It Always Rains on Sunday

It Always Rains on Sunday

classified PG

Celebrating Slocombe


Please note: This was screened in July 2016

Robert Hamer
Googie Withers, Jack Warner, John McCallum
87 mins, 1947, UK

After directing two earlier Ealing films (1945's Dead of Night and Pink String and Sealing Wax, both starring the great British actress Googie Withers) director Robert Hamer found himself directing Withers again in her most definitive and celebrated of roles, the Bethnal Green housewife, Rose Sandigate.

Wither's performance is a tour de force, not only of her physical acting abilities but her mental ones as well, as her conflicted Rose struggles with the appearance of a former lover (John McCallum, who she would go on to marry in real life), a convict who escapes from prison looking for a safe hiding place. Tensions begin to mount, not only for Rose but for all of the locals, as the police's search begins to intrude on the entire community (including the local gangsters), and the film culminates in an impressive, daring chase set within the darkened streets of post war London.

Douglas Slocombe had successfully photographed within the ruins of London in 1946 for Ealing’s comedy Hue and Cry, making him the perfect candidate to give this latest project a sense of gritty realism but infused with a gorgeously expressive use of light and shadow. This was something that director Hamer was specifically looking for when it came to telling the highs and lows of post war life in London and Slocombe was more than capable of bringing this style to the film - it was a style that would lay the foundations for Slocombe's work in future classics The Smallest Show on Earth, The Servant, and Freud: The Secret Passion. Come and see what came first - even if it's sunny on a Sunday!