Hue and Cry (1949)

Whilst on my enforced sabbatical from blogging I managed to get around to watching a few films which I had been accruing over the last 3 months. Here is the plot of today’s film review in a nutshell:

‘The story follows as boy who becomes convinced that a major heist is being planned and executed through the pages of boys’ weekly serial The Trump. Having been laughed out of the police station, he and the rest of his friends set about entrapping the culprits and exposing the plot.’

This is definitely an improbable tale, though in credit to them they did handle this issue well, in the way they had the fiction of the boy’s serial, start becoming a reality. At one point it did begin to feel a little Bugsy Malone- like, given how young some of the teenagers seemed to be who were seeking or were in work, but I guess this feeling is more due to the time of my viewing, as I think contemporary viewers wouldn’t have queried this matter. One of the main things I took away from this film was what it showed of post war Britain, in particular London. There are a number of scenes which take place in exterior locations, which feature many a bombed out and dilapidated building and memorably for me the children of the story use such places as their playground almost.

Although in fairness the children/teenagers are not as lawless as those found in the St Trinians series. Then again this does show in their reduced competency when it comes to undercover sleuthing and general subterfuge. After all they have quite a knack for letting the guilty parties know what they’re about to plan next…

Given that this is one of the Ealing comedies, humour is more the focus than the mystery aspect, though there is a good twist of culprit. Alastair Sim, who plays the role of the writer of the serial being tampered with, is good as always and he made the most of a rather small, but eccentric character. It is a shame that he doesn’t get much screen time, as the child characters didn’t grab me as much and my attention wandered a lot when watching this one.

I don’t think this is a film I would urge the immediate buying of, especially not from its mystery aspect, but Sim completist and social historians may value in it, along with its gentle entertaining quality.

Rating: 3/5

7 comments

  1. That does sound fun in an undemanding way, and I always like Alastair Sim in anything. A film that you could watch while doing something else perhaps? I will keep an eye out on Talking Pictures TV, which does an excellent job of showing old b/w movies.

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  2. Besides Alastair Sim (who adds a sense of fun to any film in which he appears), it was interesting to see Jack Warner in pre Dixon of Dock Green days, In addition Harry Fowler (who played the lead youngster) was a regular supporting actor on UK TV in the 60s and 70s. There is a site called reelstreets.com which in its page on the film has stills from the film and often in addition more modern photos showing how the sites have changed since. It is fascinating for this film and the Lavender Hill Mob of seeing the impact of bomb damage (and also subsequent redevelopment) on London and it did come as a mild shock to realise that I used to work in an office built on the site of the final fight,

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