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London Belongs To Me (1948, Richard Attenborough, Alastair Sim)

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In London Belongs To Me garage mechanic Richard Attenborough and his mother Gladys Henson are living in a typical south London boarding house in 1939. Also living there are fake medium Alastair Sim; Susan Shaw, her retired father Wylie Watson and mother Fay Compton; Soho nightclub attendant Ivy St Helier; and lonely landlady Joyce Carey. Life there is uneventful until Attenborough, needing money to convince Shaw that he loves her, steals a car, resulting in the accidental death of his former girlfriend Eleanor Summerfield. Traced by detective Andrew Crawford, who hopes to marry Shaw, Attenborough is charged with murder. The lodgers rally to his defence but he is convicted. Stephen Murray organizes a petition to the Home Secretary and there is a march to Westminster.

Director Sidney Gilliat and J B Williams’ adaptation of Norman Collins’ best-selling novel impressively retains the thrust and flavour of the original and Gilliat elicited a memorable series of performances from the exemplary supporting players, led by Compton, Murray, Watson, St Helier, Carey, Crawford and Shaw, as were cameos by Ivor Barnard as a judge and Cecil Trouncer’s prosecuting counsel.

In 1977 ITV produced a TV version starring Trevor Eve.

production details
UK / Rank / 107 minutes / 1948

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Writers: Sidney Gilliat, J B Williams, from the novel by Norman Collins

cast
Richard Attenborough as Percy Boon
Alastair Sim as Mr. Squales
Hugh Griffith as Headlam Fynne
Joyce Carey
Susan Shaw as Doris Josser
Stephen Murray as Uncle Henry
Fay Compton as Mrs. Josser
Wylie Watson as Mr. Josser

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