6.8/10
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The Bells Go Down (1943)

TV-G | | Drama, War | 17 May 1943 (UK)
Comedian Tommy Trinder plays it straight in this tribute to the wartime AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service). The dedicated band who kept the fires of London under control during the blitz and fire... See full summary »

Director:

Basil Dearden

Writers:

Stephen Black (adapted from the book of the same title), Roger MacDougall (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Trinder ... Tommy Turk
James Mason ... Ted Robbins
Philip Friend ... Bob
Mervyn Johns ... Sam
William Hartnell ... Brookes (as Billy Hartnell)
Finlay Currie ... District Officer MacFarlane
Philippa Hiatt Philippa Hiatt ... Nan
Meriel Forbes Meriel Forbes ... Susie
Beatrice Varley Beatrice Varley ... Ma Turk
Norman Pierce Norman Pierce ... Pa Robbins
Muriel George ... Ma Robbins
Julian Vedey Julian Vedey ... Lou Freeman
Richard George Richard George ... PC O'Brien
H Victor Weske H Victor Weske ... Peters (as Victor Weske)
Leslie Harcourt Leslie Harcourt ... Alfie Parrott
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Storyline

Comedian Tommy Trinder plays it straight in this tribute to the wartime AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service). The dedicated band who kept the fires of London under control during the blitz and fire bombings of WWII. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fire Scenes That Scorch the Screen in a 5-Alarm Thriller!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 1943 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Londres em Chamas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: AUGUST 27th 1939. See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Hundredth
(uncredited)
Hymn tune from The Geneva Psalter
Arranged by Roy Douglas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Those unsung heroes in the London Fire Department
30 January 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Until 9/11 happened this was a story that could never be an American story. The Bells Go Down is the story of an auxiliary fire fighter unit in London's East End and stars British music hall comedian Tommy Trinder as one of the volunteers.

As the United Kingdom was under attack I'm sure one of the few exemptions in the British Armed Services was being a firefighter. The regular London Fire Department was working 24/7 as soon as the Battle of Britain started and they needed all the help they could get. Hence these Auxiliary Fire Units headed and trained by Finlay Currie and James Mason whom I was surprised to see in a supporting role as his career was on the ascent at this time.

Mason himself said that this was his one and only appearance in an Ealing Studio film and one which he was proud to make as he admired the comedies that studio turned out post war, especially those with Alec Guinness.

Trinder whose work I was unfamiliar with until seeing this is a bit of a lunkhead when he starts but certainly proves to have the right stuff. In many ways this film is similar to the wartime British movie The Way Ahead where some rather unmilitary type civilians trained by David Niven and William Hartnell into fighting British troops.

Hartnell is in this film too, but not as a trainer. He has a very nice part as a veteran of the International Brigade who has experienced the Spanish Civil War and saw the air raids on Madrid. He steadies the group from the inside with his knowledge of how serious this work is.

And this film is yet another salute to the people of Great Britain who pulled together in their finest hour. More than Trinder, the whole lot of them had the right stuff.


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