Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Hue and Cry

1947 - Dir.: Charles Crighton
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 30th September, 2006
“Hue and Cry” became the first of what were later known as the Ealing comedies, although at the time it was not realised that it represented the beginning of a genre. The writer was T.E.B (Tibby) Clarke, a former journalist and policeman, who had also found time to be a purser on a tramp steamer and the editor of an Australian girl's weekly paper. He had persuaded the studio to allow him to write additional dialogue for a comedy section in “Dead of Night” (showing here in February 2007) and now, with Henry Cornelius as associate producer and Charles Crichton as director, was given the job of fashioning a story around the mysterious freemasonry of boys. “Hue and Cry” was billed with the slogan "The Ealing film that begs to differ", a line that was later adopted as a sort of unofficial motto for the Studios themselves. It was another two years before the genre of the Ealing comedy came to full flower, and in 1947 “Hue and Cry” seemed an eccentric element in the studio's output. Nevertheless, it was a great success and was praised by the critics. The film was, commented the Monthly Film Bulletin, 'English to the backbone'

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