Ian Hendry In The Secret Place [1957] – Video Of His First Speaking Role In A Film

Ian Hendry was cast as Charles Maitland, a ‘getaway’ car driver, who actually manages to make a pretty quick getaway at the end of his brief appearance in this film; but only after he’s declined to take the job of trying to help the diamond robbers escape with their heist!

This was Ian’s first speaking role in a film, albeit uncredited.

His other early roles in film, with dialogue, are Room at the Top and Bobbikins – both from 1959. Videos of these cameo appearances are also included at the end of this article.

The Secret Place is a British crime film, shot in November 1956 at Pinewood Studios as well as on location in East London and released on 27th May 1957.  It stars Belinda LeeRonald Lewis, and a young David McCallum in a supporting role.

It was also the directorial debut of Clive Donner. He was a defining part of the British New Wave, directing films such as The CaretakerNothing But the BestHere We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and What’s New Pussycat?.

Video Below – Ian Hendry as Charlie Maitland in The Secret Place [1957]

Click the small ‘rectangular box’ in the bottom right corner of the video to view in full-screen mode:

Dialogue

Ian Hendry as ‘Charlie’: “I’m sorry Harry, I do a lot for you but not this…”

George A. Cooper as ‘Harry’: What am I going to tell Gerry?

Ian Hendry as ‘Charlie’: “Tell him to stick to selling cars…”

Plot

Crime heist melodrama set in the bombed out East End of London. A diamond robbery is masterminded by small-time crooks, and an adolescent boy finds himself unwittingly caught up in events, after discovering they’ve hidden the loot in his home.

In East London, young Freddie Hatwood has a crush on kiosk attendant Molly Wilson, who is engaged to Gerry Garter. Gerry is part of a criminal gang who had a hide out at car dealership; Molly’s brother Mike works there. 

Gerry, Mike and their friend Steve are planning a diamond robbery. They need a policeman’s uniform. Molly asks Freddie to borrow the uniform of his policeman father. 

The robber goes ahead. Gerry hides the diamonds inside Molly’s record player. Not knowing this, Molly gives the player to Freddie as a thank you gift. Freddie discovers the diamonds and the gang go after him.

The Secret Place [1957] – Complete Film

Stills – The Secret Place [1957]

A classic London street scene from the 1950s; including the old public telephone box, bus, some classic cars, traditional shopfronts, fashion and a tub or two of Brylcreem too!

The stills includes Ian Hendry, George A. Cooper and a young David McCullum.

Original Film Poster – The Secret Place [1957]

Main Cast

Ian Hendry – Other Early Cameo Roles In Film

Room at the Top [1959]

Until Ian’s role in The Secret Place was discovered recently, I’d always believed that his first speaking role in a film was as ‘Cyril’ in Room at the Top [1959]. Below are three videos which contain all his work in this film.

Bobbikins [1959]

Bobbikins is a much more recent find and addition to Ian’s recorded work. An eagle-eyed fan spotted his cameo appearance as a BBC radio news presenter in this 1959 film. Ian’s third appearance with a speaking role in a film.

Article on Bobbikins [1959]

Lastly, a big thanks to Simon M. for finding The Secret Place online and for locating Ian’s small – but important – first cameo speaking role.

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: ‘Send in the Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman?

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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