Sherlock Holmes gets the Hammer treatment ("It's ten times the terror in Technicolor!"). Peter Cushing makes a fair Holmes though the production looks cheap and the hound is a bit disappointing.
Script adapt.: Peter Bryan (o.a. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Director: Terence Fisher
Players: Christopher Lee, Andre Morell, David Oxley, Miles Malleson, Francis de Wolfe, Ewen Solon, John le Mesurier, Sam Kydd, Helen Goss
A blackmailer gets done in and there's a houseful of suspects on hand for the script to sort through. Maurice Elvey directs like he's past caring.
Script: Allan Mackinnon
Director: Maurice Elvey
Players: William Sylvester, Mary Germaine, Alexander Gauge, John Arnatt, Denis Shaw, Ingeborg Wells, Patricia Owens
Michael Craig is the good guy who, as a double of a forger, is sent undercover.
Script adapt.: Robert Buckner, Bryan Forbes. (o.a. Sterling Joel)
Director: Guy Green
Players: Brenda de Banzie, Julia Anall, Barbara Bates, David Kossoff, Geoffrey Keen, Gerard Oury, Anton Diffring, Eric Pohlmann
A reporter investigates a haunted house and finds the key to a murder mystery.
Standard quota-quickie thriller.
Script: Paul White
Director: George King
Players: Tom Helmore, Terence de Marney, Jenny Laird, Roddy Hughes, D.J. Williams, Isobel Scaife, Howard Douglas, Dorothy Vernon, Billy Bray
The living conditions of the poor are alleviated by slum clearance and the construction of new homes.
The British Commercial Gas Association, as part of its PR campaign to persuade the nation that gas wasn't an outdated fuel, sponsored a number of short films in the 1930s. Few were as significant as Housing Problems, for its makers filmed real people talking about their own lives and problems. Looking directly at the camera and standing in their own homes, Mr Norwood, Mrs Hill and others explain what they have to put up with.
Hundreds of them, every direction. And not small ones, but large ones, just like beetles. You couldn't discern whether they were beetles or what, but they were bugs.
Looked at today, the stars seem awkward and stilted. Most appear to be speaking pre-prepared lines and their Cockney chipperness is easy to mock. What's not so easy to mock are their living conditions. Their homelife is a constant battle against rats, bugs and damp. Some of their accommodation is downright unsafe and it's a wonder how some of the houses remained standing.
Luckily, slum clearance is on the way with lovely new houses and flats for the people. To modern eyes, the flats look like the slums of the future but that's unkind. They're certainly a vast improvement on what went before and the tenants seem very happy.
Many of the ambitious plans for slum clearance would be disrupted by the coming of World War II. And some of the plans would be helped by Hitler's bombs finally flattening the shored-up hovels.
The vox pop is now a staple of documentaries but at the time this was revolutionary. For all the worthy intentions of 30s documentary makers, working-class people were firmly in the seen-but-not-heard category. Admired as a group, but not allowed to speak for themselves. Housing Problems was the start of a new era in film making. Of course, their words were still filtered through the work of middle-class film makers, and that's largely still true today, but it was a step forward. And it still connects with audiences today.
Director: Arthur Elton, Edgar Anstey
When a gang of kids suss that their weekly comic, The Trump, is being used by crooks for coded communication, they decide to round up the villains.
The synopsis of Hue and Cry makes it sound like one of those dire Children's Film Foundation efforts forced onto a generation of Saturday morning cinemagoers. However, this is the original next to which all imitations pale. It's also the very first Ealing Comedy.
Ealing as a film studio had made comedies previously, but this is the one that marks The Ealing Comedy as a recognisable entity. Hue and Cry is untypical of the genre - Alastair Sim is the only middle-class character in it, it's got lots of kids, and it mainly avoids the studio for the bombed-out ruins of London. It also has no pretensions to being satirical - indeed it's not really much of a comedy, more a light thriller.
What makes it an Ealing Comedy are its credits (director Charles Crichton, script T.E.B. Clarke, producer Michael Balcon), its determination to be totally British, its lack of sentimentality and the fact that it's gloriously entertaining.
Much of the entertainment comes from the vigour of the young performers. Of the gang only Harry Fowler and Joan Dowling would go on to make much of a career in cinema, but they're all good. The acting isn't exactly naturalistic, but it's as close as the conventions of the time would allow. Of the grown ups, Alastair Sim goes way over the top as the cowardly hack, but he's allowed to because he's brilliant.
It's full of memorable moments particularly in the climax with what seems to be every child in London running through the rubble to capture the crooks. The joyous nature of these scenes are contrasted with the creepy atmosphere of a bombed-out warehouse where Harry Fowler is menaced by the chief villain.
It's a picture that has improved with age, thanks to the location shooting. The ruins of London's docklands provides a spectacular backdrop to the action. The more "ordinary" backgrounds also impress. This is a world in which kids work in fruit markets or printing offices, get on buses, hang about on street corners. It's normal life as it was fifty years ago.
Script: T.E.B. Clarke
Director: Charles Crichton
Players: Jack Warner, Valerie White, Jack Lambert, Vida Hope, Frederick Piper, Gerald Fox, Grace Arnold, Douglas Barr, Stanley Escane, Ian Dawson, Paul Demel, Bruce Belfrage, Joey Carr, Robin Hughes, Howard Douglas, Heather Delane, David Simpson, Albert Hughes, John Hudson, David Knox, Jeffrey Sirett, James Crabbe, Alec Finter, Arthur Denton
The family decide to emigrate but, after getting entangled in a smuggling operation, change their minds and go home.
End of the line for the Huggetts.
Script: Mabel and Denis Constanduros, Ted Willis, Gerard Bryant
Director: Ken Annakin
Players: Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison, Susan Shaw, Petula Clark, Jimmy Hanley, Dinah Sheridan, Peter Hammond, Hugh McDermott, Amy Veness, John Blythe, Esma Cannon, Everley Gregg, Brian Oulton, Olaf Pooley, Martin Millar, Meinhart Maur, Philo Hauser, Peter Illing, Frith Banbury, Marcel Poncin, Ferdy Mayne
Two families feud through the generations in this Margaret Lockwood star vehicle.
Script adapt.: (o.a.) Daphne du Maurier, Terence Young, Francis Crowdy
Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Players: Dennis Price, Cecil Parker, Dermot Walsh, Michael Denison, Eileen Crowe. Peter Murray, Eileen Herlie, Jean Simmons, Siobhan McKenna, James Robertson Justice, Guy Rolfe
Dirk Bogarde is the killer who goes on the run with the child who can shop him. Bogarde and director Charles Crichton cut through the clichés and the sentiment to create a fine film.
Script: Jack Whittingham
Director: Charles Crichton
Players: Jon Whiteley, Kay Walsh, Elizabeth Sellars, Frederick Piper, Julian Somers, Jane Aird, Jack Stewart, Geoffrey Keen