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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Must-have movies: Hue and Cry (1947)



    The classics that every film-lover will want to own. This week, Sukhdev Sandhu admires a near-perfect Ealing film



    Most Ealing films are worth watching. But Hue and Cry is truly adorable. Scripted by TEB Clarke, who also wrote Passport to Pimlico and The Blue Lamp, and directed by Charles Crichton, who went on to helm The Lavender Hill Mob, it's a near-perfect synthesis of comedy, action thriller and social drama. Its chief character is bombed-out London, whose rubble-strewn landscapes and pocked wharves serve as both playground and crime scene for a gang of schoolkids who twig that their favourite comic strip is being used by crooks to pass secret messages to each other.



    Hue and Cry is usually seen as a kids' film, the cinematic equivalent of C Day Lewis's The Otterbury Incident (1948). But, from Georges Auric's memorable score to its telling use of London's sewers, its story of blackmarketeers importing illegal furs into the capital and its themes of trust and duplicity, the picture is remarkably similar to Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949). Those scenes in which teen-hero Harry Fowler is attacked by a bogus cop and in which one of his pals appears to have been abducted are genuinely scary.



    It's by no means all darkness. Alastair Sim is delightful as Felix H Wilkinson, an affected comic artist who is appalled by the idea of having to rewrite his strips to help the young boys. Fowler is a very appealing mixture of Cockney cheekiness and plucky derring-do. The cast of mainly non-professional actors are very good, too. And, to cap things off splendidly, a scene towards the end in which hundreds of young boys and girls dash pell-mell across East London towards Shadwell Basin in order to stop the gangsters getting away must surely count as one of the most exciting and visually startling of early post-war British cinema.

  2. #2
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    I could'nt agree more with DB7. It certainly is one of the best Ealing comedies set in an unforgetable background of post war London. I often wonder what happened to the "Blood and Thunder" gang and how their acting careers developed over the years. Does anyone know?

  3. #3
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    'Hue and Cry' is my favourite Ealing film. I saw a clip of the Ballards Wharf battle scene at a Saturday morning childrens show at my local cinema in the late seventies and loved it. The film is a sheer joy.

  4. #4
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    steve lamont:

    I could'nt agree more with DB7. It certainly is one of the best Ealing comedies set in an unforgetable background of post war London. I often wonder what happened to the "Blood and Thunder" gang and how their acting careers developed over the years. Does anyone know?
    Harry Fowler (played "Joe") is stil working. For quite a few of the gang, Hue and Cry was their only film appearance. Some of the others worked on a few more until the fifties or early sixties.



    Go to the IMDb and follow the links for each of the cast to see what else they did.



    Steve

  5. #5
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    "Hue and Cry" is one of my all-time top ten films, as mentioned, a wonderful little pictorial history of immediate post-war London, a excellent boys own adventure story, wonderfully filmed and acted by all-including the youngsters, superb cameo by the great Alistair Sim and the icing on the cake - Jack Warner playing a villain! Sublime! :) Regards, Decks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    I could hear Alistair Sim say scrumptious over and over again

  7. #7
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    I agree wholeheartedly with all those who have praised Hue and Cry - it was one of the first films that I remember seeing on tv in the mid 60s, and this along with the Will Hay classics and a few others started my lifelong interest in all films British. The film showed that Jack Warner was a fine actor, totaly believable as the crook Nightingale, and its a pity that for much of his film career he was typecast in less demanding roles.

    Useless trivia - the bus onto which Harry Fowler jumps after buying a copy of The Trump is registration JJ4377 - the same bus is seen twice later in the film passing outside the publishers of The Trump - Obviously hired from London Transport for the exterior shots.



    Mike

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    I agree with all the sentiments expressed. Hue and Cry is a truly wonderful film.

    I always think that the scene where Harry Fowler jumps from a great height onto Jack Warner's stomach is rather brutal. Incidentally Warner is always a revelation as a villain having played so many good guy roles.

