London Belongs to Me
London Belongs to Me (also known as Dulcimer Street) is a British film released in 1948, directed by Sidney Gilliat, and starring Richard Attenborough and Alastair Sim. It was based on the novel London Belongs to Me by Norman Collins, which was also the basis for a seven-part series made by Thames Television and shown in 1977.
|London Belongs to Me|
Original theatrical poster
|Directed by||Sidney Gilliat|
|Produced by||Sidney Gilliat|
J. Arthur Rank (Executive Producer)
|Written by||Sidney Gilliat|
J. B. Williams
|Based on||London Belongs to Me|
by Norman Collins
|Music by||Benjamin Frankel|
|Edited by||Thelma Myers|
|Distributed by||General Film Distributors|
The film concerns the residents of a large terraced house in London between Christmas 1938 and September 1939. Among them are the landlady, Mrs Vizzard (played by Joyce Carey), who is a widow and a believer in spiritualism; Mrs Josser (Fay Compton), Mr Josser (Wylie Watson) and their teenage daughter (Susan Shaw); the eccentric spiritualist medium Mr Squales (Sim); the colourful Connie Coke (Ivy St. Helier), the young motor mechanic Percy Boon (Attenborough) and his mother (Gladys Henson).
Percy is in love with the Jossers' daughter and turns to crime to raise money to impress her with, but he bungles a car theft and finds himself accused of murder. Mr Josser digs into his retirement fund to hire the boy a lawyer. Mr Squales testifies against Percy, but in the process exposes to his fiancée Mrs Vizzard the falsity of his claims to be able to contact the dead and to predict the future.
Percy is found guilty, but his neighbours rally to his defence. With the assistance of Mr Josser's staunchly socialist Uncle Henry (Stephen Murray), they gather thousands of signatures on a petition to win him a reprieve. At the end of the film, Percy's supporters march through the rain to Parliament, only to discover just before their arrival that clemency has already been granted.
- Richard Attenborough as Percy Boon
- Alastair Sim as Mr Squales
- Fay Compton as Mrs Josser
- Stephen Murray as Uncle Henry
- Wylie Watson as Mr Josser
- Susan Shaw as Doris Josser
- Joyce Carey as Mrs Kitty Vizzard
- Ivy St. Helier as Connie Coke
- Andrew Crawford as Bill
- Hugh Griffith as Headlam Fynne
- Eleanor Summerfield as Meerna Watson
- Gladys Henson as Mrs Boon
- Maurice Denham as Jack Rufus
- Ivor Barnard as Mr Justice Plymme
- Cecil Trouncer as Mr Henry Wassall
- Arthur Howard as Mr Chinkwell
- John Salew as Mr Barks
- Cyril Chamberlain as Detective Sergeant Wilson
- Aubrey Dexter as Mr Battlebury
- Jack McNaughton as Jimmy
- Henry Hewitt as Verriter
- Fabia Drake as Mrs Jan Byl
- Sydney Tafler as Nightclub Receptionist
- Henry Edwards as Police Superintendent
- George Cross (English actor)|George Cross as Inspector Cartwright
- Edward Evans as Detective Sergeant Taylor
- Russell Waters as Clerk of the Court
- Kenneth Downey as Mr Veezey Blaize, KC
- Basil Cunard as Foreman of the Jury
- Wensley Pithey as First Warden
- Manville Tarrant as Second Warden
- Leo Genn as narrator
The film was shot at Pinewood Studios. The main street was an interior set, but additional location filming took place around London, and at Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire.
The film includes the first screen appearance of Arthur Lowe, who makes a brief and uncredited appearance as a commuter on a train.
Patricia Roc was originally cast in the female lead, but pulled out because she did not want to keep playing cockney roles. She was replaced by Susan Shaw.
Trade papers called the film a "notable box office attraction" in British cinemas in 1948.
The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote, "Norman Collins' story, which is Dickensian in the richness of its pathos and kindly humour, has been triumphantly captured on the screen."
The novel was also adapted for Thames Television as a series, broadcast in seven one-hour episodes from 6 September to 18 October 1977. The cast included Derek Farr as Mr Josser, Madge Ryan as Mrs Vizzard and Patricia Hayes as Connie Coke.
- Reel Streets
- "GOSSIP AMONG STARS". The Argus. Melbourne. 23 December 1947. p. 9 Supplement: The Argus Woman's Magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
- Jock Phillips. 'Kiwi – A kiwi country: 1930s–2000s', Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 5-May-15
- "PATRICIA ROC QUITS PICTURE". The News. 49 (7, 595). Adelaide. 6 December 1947. p. 1. Retrieved 30 August 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Robert Murphy, Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939-48 2003 p211
- "Monthly Film Bulletin review". www.screenonline.org.uk.
- "London Belongs To Me". BFI website. Retrieved 25 October 2013.