An Inspector CallsAbout a month ago I had lunch with a friend, Julian Priestley, who was for ten years Secretary-General of the European Parliament, which is a massive achievement. Julian is now, among other things, an accomplished author of several books about the Parliament. We got talking about the great novelist, playwright and broadcaster, J.B. Priestley (Julian is a scion of the  family). I had just started his 1962 autobiographical work, Margin Released, but was ashamed to admit I had not read many of his novels. On the other hand, I enthused about his plays. In particular, I had seen Stephen Daldry’s extraordinary 1990s revival of An Inspector Calls, a play which remains as much of a biting critique of class and privilege as it must have seemed in the 1940s. ‘Oh,’ Julian replied, ‘then you absolutely must see the 1954 film with Alastair Sim as the Inspector.’ So that is what we did tonight and it really is an excellent film, with the brilliant Sim turning in a creepy and spooky performance. Indeed, the director, Guy Hamilton, deliberately exploits that spookiness to give the Inspector a more supernatural air. Well worth watching.