In 1950s London racial hostility to Commonweath immigrants is openly paraded. A pregnant girl, initially assumed to be white, is murdered. As two detectives start to investigate, and ... See full summary »
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 »
Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college ... See full summary »
In this gritty film noir, cynical ex-RAF flyer Morgan, bored with civilian life, joins a break-in gang led by Narcy. On his first job, the getaway car crashes after killing a policeman. ... See full summary »
Major Jock Sinclair has been in this Highland regiment since he joined as a boy piper. During the Second World War, as Second-in-Command, he was made acting Commanding Officer. Now the ... See full summary »
Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has ... See full summary »
Slice of life drama following the lives of various people in London's East End on a wet Sunday. (Is this film why people think it always rains in England ?) Rose was engaged to local wild boy Tommy Swann but he got imprisoned on Dartmoor. After he was locked up she got married to sedate but dull George. Tommy's now broken out of jail and comes to see Rose to get help to flee the country. Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
IT ALWAYS RAINS ON Sunday (Robert Hamer, 1947) ***1/2
Ealing Studios are chiefly remembered nowadays for their string of classic comedies made between 1946-55 but they also put out several notable pictures in other genres - including the justly celebrated horror portmanteau DEAD OF NIGHT (1945) - and this noir-ish melodrama is definitely one of their hidden gems. Although the plot per se is no great shakes - an escaped convict hides out in his by-now-married ex-flame's household - the idea was still fresh at the time and the film's marrying of the realistic and evocative recreation of daily life and surroundings (here being the seamier side of London's East End) with the exciting chase thriller format was much admired in its day and, in hindsight, very influential.
The good cast is headed by the formidable Googie Withers as the embittered housewife whose life of drab domesticity comes crashing down around her with the sudden reappearance of her lover (John McCallum, and Withers' own real-life husband-to-be) who demands food and shelter until he can skip the country; her much older, unassuming husband is played by frequent Norman Wisdom sidekick Edward Chapman and the pursuing police detective by the ubiquitous Jack Warner who cornered such roles in British films of the era, most notably in Basil Dearden's THE BLUE LAMP (1950); Chapman's three children are each having problems of their own and their frequent comings-and-goings in the house during this particular Sunday (the film is set all in one day) brings long-suppressed tensions to the fore.
Even without the eye-catching use of the medium of somebody like Carol Reed, the film is beautifully handled by the talented but ill-fated Robert Hamer - who, among other things, would later direct that which is undoubtedly Ealing's most famous comedy, KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949) - and the climactic sequence (expertly lit, as always, by Douglas Slocombe) in which all the various strands of plot and secondary characters are seamlessly woven together is simply exquisite.
Optimum Releasing also included a featurette with film historian George Perry - who, incidentally, introduced THE BIG SLEEP (1946) at the recent National Film Theatre screening in London I attended; unfortunately, I encountered some playback problems on my Pioneer DVD player even before the start of the main feature but the R2 disc played without a hitch on my cheap HB model.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?