  9. #9
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    I've seen the DVD advertised on Play.com for �7.99 with free delivery.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Bobj@Dec 13 2004, 11:00 PM

    Incidentally Warner is always a revelation as a villain having played so many good guy roles.
    It's interesting that at that time Warner seemed to alternate 'nice' roles such as 'Pa Huggett' with some very dark parts (for example the twist in 'Against The Wind' still has a kick today). Even his police role in 'It Alway's Rains On Sunday' is a lot tougher than his Dixon image suggests.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by The_Late_Peter_Cook@Apr 20 2005, 05:24 PM

    It's interesting that at that time Warner seemed to alternate 'nice' roles such as 'Pa Huggett' with some very dark parts (for example the twist in 'Against The Wind' still has a kick today). Even his police role in 'It Alway's Rains On Sunday' is a lot tougher than his Dixon image suggests.
    Early on no-one had put him into the box marked 'good guy' - the stereotyping came much later. I suspect many actors locked into personas in soap operas have much wider capabilities. It must be very frustrating (if lucrative) for them.

  12. #12
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    I love this film. A real Boy's Own, they just don't make them like this anymore.

    And I love ginger pop!

  13. #13
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    See Hue & Cry on the big screen - 35mm print - on Sep 30th, 2006 - check www.feckenodeon.co.uk for details

  14. #14
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    Spinalman



    Photo 10 could be where New Scotland Yard is now - there has been quite a bit of re-development in this area with NSY being built in the 60s plus the BAT building on the same side of the road - but it does seem familiar to me - particularly with the view in photo 10 - will take a look when next in London - It looks as if it is somewhere around artillery row

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    Spinalman



    Photo 10 could be where New Scotland Yard is now - there has been quite a bit of re-development in this area with NSY being built in the 60s plus the BAT building on the same side of the road - but it does seem familiar to me - particularly with the view in photo 10 - will take a look when next in London - It looks as if it is somewhere around artillery row

    I always assumed they were in Holborn and Farringdon St. near the other locations in adjacent scenes. I know the BAT building well and I don't recognise the locations - something about the slight incline doesn't quite tally. Care to go and get before and afters?

  16. #16
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    Hi glad to see so many people enjoy this film. I found this website by mistake, my Dad Albert Hughes was in Hue and Cry he played Wally one of the gang of kids he was about 15 at the time. It was the only film he ever appeared in.



    Quote Originally Posted by DB7
    Must-have movies: Hue and Cry (1947)



    The classics that every film-lover will want to own. This week, Sukhdev Sandhu admires a near-perfect Ealing film



    Most Ealing films are worth watching. But Hue and Cry is truly adorable. Scripted by TEB Clarke, who also wrote Passport to Pimlico and The Blue Lamp, and directed by Charles Crichton, who went on to helm The Lavender Hill Mob, it's a near-perfect synthesis of comedy, action thriller and social drama. Its chief character is bombed-out London, whose rubble-strewn landscapes and pocked wharves serve as both playground and crime scene for a gang of schoolkids who twig that their favourite comic strip is being used by crooks to pass secret messages to each other.



    Hue and Cry is usually seen as a kids' film, the cinematic equivalent of C Day Lewis's The Otterbury Incident (1948). But, from Georges Auric's memorable score to its telling use of London's sewers, its story of blackmarketeers importing illegal furs into the capital and its themes of trust and duplicity, the picture is remarkably similar to Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949). Those scenes in which teen-hero Harry Fowler is attacked by a bogus cop and in which one of his pals appears to have been abducted are genuinely scary.



    It's by no means all darkness. Alastair Sim is delightful as Felix H Wilkinson, an affected comic artist who is appalled by the idea of having to rewrite his strips to help the young boys. Fowler is a very appealing mixture of Cockney cheekiness and plucky derring-do. The cast of mainly non-professional actors are very good, too. And, to cap things off splendidly, a scene towards the end in which hundreds of young boys and girls dash pell-mell across East London towards Shadwell Basin in order to stop the gangsters getting away must surely count as one of the most exciting and visually startling of early post-war British cinema.

  17. #17
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    I was injoying this and then you all start talking about photo's. What photo's? where?.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hackett
    I was injoying this and then you all start talking about photo's. What photo's? where?.
    I have just realised that there are two different threads about Hue & Cry - one is this one - the other is a thread about Hue and Cry under film locations which does contain a link to photos of locations in the film - If I can work out how to post the link to that thread into here I will do it.

  19. #19
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    This film is available at �3.99 delivered by a company called Choices, see DVD bargains, ordered thursday,delivered today, cannot complain about that at all.

  20. #20
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    Hue & Cry was one of the films in my first Ealing box set. I think most people remember this film for the chase near the end where thousands of boys chase the baddies through the bombed out London Docklands. A great film and certainly an Ealing classic.

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