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Justice, James Robertson (1905-1975)


Main image of Justice, James Robertson (1905-1975)

An irascible character player who began acting when nearly 40 at the Players Theatre in 1944 and entered films in the same year (Champagne Charlie, d. Alberto Cavalcanti; Fiddlers Three, d. Harry Watt; For Those in Peril, d. Charles Crichton). Also a journalist and naturalist, as well as a falconry expert, he had made about 30 films before the role of senior surgeon, Sir Lancelot Spratt, in Doctor in the House (d. Ralph Thomas, 1954) and its sequels made his booming, bearded figure and sarcastic locutions popular with filmgoers.

He was never required to do anything very subtle, but what he did was enough to keep him extremely busy for 25 years, and included the strong simple Evans in Scott of the Antarctic (d. Charles Frend, 1948), Little John (of course) in The Story of Robin Hood... (d. Ken Annakin, 1952) and Henry VIII in The Sword and the Rose (d. Annakin, 1953). He also filmed in Hollywood, in David and Bathsheba (US, d. Henry King, 1951), Anne of the Indies (US, d. Jacques Tourneur, 1951), and others.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Alligator Named Daisy, An (1955)Alligator Named Daisy, An (1955)

All-star farce starring Donald Sinden, Diana Dors and an alligator

Thumbnail image of Champagne Charlie (1944)Champagne Charlie (1944)

Lively recreation of the bawdy atmosphere of Victorian music-halls

Thumbnail image of Doctor in the House (1954)Doctor in the House (1954)

Hugely popular medical comedy, the first in a long-running series

Thumbnail image of Face of Fu Manchu, The (1965)Face of Fu Manchu, The (1965)

Christopher Lee as the notorious oriental master criminal

Thumbnail image of Pool of London (1950)Pool of London (1950)

Two sailors on leave are caught up in a diamond smuggling racket

Thumbnail image of Scott of the Antarctic (1948)Scott of the Antarctic (1948)

Lavish recreation of Captain Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole

Thumbnail image of Whisky Galore! (1949)Whisky Galore! (1949)

Gently subversive Ealing comedy about whisky smuggling in the Hebrides

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