The Blue Lamp
The Blue Lamp is a 1950 British police drama, directed by Basil Dearden and starring Jack Warner as veteran PC Dixon, Jimmy Hanley as newcomer PC Mitchell, Dirk Bogarde as hardened criminal Tom Riley. The title refers to the blue lamps; the film became the inspiration for the 1955–1976 TV series Dixon of Dock Green, where Jack Warner continued to play PC Dixon until he was 80 years old. The screenplay was written by ex-policeman T. E. B. Clarke; the film is an early example of the "social realism" films that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, sometimes using a partial documentary-like approach. There are cinematic influences of the Film Noir genre in underworld scenes featuring Bogarde's Tom Riley, such as the pool rooms and in and around the theatre, making deliberate use of genre trademarks like slow moving low camera angles and stark lighting; the plot, follows a simple moral structure in which the police are the honest guardians of a decent society, battling the disorganised crime of a few unruly youths.
The action takes place in the Paddington area of London, is set in July 1949, a few years after the end of the Second World War. PC George Dixon a long-serving traditional "copper", due to retire shortly, takes a new recruit, Andy Mitchell, under his aegis, introducing him to the easy-going night beat. Dixon is a classic Ealing "ordinary" hero, but anachronistic and unable to answer the violence of Tom Riley. Called to the scene of a robbery at a local cinema, Dixon finds himself face-to-face with Riley, a desperate youth armed with a revolver. Dixon tries to talk Riley into surrendering the weapon, but Riley panics and fires. Dixon dies some hours later; the ending is another Ealing quirk, with ordinary, decent society banding together with professional criminals and dog-track identities to track down and catch the murderer, who tries to hide in the crowd at White City greyhound track in West London. To Andy Mitchell falls the honour of arresting Riley; the production had the full co-operation of the Metropolitan Police, the crew were thus able to use the real-life former Paddington Green Police Station at 64 Harrow Road, London W9 and New Scotland Yard for location work.
Most of the other outdoor scenes were filmed in inner west London, principally the Harrow Road precincts between Paddington and Westbourne Park. George Dixon is named after producer Michael Balcon's former school in Birmingham; the original blue lamp was transferred to the new Paddington Green Police Station. It was restored in the early 21st century. Most of the locations around the police station are unrecognisable now due to building of the Marylebone flyover; the police station at 325 Harrow Road, not far from the site of the Coliseum Cinema, shown in the film, has a reproduction blue lamp at its entrance. The Metropolitan Theatre of Varieties, featured prominently at the start of the film, was demolished because it was thought that the Marylebone flyover would need the site, although that turned out not to be the case, it is now the site of Paddington Green Police Station. The scene involving a robbery on a jeweller's shop was filmed at the nearby branch of national chain, F. Hinds; this was knocked down when the flyover was built.
The scenes of the cinema robbery were filmed at the Coliseum Cinema on Harrow Road, next to the Grand Union Canal bridge. The cinema was built in 1922, was closed in 1956 and demolished; the site is now occupied by an office of Paddington Churches Housing Association. Some of the streets used, or seen, in the film include: Harrow Road W2 and W9, Bishop's Bridge Road W2, Westbourne Terrace Bridge Road W9, Delamere Terrace, Blomfield Road, Formosa Street, Lord Hill's Road, Kinnaird Street and Senior Street W2, Ladbroke Grove W10, Portobello Road W11, Latimer Road, Sterne Street W12 and Hythe Road NW10; the church which features prominently towards the end is St Mary Magdelene Church, Senior Street W2. All of the streets around the church were demolished in the 1960s to make way for the new Warwick Estate in Little Venice. Tom Riley's home was in the run-down street of Amberley Mews, north of the canal, is now the site of Ellwood Court, part of the Amberley Estate, it is from this mews that Riley walks into Formosa Street crosses the Halfpenny Bridge.
