Two Crowded Hours

Two Crowded Hours is a 1931 British comedy drama film directed by Michael Powell and starring John Longden, Jane Welsh, and Jerry Verno. It was made as a Quota quickie and is the first film where Powell is credited as the director.

Two Crowded Hours
John Longden (right) and Jerry Verno (centre)
Directed byMichael Powell
Produced byJerome Jackson
Henry Cohen
Written byJoseph Jefferson Farjeon
StarringJohn Longden
Jane Welsh
Jerry Verno
CinematographyGeoffrey Faithfull
Edited byArthur Seabourne
Distributed byFox Film Company (UK)
Twentieth Century-Fox (US)
Release date
8 July 1931 (London)
28 December 1931 (UK)
Running time
43 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


A murderer is on the run from prison and is out to get everyone, especially the girl (Jane Welsh), who put him there. The detective (John Longden) gives chase with the help of a London cabbie (Jerry Verno) who has aspirations of becoming a policeman himself.



Michael Powell's first feature as director, Two Crowded Hours was produced by Jerry Jackson for the Film Engineering Company and distributed by the British arm of Fox Pictures. With accomplished players John Longden (star of Blackmail) and Cockney character actor Jerry Verno, shooting was completed in 12 days in April 1931 in and around London's Soho. "It was played for laughs and thrills", Powell said, "and we were paid £1 per foot by Fox. We got £4,000 on delivery so obviously we had to make it for £3,000".[1] Although a few stills survive, there is no known print of Two Crowded Hours in existence.


Two Crowded Hours has been declared to be "Missing, Believed Lost" by the British Film Institute.[2] It is listed as one of their "75 Most Wanted" lost films, along with two later Powell films The Price of a Song (1935) and The Man Behind the Mask (1936).[3]



  1. Powell, 1986
  2. Missing, Believed Lost
  3. "Two Crowded Hours". British Film Institute.


  • Chibnal, Steve. Quota Quickies : The Birth of the British 'B' Film. London: BFI, 2007. ISBN 1-84457-155-6
  • Powell, Michael. A Life in Movies: An Autobiography. London: Heinemann, 1986. ISBN 0-434-59945-X.
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