Film: 1384

Feature Drama | 1930 | Silent | B/W


Starts with unrelated scene of a father or grandfather sitting beside a young boy, he feeds him what looks like a cherry. The boy drinks from a china cup. They smile. The boy sits at the tea table, wearing a bib. He looks at the camera. A woman sits beside him.

Great amateur home movie story film made by Northampton repertory theatre company, 'The Kettle Boils' with George Mudie, Olga Murgatroyd, Dorothy Evans, Paul Harford. Domestic scenes of working class household with man and housewife who don’t get on.

A clock shows the time of 6.15. Stone fireplace with a kettle on a hob. On the mantelpiece are the clock, a jug and other items. A woman's arms appear, she picks up a box of matches and realises it is empty. She looks annoyed. She is wearing a long skirt and blouse and has her tied back severely. She goes to her husband's coat which is hanging up alongside another coat and a flat cap and checks the pocket. She pulls out a garter and looks very angry. She replaces it and finds matches in the other pocket. She returns to the stove, lights a match and puts the kettle on.

The hands on the clock fast forward to 7.30. Close up of the kettle. The woman sits sewing or darning. The postman knocks at the door. She gets up and takes the letters from him. She goes back to the kitchen. She looks hard at one envelope and puts it up beside the clock. She sits sewing again. After a while she gets up, goes to the oven, looks at a plate of food in there then replaces it. She hears her husband come in and berates him for being late, pointing to the clock. He looks resigned, shrugs and removes his cap. His wife dries a plate and replaces it on the mantelpiece. She looks at the letter and brings it in to her husband, who is sitting down eating his dinner. She gives him the letter and plonks a newspaper down for him, then leaves the room. He opens the letter with a knife. Close up of the letter, which is dated 12 April 1936 and reads "My dear Bob, I can carry on alone no longer, please come at once. You must not fail me now, remember your promise. Be sure and come there's a darling. I cannot possibly do without you. Will meet you as arranged. Yours ever, Sylvia Ingle."

His wife is curious, he hurriedly puts the letter in his pocket. He paces up and down. His wife clears the table. He comes down the stairs with a suitcase. He combs his hair in front of the hall mirror and puts a jacket in the suitcase. He puts on his cap and coat. His wife hears him leave as she clears up and goes up to get her coat and hat. She leaves the house. The husband gets into a waiting car, Sylvia is in the driver's seat. They drive off as the wife appears. They go onto a building with a name plate reading Sylvia Ingle, Artist. They go up some stairs and into a flat. There are drawings and paintings on the walls. Sylvia smokes a cigarette. They remove their coats and hats. The wife rings the doorbell. They hide the husband's things and he hides. Sylvia goes downstairs to open the door and lets the wife in. They go upstairs, she looks around the room but finds nothing. She leaves.

At home she sits in her chair. We see Sylvia and Bob embrace, superimposed over the shot of the woman in the chair. She imagines the garter on Sylvia's leg and remembers the postman arriving. She remembers the two glasses on a tray in Sylvia's flat and looks very upset as she sits in the rocking chair. We see Sylvia and Bob lay down on the chaise longue and kiss in her imagination. We see their legs entwined.

Intertitle "About two months elapse". The wife sits reading a newspaper and is startled to see a painting of her husband with the title This Year's Problem Picture - Miss Sylvia Ingle's Masterpiece. Close up of steam coming from the kettle as it boils on the stove.


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