He goes into Diana Lewis's flat on the corner of Delamere Terrace and Lord Hill's Road where he attacks her and is chased out by the following detective. Follows one of the first extended car chases in British film; the route of the chase is as follows: Senior Street W2, Clarendon Crescent W2, Harrow Road W9, Ladbroke Grove W10, Portobello Road W11, Ladbroke Grove W10, Royal Crescent W10, Portland Road W10, Penzance Place W10, Freston Road W10, Hythe Road NW10, Sterne Street W12 – a chase on foot into Wood Lane and to White City Stadium. Most of the chase is a logical following of Riley's car apart from when the car goes from Hythe Road NW10 into Sterne Street – Hythe Road in 1949 was a dead end; the Blue Lamp premiered on 20 January 1950 at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, the reviewer for The Times found the depiction of the police work plausible and realistic, praised the performances of Dirk Bogarde and Peggy Evans, but found Jack Warner's and Jimmy Hanley's two policemen portrayed in a too traditional way: "There is an indefinable feel of the theatrical backcloth behind their words and actions...
The sense that the policemen they are acting are not policemen as they r
John Glyn-Jones was a British stage, radio and film actor. His father was a Member of Parliament and he was educated at Bishop's Stortford College and Oxford University, he began his acting career in repertory theatre in Oxford and with the BBC Drama Repertory Company, with whom he played Organ Morgan in the original recording of Under Milk Wood in 1954. As well as acting he was a producer and director for the BBC, during 1947-51. John Glyn-Jones on IMDb
The Bells Go Down
The Bells Go Down is a 1943 black-and-white wartime film made by Ealing Studios. The reference in the title is to the alarm bells in the fire station that "go down" when a call to respond is made; the film is an ensemble piece that covers the period between 27 August 1939, 9 September 1940, when World War II began and London was subjected to aerial bombing, is a tribute to the solidarity of not just those engaged in service, but among the British people as a whole. It was produced by Michael Balcon and directed by Basil Dearden and was intended to give praise to the British Auxiliary Fire Service. Although a plot employing fictitious landmarks and localities, many of the incidental shots were taken at actual fires caused by the air raids on London in the previous two years. A sub-plot depicted the rivalry between the full-time London Fire Brigade; the reasons for joining the service, the training and the work and tragedy during September 1940 Blitz on London were shown for several characters.
The background narration was spoken by Leo Genn. The film was released at nearly the same time as the similar Fires Were Started, a fictional "documentary" that used actual firemen instead of professional actors, as a result was sometimes reviewed unfavorably by comparison; the score was offered to William Walton, but for various reasons he offered it to his musical assistant Roy Douglas. On 3 September 1939, at the start of World War II, several East End Londoners join the London County Council Auxiliary Fire Service. Tommy Turk is a light-hearted gambler who avoids work, living with his mother who runs a local fish and chips shop. Tommy has bought a greyhound pup he hopes to race. Bob Matthews is a newcomer to the East End who just lost his job and has to postpone his wedding to Nan Harper as a result. Tommy and Bob meet in The Hopvine, a pub run by Ma and Pa Robbins, whose son Ted is a fireman with the London Fire Brigade. Ted's girl Susie has just joined the brigade as a dispatcher, but Ma Robbins' cannot hide her thinly disguised disapproval of Susie's love of dance halls.
The Army won't accept new enlistments, so Tommy persuades Bob to join the AFS with him. Sam, a small-time thief of Guinness, inadvertently joins the service trying to avoid the clutches of Eastchapel Police Constable O'Brien, who dogs him with the persistence of Javert; the three are assigned to the "Q" sub-station of the East End's District 21, set up in a school to train under Ted. "Q sub" responds to its first call at Christmas. Although the fire is out when they arrive, crusty District Officer MacFarlane is impressed with Ted's efforts and posts him, along with Tommy and Bob, as a crew at District 21's superintendent's station. Nan and Bob marry and take a flat near Benjamin's Wharf, she becomes pregnant, suffering fainting spells, befriends Ma Turk. Ted is reluctant to marry, so Susie goes dancing with ladies' man Tommy as a means of making Ted jealous, while Ted rides Tommy for his apparent aversion to fighting fires. Tommy races Short Head, who perpetually loses, costing not just Tommy, but his fellow firemen who have wagered on her.
