IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY (1947)

Dir. Robert Hamer

One of the top-grossing British films of 1947, this moody classic has been largely forgotten in the U.S., even though historian-critic William K. Everson hailed it as "the definitive British noir." Googie Withers stars as a desperately unhappy housewife who hides her ex (John McCallum, who would marry his co-star a year later) when he escapes from prison. As the film's focus spreads to take in Withers' family, friends and neighbors, it captures the desperation of life in postwar London, where austerity programs have increased the impact of wartime bombing. This was a rare drama from Ealing Studios, best known for comedies like Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), also directed by Robert Hamer. Its focus on the toll of poverty anticipates the "Angry Young Man" dramas that led to the British New Wave of the 1960s, while the multiple plot strands are reminiscent of Robert Altman's work. Hamer and cinematographer Douglas Slocombe were focused on the past, however, paying tribute to the romantic doom of such French classics as Le quai des brumes (1938) and Le jour se lève (1939).

In attendance: Eddie Muller.

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IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY
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