43 user 19 critic

The Blue Lamp (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 1 June 1950 (USA)
The daily routine of two London Policemen is interrupted by a killer.


Basil Dearden


T.E.B. Clarke (screenplay), Jan Read (original treatment) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Jack Warner ... PC George Dixon
Jimmy Hanley ... PC Andy Mitchell
Dirk Bogarde ... Tom Riley
Robert Flemyng ... Detective Sgt. Roberts
Bernard Lee ... Divisional Detective Inspector Cherry
Peggy Evans ... Diana Lewis
Patric Doonan Patric Doonan ... Spud
Bruce Seton ... PC 'Jock' Campbell
Meredith Edwards ... PC 'Taff' Hughes
Clive Morton ... Police Sgt. Brooks
Frederick Piper Frederick Piper ... Alf Lewis
Dora Bryan ... Maisie
Gladys Henson Gladys Henson ... Mrs. Em Dixon
Tessie O'Shea Tessie O'Shea ... Self


We follow the daily activities of two London bobbies, veteran Police Constable George Dixon (Jack Warner) and rookie Police Constable Andy Mitchell (Jimmy Hanley). Meanwhile, young hoods Tom (Sir Dirk Bogarde) and Spud (Patric Doonan) plan a series of robberies with Tom's girl Diana (Peggy Evans), a discontented beauty, as an 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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The unending battle of the city streets See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The two cars identified by the police during the chases are both American: a Nash and a Buick. See more »


Early in the film when they are standing with Peggy Evans outside a baker's shop in the Harrow Road the shadow of the boom microphone is seen on Dirk Bogarde's suit and then on Jimmy Hanley's uniform. See more »


Diana Lewis: What d'ye think I am? Soft or something?
Spud: Yeah.
See more »

Crazy Credits

We acknowledge with gratitude the help given by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Sir Harold Scott,K.C.B., K.B.E., and men and women of the Metropolitan Police. To them, and their colleagues in the Police Service of Britain, we dedicate this film. See more »

Alternate Versions

Although this film is famous for the first spoken use of the word "bastard" as a profanity, the Talking Pictures TV channel in the UK show a slightly modified version where the word has been removed by a clever piece of editing. See more »


References The Fountainhead (1949) See more »


All Correct
Arranged by T.E.B. Clarke
Sung by Jack Warner
See more »

User Reviews

Mustn't grumble.
8 February 2014 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

The Blue Lamp is directed by Basil Dearden and written by T.E.B. Clarke. It stars Jack Warner, Jimmy Hanley, Dirk Bogarde, Robert Flemyng and Peggy Evans. Music is by Ernest Irving and cinematography by Gordon Dines.

Andy Mitchell is a new recruit to the London police force, old hand George Dixon takes him under his wing and shows him the ropes. When Dixon is gunned down by a hot headed crook, Mitchell, the force, and the close knit community, all rally round to catch the villain.

What chiefly makes The Blue Lamp a fine watch is being able to witness the good old days of the British Bobby. It was a time when the copper was a feared and reassuring presence on the British streets, they walked the beat so everyone could sleep easy in their beds, help was but merely a whistle away.

In that, this Ealing Studios production does a wonderful job, the essence is perfect, the locale and the dialect used is absolutely spot on, whilst the story is an accomplished piece that brings to notice the sad emergence of trigger happy crooks, a new breed of thug who's discipline quota was zero. It also looks nice, with a film noir sheen presented for the night-time sequences, while Dearden offers up a great action scene and closes the picture down with a tense chase finale at White City Greyhound Stadium.

There's inevitably some staid performances indicative of the time, and it definitely paints the police and surrounding community through rose tinted spectacles, but they are small complaints that ultimately can't stop The Blue Lamp from being a most engaging viewing experience. 7.5/10

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Release Date:

1 June 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blue Lamp See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (recorded on) (Gaumont Kalee Sound System) (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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