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When their ship docks the crew disembark as usual to pick up their lives in postwar London. For one of them his petty smuggling turns more serious when he finds himself caught up with a robbery in the City.
We follow the daily activities of two London bobbies, veteran George Dixon and rookie Andy Mitchell. Meanwhile, young hoods Tom and Spud plan a series of robberies with Tom's girl Diana, a discontented beauty, as inside worker. But in their second crime, one of our heroes is shot, setting off a citywide manhunt. The killer is clever, but will he outsmart himself? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
For those of us on this side of the pond The Blue Lamp is like the striped pole for barbershops only in the United Kingdom it hangs above the entrance to police stations. The Blue Lamp is a story of a pair of helmeted beat cops working out of Paddington Station in London, one a fairly new recruit, the other an old timer thinking of retirement.
The roles are played by Jimmy Hanley and Jack Warner respectively. Hanley was a favored callow juvenile player, doing those roles way past the age he should have is an earnest young officer trying to do his best to make good on the job. Jack Warner who was a music hall performer as well plays the older officer, a kindly veteran who is married to Gladys Henson who both take a parental interest in young Hanley. Their own son had died, most likely in the recent World War. In fact in the shooting on location in London you can see many unpleasant reminders of the war in bombed out buildings, still not repaired or replaced by 1951.
While Hanley is being mentored by Warner, there are a couple of punks played by Dirk Bogarde and Patric Doonan who are busy themselves. They're not taken terribly seriously by really professional criminals. As the film is narrated in talking about wannabes like Bogarde and Doonan it reminded of what John Wayne said in The Shootist that the ones you have to watch out for are the hotheaded amateurs. That's these two in a nutshell.
The Blue Lamp was Bogarde's breakout role and he's charismatic to the nines. He's every young girl's idea of a bad boy they'd like to have a romp with before settling into respectable married life. Such a girl is Peggy Evans who is fascinated by Bogarde and his disrespect for conventional behavior. Look at the home she comes from and you can see why she wants to escape.
The Blue Lamp won the BAFTA award which is the UK equivalent of the Oscar for Best Picture for 1951. It made Dirk Bogarde an enduring star in British cinema and it's a nice tribute to the London Metropolitan Police Force.
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