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Down River (1931)

| Crime | May 1931 (UK)
A customs investigator and his fiancee track down a gang of smugglers whose leader may be a murderer.

Director:

Peter Godfrey

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1931 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

first film of Hartley Power. See more »

Soundtracks

Down River
Written by Roger Eckersley
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User Reviews

 
"Struggle little one! You cannot escape me!"
2 May 2018 | by richardchattenSee all my reviews

Charles Laughton as a dastardly Dutch-Chinese smuggler only gradually insinuates himself into this - the last of his British potboilers before Hollywood beckoned - but his new-found stature is attested to by his special billing in the opening credits.

The film is enlivened by actual footage of motor boats filmed on the Thames - including a speedboat chase shot night-for-night - while Andrew Mazzei has designed an enormous nightclub set in which Helen Howell performs an exotic dance in Oriental-style bobbed hair and a slinky unitard. Director Peter Godfrey shows off the set by dollying his camera back and fourth to make sure we get a good look at it; although for most of the rest of the film inspiration fails him and much of the action looks as if we're seeing it from the back of the stalls.

Jane Baxter is an attractive and feisty heroine, while Laughton - with his slicked-back hair, cherubic, bizarrely made up face, Chinese smocks and Buddha-like demeanour - although given relatively little dialogue, plainly doesn't need it to dominate the proceedings.


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