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.
Crime melodrama about two sailors in London, an American open to theft and smuggling and an honest Jamaican, and the crooks and girls they know. A jewel theft goes wrong and those involved must decide whether to try to get away or to do the right thing. Superb photography of postwar central London when almost empty of people on a Sunday. Written by
Offbeat post-war thriller set in and around the London dockyards
Pool of London is that city's harbor think of Liverpool and the title of an offbeat, satisfyingly bleak thriller from the post-war years (one scene uses the still-standing wall of a bombed cathedral as its backdrop). In fact, its location shooting preserves a dockside area, almost certainly now vanished, that had changed little from Victorian days.
Into the Pool sails the Dunbar, out of Rotterdam. As the merchant seamen on board debark for liberty, the movie starts out as a slice-of-life drama centering on two of them: Bonar Colleano and Earl Cameron (the Bermuda-born actor plays a Jamaican native). We see them link up with the women left behind, or freshly met, and watch them indulge in some harmless smuggling: Nylons, smokes, booze.
But as he makes the rounds of London's raffish nightlife, Colleano is approached to smuggle a package back to Rotterdam. He doesn't know what it is, or much care, but his avaricious girlfriend (Moira Lister) sniffs out a fortune in diamonds, taken in a heist during which a watchman was killed. Colleano, who's been pinched for petty contraband before, has arranged for Cameron to take the package on board. But now the police are on his trail....
Subdued and humane, Pool of London touches on some progressive themes (racial prejudice, interracial romance) but soon tightens its focus into an arrestingly photographed suspense story. The heist itself is carried out by music-hall acrobat Max Adrian ironic because Colleano's the actor who came from a family of circus daredevils.
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