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Adapted from the novel by Elizabeth Craik it tells the story of John Halifax who, despite humble beginnings, becomes a highly respected local businessman. As partner in a mill he weathers the turbulent economic times of the early 1800s.
This is an archetypal quota quickie made by the studios that specialised in making quota quickies for distribution by American film companies thereby circumventing the protectionist provisions of the 1928 Quota Act.So this film is 56 minutes long which will mean that Twickenham would have been paid £5600 by Radio Pictures.So Twickenhams profit would be that amount less the actual cost of production.So every method that could be used would be adopted to cut costs.These are all evident here.A thriller in a country house where the action takes place at night means that sets used previously can be fertilized.Editing is cut to a minimum.This means that actors are grouped together so when it comes time for them to say their lines they walk towards the camera,say their lines and walk back to their original marks.It is a bonus to add in an American character actor,in this case Ben Welden.This merely impresses the British audience as there is no chance that RKO Radio will release it in the states.The title is the most sinister aspect of this film.
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