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A.J. Cronin's Hatter's Castle (1942)

Hatter's Castle (original title)
The film is based on the novel of the same name by A. J. Cronin. The year is 1880. On the outskirts of the fictional small Scottish town of Levenford there stands a strange building... See full synopsis »



(novel), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
James Brodie
Emlyn Williams ...
Henry Oscar ...
Enid Stamp-Taylor ...
Beatrice Varley ...
Mrs. Brodie
Tony Bateman ...
Angus Brodie (as Anthony Bateman)
June Holden ...
George Merritt ...
Laurence Hanray ...
Dr. Lawrie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claude Bailey ...
Ian Fleming ...
Sir John Latta
Mary Hinton ...
Lady Winton
Roddy Hughes ...


The film is based on the novel of the same name by A. J. Cronin. The year is 1880. On the outskirts of the fictional small Scottish town of Levenford there stands a strange building... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


Two Great New Stars...in a Famous Author's Most Daring Love Drama! See more »




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Release Date:

19 April 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A.J. Cronin's Hatter's Castle  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


When the real Tay Bridge collapsed, it was the center section, which was made of high girder through trusses. However, the film shows the low deck trusses collapsing. See more »


Featured in Film Preview: Episode #1.3 (1966) See more »


D'ye Ken John Peel?
Arranged by Horace Shepherd
Sylvester Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

Brodie family values
26 September 2015 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although future mega stars James Mason and Deborah Kerr appear in Hatter's Castle, the film truly belongs to star Robert Newton. Most people today are familiar with Newton in his later pirate roles like Blackbeard or Long John Silver which allow full expression for his florid style. In Hatter's Castle Newton is kept in check by the director until the climax which calls for nothing less than what Newton was known to deliver on the screen.

Newton dominates Hatter's Castle playing a haberdasher with lots of pretensions. He's made a lot of money at business and that's what he's all about. His business, his family are all merely extensions of himself and his drive for what he considers respectability. He's going to have the grandest house for miles around, something they would call a castle back in the day, Hatter's Castle. With a house that would support a lord, can a peerage be far behind. That's what he's ultimately aiming for.

Newton's family, his props are his doormat of a wife Beatrice Varley who is dying from cancer and Newton wants to hear none of it and his children Deborah Kerr and Anthony Bateman. There are traces of incestuous longing for Kerr with Newton as he allows her no male companionship whether it's earnest young doctor James Mason who secretly treats Varley on the side and sneaky and sniveling clerk Emlyn Williams who also has ambitions. Newton also has mistress Enid Stamp-Taylor and their carrying on is an open scandal around the town. I'm sure Newton figures if that was good enough for all the lords and ladies in olden and modern times it's good enough for him. Of course they already had their titles, something he overlooks.

In the end it all blows up around him. Emlyn Williams really loses it all in the famous Tay railroad bridge disaster where a bridge over the Tay River to Dundee collapses and a train goes over with it with all crew and passengers lost. This might be the only film that deals with that tragedy and A.J. Cronin did incorporate it in his novel. Good special effects for its time in the British cinema.

The bare essentials of Cronin's work is incorporated here. The plot of the novel was shorn of several subplots and characters the most prominent was another son for Mr.&Mrs. Brodie. Speaking of which young Anthony Bateman should be given kudos for a very nice portrait of a shy young kid trying so hard to please his uncaring father.

After almost 80 years Hatter's Castle holds up well today. Honestly I can't think of a cast to match this one for a remake. Especially for Robert Newton.

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