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When London Sleeps (1932)

Slippery Rodney Haines runs a high-class gambling joint in Hampstead, while elsewhere in London Lamberti's Fair for the less-well-off is on its last legs. The only link between them seems ... See full summary »

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(play), (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Harold French ...
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Rodney Haines
René Ray ...
Mary
A. Bromley Davenport ...
Col. Grahame
Alexander Field ...
Sam
...
Hilde
Ben Field ...
Lamberti
Barbara Everest ...
Mme Lamberti
Herbert Lomas ...
Pollard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Knight ...
Garnett
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Storyline

Slippery Rodney Haines runs a high-class gambling joint in Hampstead, while elsewhere in London Lamberti's Fair for the less-well-off is on its last legs. The only link between them seems to be Tommy Blyth, whose betting has put him in serious debt with Haines and who fancies Mary, the Lamberti's adopted daughter. In fact, there is a further unexpected link between the two worlds. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

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Plot Keywords:

remake | based on play | See All (2) »

Genres:

Crime

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Release Date:

22 July 1932 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
An unexpected gem
25 May 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I really enjoyed this old fashioned slice of melodrama that ties in a plot involving a struggling fun fair and a gambling joint run by a scheming crook. Although the plot hinges on a massive coincidence that the viewer just can't take seriously, there's something deliciously exciting about the premise and the oddball cast of characters who populate the narrative.

The main character is a toff played by Harold French, a star who later gave up acting and become a director. French is in debt to a dastardly crook played by the larger-than-life Francis L. Sullivan who gives a wonderfully old-fashioned performance that Tod Slaughter would be proud of. Sullivan was perhaps best known for his role as Mr. Jaggers in David Lean's GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

While horse racing and gambling plays a backdrop to this part of the tale, the viewer is also introduced to the woes at a local fun fair where a lack of cash and competition from new-fangled cinemas mean it's the end of the road. However, mystery surrounds the background of orphan girl Rene Ray, and the two story lines end up colliding. Ray is young and lovely and everything you would want from an actress in this part.

The short running time means that the focus is on action and incident, and all of this builds up to an electrifying and fiery climax that is incredibly well staged on what must have been a tight budget. The high rise stunts don't disappoint either. WHEN London SLEEPS, despite being an all but forgotten film, is a highly entertaining drama-cum-thriller and feels much more modern than a film made in 1932. I recommend it.


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