This powerful Ealing melodrama casts Googie Withers as former barmaid Rose Sandigate, married to middle-aged George (Edward Chapman), who has two teenage daughters from a previous marriage. Bossy and strident, Rose copes competently with the difficulties of post-war rationing, a dreary environment and near-slum housing. The arrival on the scene of Rose’s former lover Tommy Swann (John McCallum) – an escaped convict on the run – serves as the catalyst for a compelling drama which changes the lives of all involved. Swann begs Rose to hide him and, discontented with her marriage to George, her love for Swann is rekindled. However, Swann once again deserts her when his hideout is discovered and he flees from the pursuing police, headed by Sergeant Fothergill (Jack Warner).
The three central characters are exemplary, Withers commandingly bringing to life the character of a woman who is a prisoner of her situation. However, it is in the creation and cast of the minor characters, as in much of the best of British cinema, that the film truly excels. The rich mosaic of East End life, while owing much to script, derives its greatest impact from the sharply observed and sharply played supporting roles.
As the Sunday Times pointed out, It Always Rains on Sunday has ‘the persuasiveness of an exciting story professionally told,’ and notable among the supporting cast are Sydney Tafler’s fleshy and flirtatious band leader, Betty Ann Davies as his wife, a trio of small-time criminals played by John Carol, Jimmy Hanley and Alfie Bass, and a memorable portrait of a sluttish boarding house lady played by Hermione Baddley.
John McCallum and Googie Withers were married in real life.
UK / Ealing / 92 minutes / 1947
Writers: Angus MacPhail, Robert Hamer, Henry Cornelius
Novel: Arthur La Bern
Music: Georges Auric
Director: Robert Hamer
Googie Withers as Rose Sandigate
Edward Chapman as George Sandigate
Susan Shaw as Vi Sandigate
Patricia Plunkett as Doris Sandigate
David Liney as Alfie Sandigate
Sydney Tafler as Morry Hyams
Betty Ann Davies as Sadie, his wife
John Slater as Lou, his brother
Jane Hylton as Bessie, his sister
Meier Tzelniker as Solly, his father
John McCallum as Tommy Swann
Jimmy Hanley as Whitey
John Carol as Freddie
Alfie Bass as Dicey
Jack Warner as Det. Sergt. Fothergill