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Hindle Wakes (1931)

A Lancashire mill girl has an illicit adventure with the owner's son while on holiday. Based on the once notorious Houghton play.



(play), (scenario) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Alan Jeffcote
Norman McKinnel ...
Nat Jeffcote
Mrs. Jeffcote
Beatrice Farrar
A.G. Poulton ...
Sir Timothy Farrar
Mary Hollins
Lionel Roberts ...
Bob Parker
Bob Johnson ...
Song Plugger


A Lancashire mill girl has an illicit adventure with the owner's son while on holiday. Based on the once notorious Houghton play.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

4 October 1931 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(British Acoustic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The opening credits appear as if woven on a loom. See more »


Version of Hindle Wakes (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Does the Sound of Clogs on Cobbles Mean Anything to You?
19 January 2018 | by See all my reviews

The first sound version of HINDLE WAKES is more concerned with the issues of the play than the famous visual extravaganza that the 1927 silent version directed by Maurice Elvey was. Nonetheless, it is carefully and beautifully shot by Mutz Greenbaum, with much side-lighting to make it all look modern and dramatic, and the credits are offered as woven on a loom. There are many wild shots to permit a moving camera, and a rapid pace of cutting when people are speaking to each other. Nor, despite the fact that the sound on the copy I viewed was not very good, was the foley work neglected. All in all, it was a topnotch effort from Victor Saville (who has sometimes been credited with the flair for Elvey's silent version; Saville was credited as a writer), even if the ending has been changed to soften the consequences for the parties involved.

I have seen four or five versions of this play, and find this one strangely unfocused. Norman McKinnel's Nat Jefcote is rote, rather than moral, and John Stuart's Alan Jefcote... well, he's just an ass. Belle Chrystall, as the center of this storm, is fine, but it's never clear that, despite her big speech at the end, she's just a woman who has played her hand as well as she could, seen she is going to lose, and dropped out before she lost even more. Her willingness to get on with her life may be sensible, but compared with other versions of this story about how changing times and the rising ability of women to support themselves by their own efforts may change their choices, does it make it admirable?

In the end, this story remains a drama of its own time and place, shocking and, indeed important for that moment. I have my doubts about its universality. Neither does this version help sustain it.

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