Davey Fenwick leaves his mining village on a university scholarship intent on returning to better support the miners against the owners. But he falls in love with Jenny who gets him to ...
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Davey Fenwick leaves his mining village on a university scholarship intent on returning to better support the miners against the owners. But he falls in love with Jenny who gets him to marry her and return home as local schoolteacher before finishing his degree. Davey finds he is ill-at-ease in his role, the more so when he realises Jenny still loves her former boyfriend. When he finds that his father and the other miners are going to have to continue working on a possibly deadly coal seam he decides to act. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Carol Reed disowned the film, calling it "a gloomy little piece". He expected it to be a box office disaster and was highly surprised when wartime audiences warmed enthusiastically to it. See more »
Well, Fenwick, will the men work tomorrow?
Not if its to be in Scupper Flats, Mr. Barras.
[indicating a well-dressed union official]
Even against your union?
The union isn't being asked to work in Scupper Flats. On the other side of that coal seam is a million tons of flood water ready to rush right down on top of us.
You don't think I'd take a chance in floodin' me own mine, do you, Fenwick?
Well, show us the plans of them old workings, then!
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working class and academic thinking under fine cinematography
The main storyline is concerned with workers, capitalists and academic thinkers (resp. 'down' and 'stars' ?). And it might become much more relevant again soon. What's the use of a college education in times of recession and strikes? Like Jack Palance said in le Mepris (1963, Godard) 'wise men don't humiliate others with their lesser abilities....'. 'On The Waterfront' was way better on this economic subject, but as far as I'm concerned that was merely because of its director and protagonist. Others might emphasize it is American and has more suspense, which is true.
The dialogues sound kind of flat or monotonous, but the story is absolutely entertaining enough and the cinematography by Mutz Greenbaum (Thunder Rock) is really fine. He especially knows his way with contrast and composition apparently. Carol Reed (Odd Man Out, Fallen Idol, Third Man) gently develops the story and the points he (and writer Alec Coppel, who also wrote Vertigo and Obsession) wants to make. The movie as a whole is a quite moralistic and a bit too sincere, but again the directing and the cinematography more than make up. At last but not least, Michael Redgrave (Thunder Rock, Mr. Arkadin, the Innocents) puts forward a great deal of realism, enforcing A. J. Cronin's points. A point is that different social classes should have more respect for each other because they are complements, not substitutes. Another point is that it is probably a personal story (Cronin's ?). 8/10
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