Forgotten London films: Underground (1928)

Underground is the only silent film I’ve included on this list – and it is a corker. Largely shot on location, it is a treasure trove for anyone wanting to know what interwar London looked like – around Chelsea in particular. (Lots Road power station plays a major role – but you’ll have to watch … Continue reading Forgotten London films: Underground (1928)

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Forgotten London films: Run For Your Money (1949)

A lesser known Ealing comedy, Run for your Money tells the story of two Welsh miners who come to London having won a prize in a newspaper competition, which they need to collect in person. Some of the humour is more strained than in comparable Ealing films – think Whisky Galore, say – particularly in … Continue reading Forgotten London films: Run For Your Money (1949)

Forgotten London films: Waterloo Road (1945)

Set contemporaneously, Waterloo Road expertly taps into the tensions between those called up for military duty and those who remained behind in civilian life. It stars John Mills as a soldier who comes home to south east London on leave to find his wife, played by Joy Shelton, apparently enamoured of local spiv, Ted Purvis. … Continue reading Forgotten London films: Waterloo Road (1945)

Forgotten London films: The Happy Family (1952)

The redoubtable Stanley Holloway leads the ensemble cast in this 1952 comedy set against the opening of the Festival of Britain the previous year. I say “against” advisedly: the premise of the film is that an administrative error, discovered just weeks before the festival is set to open, means that Holloway’s family home and shop … Continue reading Forgotten London films: The Happy Family (1952)

Forgotten London films: No Trees in the Street (1959)

Director J Lee Thompson had made Ice Cold in Alex the previous year. He would go on to make both Guns of Navarone and Cape Fear in the next couple of years before his career went into decline. He would end up helming a couple of films in the first Planet of the Apes series … Continue reading Forgotten London films: No Trees in the Street (1959)

Forgotten London films: London Belongs to Me (1948)

Released in 1948, this is an adaptation of Norman Collins’ sprawling sub-Dickensian novel of London life, published just three years earlier. The novel teems with stories, and much has had to be trimmed to create a workable film (the book’s current Penguin edition runs to 750-odd pages of small type), but there is still plenty … Continue reading Forgotten London films: London Belongs to Me (1948)

Forgotten London films: St Martin’s Lane (1938)

Also known by its US title, Sidewalks of London, St Martin’s Lane is the story of a pickpocket, played by Vivien Leigh, who is befriended by a seasoned street performer (Charles Laughton). He discovers she has a lovely singing voice and incorporates her into his act, falling in love with her as he does so. … Continue reading Forgotten London films: St Martin’s Lane (1938)