IMDb > Sidewalks of London (1938)
St. Martin's Lane
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Sidewalks of London (1938) More at IMDbPro »St. Martin's Lane (original title)


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Release Date:
15 February 1940 (USA) See more »
A Heart-Stirring Drama of Peace-Time London! (original poster) See more »
On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Long live the buskers of London See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles Laughton ... Charles Staggers

Vivien Leigh ... Liberty aka Libby

Rex Harrison ... Harley Prentiss
Larry Adler ... Constantine Dan
Tyrone Guthrie ... Gentry
Maire O'Neill ... Mrs. Such
Gus McNaughton ... Arthur Smith
Polly Ward ... Frankie
Basil Gill ... Magistrate
Helen Haye ... Selina
David Burns ... Hackett
Phyllis Stanley ... Della
Edward Lexy ... Mr. Such
Clare Greet ... Old Maud
Alf Goddard ... Doggie
Cyril Smith ... Black Face
Romilly Lunge ... Jan Duchesi
Ronald Ward ... Jack Temperley
Carroll Gibbons ... Himself - Orchestra Leader
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clifford Buckton ... Man Outside Theatre (uncredited)
Bartlett Cormack ... Strang (uncredited)
Edie Martin ... Libby's Dresser (uncredited)
Ronald Shiner ... Barman (uncredited)
John Singer ... Autograph Hunter (uncredited)
Jerry Verno ... Drunk (uncredited)

Directed by
Tim Whelan 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Bartlett Cormack  writer
Clemence Dane  writer
Charles Laughton  writer
Erich Pommer  writer
Tim Whelan  writer

Produced by
Erich Pommer .... producer
Charles Laughton .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Arthur Johnston 
Cinematography by
Jules Kruger 
Film Editing by
Robert Hamer 
Hugh Stewart 
Production Design by
Thomas N. Morahan  (as Tom Morahan)
Art Direction by
Thomas N. Morahan 
Costume Design by
John Armstrong 
Production Management
Roland Gillett .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Philip Brandon .... assistant director
Sound Department
Jack Rogerson .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Gus Drisse .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Geoffrey Foot .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Frederick Lewis .... music assistant (as Fred Lewis)
Muir Mathieson .... musical director
Jack Beaver .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Frederick Lewis .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Lionel Salter .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Philip Buchel .... choreographer
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"St. Martin's Lane" - UK (original title)
See more »
85 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Did You Know?

Made in London just before England's entrance into the Second World War, this film was co-produced by a refugee from Hitler - the great German producer of "Metropolis" and many other classic UFA films - Erich Pommer. It was directed by an American from Hollywood, Tim Whelan, and features another American, the great harmonica virtuoso, Larry Adler, who was to return to live in exile in England after the war when he was blacklisted in the U.S. Adler went on write and play the score for the classic English comedy Genevieve (1953). The role of the tall busker Gentry is played by Tyrone Guthrie who would be knighted and would one day become Artistic Director of Canada's Stratford Festival and founder of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. The film is edited by Robert Hamer who would go on to direct the Ealing Studio comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).See more »
Revealing mistakes: In the scene where Libby wrecks Charlie's apartment and holds the sewing machine up to throw it, the figure who enters through the door with his back to the camera is clearly a body double for Charles Laughton.See more »
Liberty 'Libby':Just a minute! Look here, mister, who does this lovely world belong to, eh? To the people who live on it, you say? Well, I'm one of them. And I've got just the same taste as all the rest. You should be surprised. I get hungry. I get thirsty. I get cold. I enjoy smoke and a permanent wave, and whatever I can get in the way of extras. And why shouldn't I have them?See more »
Movie Connections:
Shine on Harvest MoonSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
24 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Long live the buskers of London, 18 April 2004
Author: jotix100 from New York

The street performers of London were a delightful bunch of people that eked out a living by doing what came to them naturally: singing, dancing, reciting poetry, or just plain entertainment, directed at the crowds of the West End of London. They belong in a time capsule. The buskers were a local phenomenon.

I discovered this forgotten film at the CUNY cinematheque. It is a film that shows the talents of the young Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison and more established stars like Charles Laughton. In Tim Whelan's film they all come alive in this tale of an impossible love story.

The star turn of Vivien Leigh in the movie is just incredible. Not only could she act, but she was an accomplished dancer as well. Charles Laughton is perfect as the man who is vain enough not to admit to his own age because of the disparity between him and his beloved Libby. There are other delightful performances by Tyrone Guthrie, Larry Adler and other English theatre actors of that era.

This film should be seen, or at least shown on television more often.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (25 total) »

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The Blitz devastated the London theatre district spotted-owl
i've got the feva.... ksf-2
Spoilers maybe: A Little Gem for film buffs. oldsenior
Wanna sell me a copy of this one? amentia
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