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Strike! (1934)

Red Ensign (original title)
David Barr is the manager and chief designer of a British shipyard (when we still built ships). The shipyard is in financial trouble but Barr has a design for a new ship that will save them... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Carol Goodner ...
June MacKinnon
Frank Vosper ...
Lord Dean
Alfred Drayton ...
Manning
Campbell Gullan ...
Hannay
Percy Parsons ...
Casey
Fewlass Llewellyn ...
Sir Gregory
Henry Oscar ...
Raglan
Allan Jeayes ...
Grierson
Donald Calthrop ...
Macleod
Henry Caine ...
Bassett
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Storyline

David Barr is the manager and chief designer of a British shipyard (when we still built ships). The shipyard is in financial trouble but Barr has a design for a new ship that will save them all. Can he get the ship built in spite of the opposition from his own bankers as well as the rival shipbuilders and their infiltrated militants. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

patriotism | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1934 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Strike!  »

Box Office

Budget:

£12,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Also known as "The Red Ensign" See more »

Quotes

[Of shipyard cranes.]
David Barr: Big aren't they ?
June MacKinnon: Terrifying. How are they worked?
David Barr: Bad language mostly.
June MacKinnon: Yours?
David Barr: No, mine hasn't the necessary horsepower.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Shipbuilders (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
(uncredited)
Written by Wallis Willis
Played at piano by Carol Goodner
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User Reviews

 
If you're at all interested in Powell ...
31 January 2000 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

I expect I'm like most people: I only sat down to watch this film because of the director's name. In many ways it's exactly what I expected. Direction is adroit, the boats and the boat-yards are lovingly filmed; it's by no means a bad bit of work. Money, of course, had to be shaved off the budget somewhere, and - surprisingly, given Powell's later career - the score was the first thing to go: there's a quotation from Smetana's `The Moldau' at the beginning, another at the end, and that's it. Also, no-one had time to polish the script. The romance (for instance) is worked in with such perfunctory terseness it will probably make you laugh.

I was surprised to see myself caught up in the story. The crusading hero (David Barr, played by Leslie Banks) has to be one of the most abrasive the screen has seen: a monomaniac who barks out insults at everyone around him in clipped tones and then wonders why he isn't more popular. I won't even comment on his moral code... And yet, there's no doubt I was on his side. I was even conned into liking him. By the end of the film the most critical thought I could manage was, `Well, it would be a pity to lose the British shipping industry just because its champion is such a jerk.'

Many critics (well ... three, to my knowledge) see the British shipping industry as a metaphor for the British film industry. I'm not sure if they're right or not. But `Red Ensign' is an argument for Britain's quota system in another sense: it shows that directors of obvious talent were allowed an apprenticeship, making films that, on examination decades later, really aren't so bad.


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