Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Earl Cameron and Bonar Colleano
POOL OF LONDON (1951). Director: Basil Dearden.

Several sailors have misadventures and find romantic interests when they disembark in London. The film focuses on two of them, Dan Macdonald (Bonar Colleano) who participates in a robbery in which a watchman is killed; and his Jamaican friend, Johnny (Earl Cameron), who develops a warm relationship with a pretty white girl named Pat (Susan Shaw). Leslie Phillips is another sailor named Harry, and the women include Sally (Renee Asherson), Maisie (Moira Lister),  and her sister Pamela (Joan Dowling); two of them have a zesty "cat-fight" at one point. The most interesting aspect of the film is the dilemma of Johnny, a black man on the outside looking in, and his doomed romance with the sympathetic Pat. Earl Cameron gives a wonderful performance, as does Colleano [Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary?], who has personality and presence if not conventional good looks. There are great shots of London locations (Gordon Dines did the photography), a fine musical score by John Addison [Dead Man's Folly], and Dearden's direction is solid.

Verdict: A nice picture that just misses being a classic. ***.

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