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Hue and Cry (1947)

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A gang of street boys foil a master crook who sends commands for robberies by cunningly altering a comic strip's wording each week, unknown to writer and printer. The first of the Ealing ... See full summary »

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(original screenplay) (as T.E.B.Clarke)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Fowler ...
Frederick Piper ...
Vida Hope ...
Heather Delaine ...
Dorrie Kirby
Douglas Barr ...
Stanley Escane ...
Ian Dawson ...
Gerald Fox ...
David Simpson ...
Albert Hughes ...
John Hudson ...
David Knox ...
Jeffrey Sirett ...
James Crabbe ...
Joan Dowling ...
Clarry
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Storyline

A gang of street boys foil a master crook who sends commands for robberies by cunningly altering a comic strip's wording each week, unknown to writer and printer. The first of the Ealing comedies. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

writer | boy | gang | ealing | kid gang | See All (75) »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

February 1947 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Houdt den dief!  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harry Fowler later married fellow actress Joan Dowling, but sadly she committed suicide in 1954, aged just 26. See more »

Goofs

When Joe Kirby first looks at the milk bar shop front (near the beginning, just after asking the man with the open top car if he is Selwyn Pike), the light fitting casts a very long shadow. But in the next shot of the shop, it is lit from a different direction, and the shadow has completely changed in length and position. See more »

Quotes

Felix H. Wilkinson: Oh, how I loathe adventurous-minded boys.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Forever Ealing (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh For the Wings of A Dove
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Arranged by Ernest Irving
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User Reviews

"Oh how I loathe adventurous-minded boys!"
15 November 2009 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Eccentric boys' adventure writer Felix H Wilkinson (Sim) has his copy - "The Enthralling Adventures of Selwyn Pike and his Youthful Assistant Smiler" - altered by master crooks, using a special code through the pages of kids' comic 'Trump'. Only sharp-eyed schoolboy Joe Kirby (Fowler) seems to have noticed, but fails to convince a sceptical Detective Inspector Ford (Lambert).

Undeterred, Kirby enlists the help of a gang of bombsite-dwelling little cockneys, the self-styled 'Blood and Thunder Boys' to up-end the criminals' dastardly plans. Wilkinson is persuaded to alter his copy and catch the robbers, headed by Kirby's boss Nightingale (Warner, cast against type as a baddie), and Trump secretary Rhona Watson (White).

Originally billed with the slogan, "The Ealing film that begs to differ", Hue And Cry is less a comedy (actually, it's Ealing Studios' first acknowledged 'comedy') than a thrilling adventure story for older kids; the occasional punch-up scenes are peculiarly realistic. Director Crichton weaves a fantastic, but bizarrely believable yarn, helped no end by his unsentimental, dedicated cast.

The standout performer is Sim, whose potty writer, despite limited screen time, pretty much waltzes off with the entire picture - whether he's castigating the crooks ("The insolent scoundrels, they've purloined one of my codes - the very code I invented for the 'Case of the Limping Skeleton!'") or tremulously backing out of the deal ("Remember what happened to Nicky the Narc in the 'Case of the Creeping Death'?").

Acclaimed cinematographer Dougie Slocombe makes great use of post-Blitz London locations, including Holborn Viaduct, Docklands, and Covent Garden - particularly for the climactic scenes of hundreds of boys teeming Battleship Potemkin-fashion down the capital's steps toward the scene of the crime. While an almost incidental scene of a small boy re-enacting an aerial dogfight on a bombsite leaves viewers in no doubt about the psychological impact of the World War II on a new generation.


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