had planned. But then we have the drama of their actual actions of being fugitives with not just the police following them but also reporter Ronnie as he covers it for the press.

Now "My Brother's Keeper" is a solid enough movie with lots of different layers as we have the drama of Martin and Stannard but then some lightness when it comes to Waring trying to cover the story. There is also some nice camera work and a brisk movement when it comes to telling the story with barely a scene feeling like filler as character depth is continuously revealed. This is especially the case when it comes to Martin being the older, controlling criminal whilst Stannard is the naive young guy who has never been in trouble before and so is full of fear as to what will happen to him.

That actually leads me to where "My Brother's Keeper" works for most and that is the performance of Jack Warner. Now Warner certainly brings to life the devious and corrupt nature of Martin but it seems this works best for those who are familiar with watching Warner playing good guys making it almost a shock to see him so effectively play a wrong'un. At the same time George Cole brings out the naivety of young Stannard just as well making him the easy to manipulate youth gripped by fear of the unknown when it comes to prison.

What this all boils down to is that "My Brother's Keeper" ends up a solid little drama/thriller with nothing wrong about it but then there is nothing which makes this really stand out from the crowd either.