The harsh conditions of unemployed miners are alleviated by a co-operative scheme.
There's a faintly patronising commentary, some awkward non-actors and the Trehavod Male Voice Choir singing every Welsh song in their repertoire that they can fit into the 16 minutes, but if you look past the clichés this glimpse at the work of the Eastern Valley Subsistence Production Society is a bit of a gem for capturing an almost forgotten moment in social history.
Director: Donald Alexander
Producer: Stuart Legg
Portmanteau comedy about people who win or try to win the pools. A nice cast of forties stalwarts (Petula Clark, Dennis Price, Maurice Denham, Mabel Constanduros and many others) tries to breath life into Muriel and Sidney Box' script but as usual with these movies it's all very variable. The only real interest is in the documentary sequences showing a pools operation. Also Greta Gynt does a number (Lady Spiv by Vivian Ellis) as a blatant rip-off of Rita Hayworth doing Put the Blame on Mame, and shows us how thin the line between greatness and naffness is.
Script adapt.: Muriel Box, Sidney Box. (o.a. Arnold Ridley - though only the first story is based on his play)
Director: Bernard Knowles
Players: Jack Warner, Marjorie Fielding, Yvonne Owen, Jack Watling, Mervyn Johns, Joan Young, Bill Owen, Frederick Piper, Edward Rigby, Guy Rolfe, Raymond Lovell, Frank Cellier
Isabel Jeans is the fast flapper who is more sinned against than sinning. Noel Coward's play as directed by Hitchcock is a surprisingly unmemorable affair (well, I saw it about three years ago and can't remember a damn thing about it!)
Script adapt.: Eliot Stannard. (o.a. Noel Coward)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Players: Franklin Dyall, Eric Bransby Williams, Ian Hunter, Robin Irvine, Violet Fairbrother, Frank Elliot, Darcia Deane, Dorothy Boyd, Enid Stamp-Taylor
The inhabitants of a remote Scottish island decide that the economic pressures are too great and they need to abandon their homes for good and move to the mainland.
By 1936 the era of the quota-quickie was coming to an end. Film makers who had learned their craft churning out low-budget productions were anxious to spread their wings and impress the world with their vision. No one was more anxious than Michael Powell.
Producer Joe Rock was also keen to raise his game, and gave Powell the go ahead to film a story based on the evacuation of St Kilda. So in the summer of 1936, Powell set sail with a film crew for the island of Foula for a three month shoot. What he brought back was the bulk of one of the most remarkable films of the period.
It's no exaggeration to describe The Edge of the World as the first successful feature length art film produced in Britain. It's more interested in atmosphere than plot - a contrast to the pacy little films Powell had been producing up until then. Ernest Palmer's photography makes the island look like a magical place where Man and Nature are intertwined.
The Edge of the World, like much of Powell's work, is one of those films you can watch and find something new to admire each viewing.
Script: Michael Powell
Director: Michael Powell
Players: Niall MacGinnis, Belle Chrystall, Eric Berry, John Laurie, Finlay Currie, Kitty Kirwan, Grant Sutherland, Hamish Sutherland, Campbell Robson, Francesca Reidy, George Summers, Michael Powell
Richard Attenborough is the man on Death Row for child murder and Cathy O'Donnell is the wife who believes in his innocence. One of a slew of anti-hanging pictures from around this period. It's not bad but there are more enjoyable examples.
Script: Katherine Strueby, Guy Morgan
Director: Lance Comfort
Players: Derek Farr, Maurice Denham, Ian Hunter, Bruce Seton, Lilly Kann, Harry Welchman, Kynaston Reeves, Eithne Dunne, Noel Dyson
When Robert Flaherty went off to India to make a fiction film for Korda, he didn't come back with much of a picture, but he did come back with a star: Sabu.
Script: John Collier
Director: Robert Flaherty, Zoltan Korda
Players: Water Hudd, Allan Jeayes, W.E. Holloway. Bruce Gordon, D.J. Williams, Wilfrid Hyde White
Designed to show off the new sound technology, this review film is inevitably a patchy affair. It does preserve some valuable performances from the likes of Lily Morris, Cicely Courtneidge and Tommy Handley. Hitchcock directed the sequences with Gordon Harker.
Script: Adrian Brunel, Walter C. Mycroft, Val Valentine
Director: Adrian Brunel, Alfred Hitchcock, Andre Charlot, Paul Murray, Jack Hulbert
Players: Anna May Wong, Donald Calthrop, Helen Burnell, Jack Hulbert, Will Fyffe, John Longden, Jameson Thomas, Bobbie Comber, Ivor McLaren, Hannah Jones, The Three Eddies, Teddy Brown and His Band
David Niven is rescuing those Aristos in Revolutionary France. Powell and Pressburger fail to knit everything together, but even a failure from them is worth a look.
Written Produced and Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Players: Margaret Leighton, Cyril Cusack, Jack Hawkins, Robert Coote, Edmond Audran, Danielle Godet
A sick child has a rare blood group and the search is on for the only known people with the same group: Earl Cameron, Freddie Mills and Sydney Tafler. It's okay but predictable.
Script: Lewis Gilbert, Vernon Harris
Director: Lewis Gilbert
Players: Jack Warner, Anthony Steele, Joy Shelton, Sidney James, Eric Pohlman, Thora Hird, Vida Hope, Campbell Singer, Dandy Nichols, Graham Stark
The third collection of Somerset Maugham stories (after Quartet and Trio) is well produced but not really memorable. The stories are The Ant and the Grasshopper, Winter Cruise and Gigolo and Gigolette.
Script adapt.: T.E.B. Clarke, Arthur Macrea, Eric Ambler. (o.a. W. Somerset Maugham)
Director: Harold French, Pat Jackson, Anthony Pelissier
Players: Glynis Johns, Nigel Patrick, Roland Culver, Kay Walsh, Peter Graves, Ronald Squire, John Laurie, Terence Morgan, Heather Thatcher
Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson are having the affair in this adaptation of Graham Greene's novel. Well enough made but more proof that the better the Greene novel, the worse the film.
Script adapt.: Lenore Coffee. (o.a. Graham Greene)
Director: Edward Dmytryck
Players: John Mills, Peter Cushing, Stephen Murray, Nora Swinburne, Charles Goldner, Michael Goodliffe, Joyce Carey, Frederick Leister
Margaret Rutherford shamelessly steals every scene as the bird fancier whose niece Penelope Ward is romancing her butler Michael Wilding. Another of those WWII films about the little things in life still mattering during the war.
Script: Terence Rattigan, Anatole de Grunwald
Director: Harold French
Players: Lilli Palmer, Claude Dauphin, Albert Lieven, Peggy Cummins, Felix Aylmer, Guy Middleton, Martin Millar, Judith Furse, Irene Handl, Vida Hope