Sam continues to steal barrels of Guinness. In August 1940 the Battle of Britain is raging; the 21-Q crew have yet to has become sensitive about it. Tommy discovers Short Head has been losing because Ma Turk has been feeding her doughnuts, he enters her in a high-stakes race on 7 September, planning to wager all his money, his plans are interrupted that afternoon by the first massive German air raid on London, which targets the East End Docks. The widespread fires cause chaos as water lines are broken and AFS crews are pressed into front-line service. Ted saves Tommy's life by using a high-pressure hose to knock him away from a delay-action bomb just before it explodes; the second night of the blitz, the 21-Q crew, still struggling to bring the Docks' fire under control, have forged bonds with their full-time counterparts and officers in action. Ted's parents are unaccounted for, Susie goes to find them; the Hopvine has been bombed, but through Susie's persistence, they are found in the cellar and rescued.
The next morning, during a break, Tommy learns that Short Hand won her race—but he forgot to place the wager. The third night German bombers return again, creating a huge fire at Benjamin's Wharf, the District 21 crews are shifted there. Bob finds himself fighting a warehouse fire from his inside own burning flat, declared expendable; however he takes comfort in the knowledge that Nan, about to give birth, is safe with Ma Turk at St John's Hospital. P. C. O'Brien arrives to arrest Sam, but a bomb explosion blows him into the Thames River, where Sam rescues him from drowning. Soon they learn that St. John's Hospital is on fire. Chief MacFarlane transfers Ted's crew to the hospital fire and enters the burning building to direct efforts to save the main building. Bob learns that Nan is safe and he has a new son. Another bomb strikes the hospital. Tommy beats Ted to the ladder and finds the chief; some time after the fire is out, all the survivors and their families gather to christen the baby, who Nan and Bob have decided to name "Tommy".
Tommy Trinder as Tommy Turk James Mason as Ted Robbins Philip Friend as Bob Matthews Mervyn Johns as Sam William Hartnell as Brooks Finlay Currie as District Officer MacFarlane Philippa Hiatt as Nan Matthews Meriel Forbes as Susie
Edward Sidney Devereaux, better known professionally as Ed Devereaux, was an Australian actor and scriptwriter who lived in the United Kingdom for many years. He was best known for playing the part of Matt Hammond the head ranger in the Australian television series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, he was involved in the series behind the scenes, Devereaux writing the script and directing the episode The Veteran, for which he received much critical acclaim. Devereaux based the story of the episode "Double Trouble" on an idea conceived by his children, wrote the screenplay of "Summer Storm" and the script for "The Mine". Devereaux appeared as Mr. Gubbins in the 1963 British comedy film Ladies Who Do and in several Carry On films including Carry On Sergeant, Carry On Nurse, Carry On Regardless and Carry On Jack, he appeared as Thomas Macaulay in series 5 of The Onedin Line, as Lord Beaverbrook in both Edward & Mrs. Simpson and The Life and Times of David Lloyd George, as Mac in the British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous and in The Professionals and The Sweeney.
