In Dublin a skiver dreams of a life on a South Sea island. His plan to get there involves standing on a busy street corner in the hope of rescuing a millionaire in the event of an accident.
Ealing Studios ran for over twenty five years and its major contribution to cinema is the Ealing Comedy. However, the films that are included in the Ealing Comedy category only represent a small proportion of the studio's comedy output and only cover a period of less than ten years. Another Shore's release falls in this period, but is still one of the films that get excluded from the category. Why is this? Maybe because it declares itself to be a tragi-comedy. Maybe because it's set in Ireland. Most likely because it's not very funny.
The lead is taken by Canadian Robert Beatty. He makes a fair stab at an Irish-ish accent, but he's still miscast. He would go on to have a decent career as two-fisted second leads in 50s B movies but the part of a fey dreamer is really beyond him.
Moira Lister plays the woman who disrupts his plan. She's beautiful, rich and unpredictable. Basically she's an early version of a character which is now known as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Lister does her best but she's hampered by a script that gives her little to work on and a collection of some of the most hideous outfits ever inflicted on a star.
Stanley Holloway pops up as the millionaire who's clearly going to be at the heart of the film's resolution. He keeps things chirpy, though his character's an alcoholic which the script can't make funny enough to overcome the distasteful idea. He's joined by a collection of character actors to up the film's quota of Oirish whimsy. Though these sort of characters seem compulsory in any film set in Ireland, this lot aren't too annoying and provide a welcome relief from the plot.
The film's chief interest these days is the location shooting which gives us a rare glimpse of 40s Dublin. It's not notably less drab than Austerity Britain, but at least there's no rationing in evidence so there's plenty of food and booze.
Another Shore is not without its charms, but they are too few to make watching it a rewarding experience. And that's why it's not an Ealing Comedy.
Script adapt.: Walter Meade. (o.a. Kenneth Reddin)
Director: Charles Crichton
Players: Michael Medwin, Maureen Delany, Fred O'Donovan, Sheila Manahan, Desmond Keane, Dermot Kelly, Michael Golden, W.A. Kelley, Wilfrid Brambell, Irene Worth, Bill Shine, Edie Martin, Michael Dolon, Michael O'Mahoney, Madame Kirkwood Hackett
Another Shore on DVD at Amazon UK
Available on DVD at Amazon US