THe Girl In The Headlines (1963) | a.k.a. Model Murder Case – Posters

Whodunit based on the novel The Nose on my Face by actor Laurence Payne. This cleverly plotted thriller directed by ex-Ealing editor/producer Michael Truman centres on the efforts of cop Ian Hendry to prise clues to the identity of a model’s killer from her friends and family. Hendry’s committed performance and Fraser’s underplayed support dominate the film as the two policemen on the case.

Inspector Birkett (Ian Hendry) and dependable deputy Sergeant Saunders (Ronald Fraser) are called to the scene of the murder of 22-year-old fashion model Ursula Gray. The only clues to help solve the crime are a hidden gun in the toilet cistern and a ball point pen. Birkett initially questions major television star David Dane (James Villiers), and fellow flat resident who indicates that Ursula was a party girl who took drugs and led a liberal sex-life with numerous partners. The following morning the Inspector interrogates her mother (Margaret Johnston), who confesses that she wasn’t close to Ursula and that her daughter led an unsettled life, and ex-school friend and fellow model Perlita Barker (Natasha Parry), who reveals little as her domineering husband Hammond (Peter Arne) interrupts the conversation. Just as the Inspector and his deputy are about to leave another member of the Barker family arrives, Jordan (Jeremy Brett), who nearly crashes into Birkett’s Jaguar.

At home, Birkett’s daughter picks up the ballpoint pen recovered from the scene of the crime, and when it appears out of ink she opens it up and discovers a small piece of paper inside with TTN 2118 written on it. The one connecting factor between many of the suspects is Blakeneys nightclub, and Birkett goes to interview the clubs owner Herter (Kieron More). Later in the day Birkett once again questions Jordan Barker, this time on his boat on the Thames, and the wild-eyed Jordan claims that David Dane had an incriminating audio tape of Ursula and had been bribing her; a claim vehemently denied by Dane. Gradually the existence of a drug ring is uncovered for which Jordan is unwittingly carrying the drugs in his motor boat. The detectives pursue their suspects by river from Rotherhithe to Twickenham and catch them, but the murderer is not discovered until the girl’s funeral.

Extract from Girl in the Headlines in Britmovie

Production Team
Michael Truman: Director
Alan Withy: Art Direction
Stanley Pavey: Cinematography
Frederick Wilson: Film Editing
Elsie Alder: Makeup Department
Wally Schneiderman: Makeup Department
John Addison: Original Music
Vivienne Knight: Script
Patrick Campbell: Script
Stephen Dalby: Sound Department