In 1964 he appeared in The Saint episode "The Loving Brothers". In 1970 he played the villain in The Persuaders! Episode "Anyone Can Play". Australian TV roles included the title role of Jack Meredith in My Brother Jack, George King in Kings, he received critical acclaim for his role as Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley, in the ABC-TV mini series The True Believers. Devereaux's first wife was Irene Champion. Together they had four children: John, Steven and Matthew. Champion wrote the song for the Skippy spin-off film The Intruders in 1969, she and Devereaux separated in 1986. Three months after he was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, Devereaux died in his sleep of renal failure at his Hampstead home on 17 December 2003 at the age of 78, he had insisted on being released from Royal Free Hospital to be at home with Julie, his third wife of 17 years. He was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium. Ed Devereaux on IMDb
Odeon Leicester Square
The Odeon, Leicester Square is a famous and prominent cinema building in London's West End. Built in the Art Deco style and completed in 1937 the building has been continually modernised to keep pace with developments in cinema technology; the cinema has been a favoured venue for many film premieres. The cinema occupies the centre of the eastern side of Leicester Square in London, dominating the square with its huge black polished granite facade and 120 feet high tower displaying its name. Blue neon outlines the exterior of the building at night, it was built to be the flagship of Oscar Deutsch's Odeon Cinema circuit and still holds that position today. It hosts numerous world and European film premieres, including the annual Royal Film Performance; the Odeon cinema building was completed by Sir Robert McAlpine in 1937 to the design of Harry Weedon and Andrew Mather on the site of the Turkish baths and the adjoining Alhambra Theatre a large music hall dating from the 1850s. The site cost £550,000, the cinema took seven months to build at a cost of £232,755 with 2116 seats.
The opening night was Tuesday 2 November 1937. The interior was a magnificent art-deco auditorium, with a ribbed ceiling and sidewalls, featuring concealed strip lighting in coves, two bas relief sculptures of naked nymphs were positioned on the front splay walls, as if leaping towards the screen. All the seats were covered in a faux-leopard skin material. A modernisation in 1967 removed many of the original features, with all of the ribbed plasterwork from the balcony to the proscenium replaced by smooth finishes. A refurbishment in 1998 included new versions of some lost details, including the figures, seating upholstery pattern; the first widescreen installed in Great Britain was premiered on 14 May 1953. The British debut of CinemaScope following soon after on 19 November 1953 with the quasi-biblical epic, The Robe; the first cinema to show CinemaScope in London was the Odeon Tottenham Court Road, the venue for the first screening of Cinerama. The theatre's chief engineer, Nigel Wolland, was awarded an MBE for services to the film industry in 2007.
The theatre's general manager, Chris Hilton, was awarded an MBE for services to the film industry in 2010. After Nigel Wolland's retirement in 2006, Mark Nice was appointed the cinema's chief engineer. Mark Nice was promoted to the position of Odeon company engineer with Toni Purvis and Michael Mannix assuming the role of Operations Manager Digital. A must-visit destination for film-lovers and premiere-goers alike, the first Dolby Cinema in the UK is at Odeon Leicester Square; this introduces the combination of Dolby Vision, the dual-laser projection system which offers spectacular, high-contrast, dramatic imaging, the moving audio of Dolby Atmos, the proprietary audio technology that brings the story to life with dynamic, emotive audio that flows around the room with pinpoint accuracy. The Odeon is the largest single-screen cinema in the United Kingdom and one of the few with its circle and stalls remaining intact; the cinema is equipped to show films in 35mm, 70mm and digital on a 48ft. Widescreen, as well as extensive stage facilities for the occasional live show.
The cinema still has an operating Compton organ, its console lit from within by coloured lighting, a safety curtain detailed in 1930s art-deco motifs. Two sets of tabs are installed and used for most performances; the cinema houses all major digital sound systems: Sony Dynamic Digital Sound, Dolby Digital and DTS. It had the UK's first wide-screen installed in 1953, more was the first to have a digital projector installed in 1999. There are 800 seats – including 22 sumptuous full-recliners seats in the Royal Box – and a "Royal Retiring Room" for visiting monarchs; the opulent new Oscar’s Bar will serve an extensive range of drinks, including champagne and cocktails, offer guests stunning views across Leicester Square from the bespoke new glass enclosed balcony. In March 2011, all the cinema's screens converted to digital projection equipment with 3D capability. Up until 2009 the cinema and film distributors did not have faith in the reliability of digital presentations, so the cinema would run a 35mm print alongside.
