The Long Haul (1957 film)

The Long Haul is a 1957 British drama film directed by Ken Hughes and starring Victor Mature, Patrick Allen and Diana Dors.[2]

The Long Haul
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKen Hughes
Produced byMaxwell Setton
Written byKen Hughes
Based onnovel The Long Haul by Mervyn Mills[1]
StarringVictor Mature
Diana Dors
Patrick Allen
Gene Anderson
Music byTrevor Duncan
CinematographyBasil Emmott
Edited byRaymond Poulton
Marksman Films
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • 27 August 1957 (1957-08-27) (UK)
  • December 1957 (1957-12) (US)
Running time
100 mins.
CountryUnited Kingdom

Plot summary

An American ex-serviceman leaves Allied-occupied Germany after WWII and is persuaded by his English wife to settle in Liverpool' Looking for work, he becomes a lorry driver. He comes into contact with criminals involved in theft from commercial vehicles and draws close to the girlfriend of a major crime figure.



The film was based on the novel by Mervyn Mills which was published in 1956. It was Mills' first novel. According to his obituary, the novel "stemmed from his journeys through early post-war Britain on a moped, before the advent of the motorways, when he absorbed, on the Great North Road, something of the lives of the long-distance lorry drivers, their roadside cafes and the people, often women, who frequented them. The book was turned down by 12 publishers before being accepted by the 13th, and even then Mills had to fight for his artistic integrity with the director and general editor, Lovat Dickson, to retain the more colourful passages. After so many rejections, this took courage."[3] The Irish Times called it "an exciting and unusually vivid book."[4]

Film rights were bought by Todon Productions, the film company of Tony Owen and Donna Reed, run by Maxwell Seton. Ken Hughes, who had made films for them before, signed to write and direct. In July 1956 Diana Dors agreed to play the female lead.[5] Like many Todon films, it was distributed through Columbia. The production would be credited to Seton's company, Marksman Films.[6]

Robert Mitchum was originally announced as the male star.[7] In January 1957 Victor Mature signed.[8] Maturev had just made three films in England for Warwick Productions, who also distributed through Colubma: Zarak, Safari and Interpol. Mature had driven trucks for his father's business when younger.[9]

Setton tried to get Raymond Burr to support Mature and Dors but was unable to.[10] A lead role was played by newcomer Patrick Allen who Setton signed to a three picture contract over three years.[11]

Filming took place in April-June 1957, at British Lion studios in Sheppeerton.[12]

Critical reception

Leonard Maltin dismissed the film as "Minor fare";[13] whereas DVD Talk commended a "Completely satisfying British B-noir. Sure the story is familiar, but it's handled with cold, professional skill. The performers are perfectly cast here. I'm highly recommending The Long Haul."[14]

See also


  1. Goble, Alan (1 January 1999). "The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film". Walter de Gruyter via Google Books.
  2. "The Long Haul (1957)".
  3. Obituary: Mervyn Mills: [FOREIGN Edition] Barker, Ralph. The Independent1 June 2000: 6.
  4. CLEVER BUT IRRITATING A R. The Irish Times 14 Apr 1956: 8
  5. Whole Town Fights Over British Charmer Parsons, Louella. The Washington Post and Times Herald 11 July 1956: 20.
  6. A TOWN CALLED HOLLYWOOD: Studio Has 4 McGowans, Not to Mention a Megowan Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 26 Aug 1956: D2.
  7. Diana Dors Isn't Homesick; She's Set for Film in Britain Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune I29 Sep 1956: 22.
  8. Looking at Hollywood: Vic Mature to Make Film in London with Diana Dors Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 25 Jan 1957: b8.
  9. Round the British Studios Nepean, Edith. Picture Show; London Vol. 68, Iss. 1786, (Jun 22, 1957): 11.
  10. George Nader to Star With Borchers; 'Bombay Meeting' New Venture Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]15 Feb 1957: 21.
  11. Gossip Filmer, Fay. Picture Show; London Vol. 1777, Iss. 68, (Apr 20, 1957): 3-4.
  12. Gossip Filmer, Fay. Picture Show; London Vol. 68, Iss. 1778, (Apr 27, 1957): 3-4, 13.
  13. "The Long Haul (1957) - Overview -".
  14. "The Long Haul (Sony Choice Collection)".

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