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Down River (1931)

A customs investigator and his fiancee track down a gang of smugglers whose leader may be a murderer.


Peter Godfrey


Ralph Gilbert Bettison (scenario) (as R.G. Bettinson), Austin Small (novel) (as Seamark)


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Credited cast:
Charles Laughton ... Captain Grossman
Jane Baxter ... Hilary Gordon
Harold Huth Harold Huth ... John Durham
Kenneth Kove ... Ronnie Gordon
Hartley Power Hartley Power ... Lingard
Arthur Goullet Arthur Goullet ... Maxick
Norman Shelley Norman Shelley ... Blind Rudley
Frederick Leister Frederick Leister ... Inspector Manning
Cyril McLaglen Cyril McLaglen ... Sergeant Proctor
Humberston Wright Humberston Wright ... Sir Michael Gordon
Hugh E. Wright Hugh E. Wright ... Charlie Wong
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Valentine Philip Valentine
Donald Wolfit


A customs investigator and his fiancee track down a gang of smugglers whose leader may be a murderer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

May 1931 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


first film of Hartley Power. See more »


Down River
Written by Roger Eckersley
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User Reviews

Smuggling melodrama with River Thames background
9 March 2007 | by kerrison-philipsSee all my reviews

Early British talkie (some scenes are "silent" and others have "synchronised sound" added) in which Charles Laughton plays a murderous half-Dutch, half-oriental skipper involved in dope-trafficking. A girl reporter (Jane Baxter) investigating his activities is discovered and held captive by Laughton but saved in the nick of time by her Customs Officer fiancée (Harold Huth). There are some hectic fights between Laughton's ship's crew and the police which are somewhat speeded up in the Keystone Cops manner. Laughton's make-up is suitably oriental in appearance though he's never too sure of his Dutch accent. A contemporary review wrote: "Thick-ear melodrama, excellent Thames-side background, good schoolboy stuff."

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