If the digital show failed the projectionist would switch to film. If that projector failed, the performance would be abandoned. One 35mm/70mm projector has been retained, has been used for recent 70mm releases including Interstellar, The Hateful Eight, Dunkirk. A silver screen is used for 3D presentations, placed in front of the white screen used for 2D presentations; the silver screen is a fraction smaller and screen tabs are not used during 3D performances. Most of the trained projectionists at the Odeon retired, or were made redundant in 2011. Presentations are now automated. Inserted into what was once an alleyway running alongside the main house, is Odeon Studios, a "mini-plex" containing five much smaller auditorium, each seating between fifty and sixty patrons, it was named Odeon Mezzanine, but was rebranded following a refurbishment in 2012. Following the latest refurbishment In 2018, screens 2 to 5 offer an intimate experience with luxury seating and state of the art technology throughout.
Odeon undertook a full refurbishment at a projected cost of £10-15m, which saw the building retained as a single screen cinema with stalls and circle levels, with the stated intention to maintain its character. The cinema closed on January 10th 2018 to facilitate the ref
Sir Michael Murray Hordern, CBE was an English stage and film actor whose career spanned nearly 60 years. He is best known for his Shakespearean roles that of King Lear, which he played to much acclaim on stage in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1969 and London in 1970, he successfully assumed the role on television five years later. He appeared in film, rising from a bit part actor in the late 1930s to a member of the main cast, his work was predominantly in television and radio. Born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire into a family with no theatrical connections, Hordern was educated at Windlesham House School where he became interested in drama, he went on to Brighton College where his interest in the theatre developed. After leaving the college he joined an amateur dramatics company, came to the notice of several influential Shakespearean directors who cast him in minor roles in Othello and Macbeth. During the Second World War he served on HMS Illustrious where he reached the rank of lieutenant commander.
Upon his demobilisation he resumed his acting career and made his television debut, becoming a reliable bit-part actor in many films in the war film genre. Hordern came to prominence in the early 1950s when he took part in a theatrical competition at the Arts Theatre in London. There, he impressed Glen Byam Shaw who secured the actor a season-long contract at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre where he played major parts, including Caliban in The Tempest, Jaques in As You Like It, Sir Politick Would-Be in Ben Jonson's comedy Volpone; the following season Hordern joined Michael Benthall's company at the Old Vic where, among other parts, he played Polonius in Hamlet, the title role in King John. In 1958 he won a best actor award at that year's British Academy Television Awards for his role as the barrister in John Mortimer's courtroom drama The Dock Brief. Along with his theatrical responsibilities Hordern had regular minor roles in various films including Cleopatra, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
In the late 1960s Hordern met the British theatre director Jonathan Miller, who cast him in Whistle and I'll Come to You, recorded for television and received wide praise. Hordern's next major play was Jumpers which appeared at the Royal National Theatre at the start of 1972, his performance was praised by critics and he reprised the role four years later. His television commitments increased towards the end of his life, his credits include Paradise Postponed, the BAFTA award-winning Memento Mori, the BBC adaptation of Middlemarch. He was appointed a CBE in 1972 and was knighted eleven years later. Hordern suffered from kidney disease during the 1990s and died from it in 1995 at the age of 83. Hordern's mother, Margaret Murray, was descended from James Murray, an Irish physician whose research into digestion led to his discovery of the stomach aid milk of magnesia in 1829; the invention earned him a knighthood and brought the family great wealth. Margaret grew up in England, attended St Audries School for Girls in Somerset.
