Dangerous Moonlight

Dangerous Moonlight (known as Suicide Squadron in the USA) is a 1941 British film, starring Anton Walbrook, best known for its musical score written by Richard Addinsell with orchestrations by Roy Douglas, which includes the Warsaw Concerto. Among the costumes, the gowns were designed by Cecil Beaton.

During the Nazi invasion of Poland, American reporter Carole Peters meets Polish airman Stefan Radetzky (Anton Walbrook), also a piano virtuoso. Stefan is among the last to escape Warsaw; months later, in New York, he and Carole meet again, and marry. But the thought of his going back to fight is not only personally terrifying to Carole, but seems a great waste of his musical talent.

Interestingly, Anton Walbrook was an accomplished amateur pianist, so his hands are seen playing in the film, however the music on the soundtrack is played by the professional pianist Louis Kentner.

Starring: Anton Walbrook, Sally Gray, Derrick De Marney, Cecil Parker, Percy Parsons

Dangerous Moonlight (1941) Opening Screen Title


The Times, in its obituary of Brian in 1986, commented that Dangerous Moonlight (1941) was "his best known picture", "a big popular success" which "launched a cycle of pictures with concerti as their theme music" Brian worked closely with Richard Addinsell on the theme music Warsaw Concerto and Brian loved this piano piece, it is a beautiful song, all nine minutes of it and it features in this section and you also have an opportunity to listen to it and watch a performance in the Multimedia section- both film and audio clips. Enjoy, it as it is very evocative of Brian. This absolutely beautiful rendition is performed by Italian pianist Annarita Santagada who can be contacted at the following address: annarita.santagada@virgilio.it

Anton Walbrook (Centre with cigarette) and Derrick de Marney in Dangerous Moonlight (1941)

Anton Walbrook (centre with cigarette) and Derrick de Marney in Dangerous Moonlight (1941) - Photo courtesy of the BFI


Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst the film brings a love story to the devastation of Poland and the bravery of its pilots. One of the pilots is a brilliant pianist and composer and the story of his creation of Warsaw Concerto, love and then duty brings the film together. It is a tribute to the Battle of Britain pilots and the special part played by the Polish squadrons. This film by Adam Jones-Lloyd is in 4 parts profiling the special screening and concert arranged by Hitchin Film as part of the Benslow Music International Concert Series and comprises:

 PART ONE the piano piece performed by John Paul Ekins overlayed with film images and other context
PART TWO the Battle of Britain by Air Vice Marshall (retired) Alan Merriman
PART THREE Brian Desmond Hurst film director by Allan Esler Smith
PART FOUR John Paul Ekins on his approach to playing this piece.


You can view here:                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT2j01tOxZQ