Hell Is Sold Out

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Hell Is Sold Out
"Hell Is Sold Out" (1951).jpg
Lobby card
Directed by Michael Anderson
Screenplay by
Based on Hell Is Sold Out
by Maurice Dekobra
Music by Hans May
Cinematography Jack Asher
Edited by Hazel Wilkinson
Raymond Stross Productions (credited as Zelstro Productions)[1]
Distributed by
Release date
  • June 1951 (1951-06)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Hell Is Sold Out is a 1951 British drama film directed by Michael Anderson and starring Mai Zetterling, Herbert Lom and Richard Attenborough.[1] The film is based on the novel of the same name by Maurice Dekobra.[2]


A Swedish-born woman, Valerie Martin, posing as the widow of French Resistance novelist Dominic Danges, ensconces herself at his home after the end of the Second World War, and after having written under his name "Hell is Sold Out", a best selling novel. She did this after finding that the last book published under his name was a republication of her diary, "Boundless Ecstasy", found by his publisher among his writings when he was thought dead; he had been taken prisoner during the war.

He returns home. The tangle ensues putting the reputations of all involved at risk because there is interest in the book to be serialized, made into a film, and reshape his reputation in the US as a former ladies man. They argue and in order to return to Sweden she calls on Pierre Bonnet, a fellow prisoner of Domenic. She confesses to Pierre that she and Dominic are unmarried, and does not want Dominic to know of her whereabouts. A love triangle develops when Pierre falls in love with her.[1] [3]

Pierre falls ill due to shrapnel in his head, and she is found out when she encounters Dominic in Pierre's room. Dominic lets known that he is not the author of the best seller. Dominic and Pierre have a heart to heart. Pierre misleads Valerie into believing that Dominic has dedicated his latest work to her. They reconcile.



The film is on Blu-ray.[4] Amazon.com released the film on DVD on 31 August 2010.[5]

Critical reception

TV Guide wrote, "despite the portentous title, this is a farce, and a good one at that." [6]


  1. ^ a b c "Hell is Sold Out". British Film Institute. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Goble, Alan (1999). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. London, Melbourne, Munich. and New Providence, New Jersey: Bowker-Saur. ISBN 9783598114922. 
  3. ^ Richard Attenborough Collection (4 movies on 2 DVDS): Featuring, 'Hell is Sold Out', 'Sea of Sand', 'Boys in Brown', and 'Morning Departure' ". WWW.VCIEntertainment.com.
  4. ^ "Hell Is Sold Out". Blue Ray. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Hell Is Sold Out". Amazon.com. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "Hell Is Sold Out". 

External links

  • Hell Is Sold Out on IMDb

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