Hordern's father, was the son of a Lancastrian priest, the rector at the Holy Trinity Church in Bury. As a young man Edward joined the Royal Indian Marines and gained the rank of lieutenant. During a short break on home-leave he fell in love with Margaret, after they were introduced by one of his brothers; the courtship was brief and the young couple married in Burma on 28 November 1903. They had their first child, a son, Geoffrey, in 1905, followed by another, Peter, in 1907. Four years after the birth of Peter, a pregnant Margaret returned to England where Michael Hordern, her third son, was born on 3 October 1911 in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Still stationed abroad, Edward was promoted to the rank of captain for which he received a good salary; the family lived in comfort and Margaret employed a scullery maid, nanny and full-time cook. Margaret left for India to visit her husband in 1916; the trip, although only planned as a short term stay, lasted two years because of the ferocity of the First World War.
In her absence, Hordern was sent to Windlesham House School in Sussex at the age of five. His young age exempted him from full-time studies but he was allowed to partake in extracurricular activities, including swimming, football and fishing. After a few years, along with a fellow enthusiast, he set up the "A Acting Association", a small theatrical committee, which organised productions on behalf of the school; as well as the organisation of plays, Hordern arranged a regular group of players, himself included, to perform various plays which they wrote and choreographed themselves. He stayed at Windlesham House for nine years describing his time there as "enormous fun". Hordern was 14 when he left Windlesham House to continue his schooling as a member of Chichester House at Brighton College. By the time he joined the college, his interest in acting had matured. In his 1993 autobiography, A World Elsewhere, he admitted: "I didn't excel in any area apart from singing. There he helped organise amateur performances of various Gilbert and Sullivan operas.
The first of these was The Gondoliers, in which he played the role of the Duchess. The tutors called his performance a great success, he was given a position within the men's chorus in the next piece, Iolanthe. Over the next few years, he took part in The Mikado as a member of the chorus, appeared as the Major-General in The Pirates of Penzance, it was a period which he acknowledged as being the start of his career. When the war ended in 1918, by now a port officer in Calcutta, arranged
Basil Dearden was an English film director. Dearden was born at 5, Woodfield Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex to Charles James Dear, a steel manufacturer, his wife, Florence née Tripp. Dearden graduated from theatre direction to film, he changed his own name to Dearden to avoid confusion with his mentor. He first began working as a director at Ealing Studios, co-directing comedy films with Will Hay, including The Goose Steps Out and My Learned Friend, he worked on the influential chiller compendium Dead of Night and directed the linking narrative and the "Hearse Driver" segment. He directed The Captive Heart starring Michael Redgrave, a 1946 British war drama, produced by Ealing Studios; the film was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. The Blue Lamp the most shown of Dearden's Ealing films, is a police drama which first introduced audiences to PC George Dixon resurrected for the long-running Dixon of Dock Green television series, his last Ealing film, Out of the Clouds, was released in 1955. In years he became associated with the writer and producer Michael Relph, the two men made films on subjects not tackled by British cinema in this era.
These included race relations. In the mid to late 1960s Dearden made some big-scale epics including Khartoum, with Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier, the Edwardian era black comedy The Assassination Bureau, again with Michael Relph, his last film was The Man Who Haunted Himself with Roger Moore, with whom he made three episodes of the television series The Persuaders!: Overture, Powerswitch and To the Death, Baby. He had Torquil Dearden and the screenwriter and director James Dearden. Dearden died on 23 March 1971 at Hillingdon Hospital, London after having been involved in a road accident on the M4 motorway near Heathrow Airport, in which he suffered multiple injuries; the film critic David Thomson does not hold Dearden in high regard. He writes: " films are decent and plodding and his association with Michael Relph is a fair representative of the British preference for bureaucratic cinema, it stands for the underlining of obvious meaning". More positively, for Brian McFarlane, the Australian writer on film: "Dearden's films offer, among other rewards, a fascinating barometer of public taste at its most nearly consensual over three decades".
Regular Ealing cinematographer Douglas Slocombe enjoyed working with Dearden describing him as the'most competent' of the directors he worked with at Ealing. Basil Dearden on IMDb Criterion Collection Essay Film Reference biography Screenonline biography Fandango filmography