Hue and Cry (UK, 1947)

A romp with kids

This reminded me of the Children’s Film Foundation films that littered the 1970s (in my memory) as B features. Although it stars Alistair Sim he hardly features and Jack Warner takes the role of the spiv-heavy (far from his Dixon persona). The focus is on the kids including one lass, Peggy Dowling (above right), who has great presence but sadly committed suicide eight years later. It was written by TEB Clarke, a stalwart of Ealing studios, and the sense of community, characteristic of the studio, is palpable in the spirited ending where a fair proportion of London’s kids rush to the rescue.

It was Charles Crichton’s third feature and there are some great expressionist moments, particularly when Warner threatens the hero (Harry Fowler), and the bomb sites are evocative of the time. It’s very much a period piece that just about doesn’t linger too long throughout its 80 minute length.

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