Film: 9024

London | 1950 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Dawn in London, and police chase robbers.

[Censor's certificate.]

Title, superimposed on river view of Tower Bridge through cranes. Pan round Pool of London to Hay's Wharf; moored boats; pan on past Southwark Bridge to Hibernia Wharf, on to Bankside power station and next four bridges - high level shot.

Production credit, superimposed on St Paul's Cathedral. View towards St Paul's from Fleet Street; pan round to face opposite direction, then further round to show bomb site above Burton's sign, then further round towards railway bridge at Ludgate Circus, as van drives away at R; church spire.

Pan round Trafalgar Square, anti-clockwise from E of St Martin's; St Martin-in-the-Fields, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery; intertitle: '"This City Now doth, like a garment, wear / The Beauty of the morning: silent, bare, / Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie / All bright and glittering in the spartan air" Wordsworth'; pan continues past foot of Nelson's Column, round to Cockspur Street (past gas lamp standards), past building flying flag with horizontal stripes and star & crescent in corner, to Admiralty Arch, as taxi drives through it towards us.

Clockwise pan round Piccadilly Circus, steps of Eros statue at L; large ads for Ekco, CWS, Max Factor, Gordon's Gin, Lemon Hart, Wrigley's Chewing Gum, Jeypine; London Pal… cinema advertising Charles Chaplin's The Gold Rush; up Shaftesbury Avenue (distant ads for Osram and BOAC); Boots store at R; Trocadero theatre; we follow a small City of Westminster lorry past Dunn & Co., top of Haymarket; Plaza advertising Bob Hope & Katherine Hepburn in 'The Iron Petticoat'; loaded lorry passes L to R in front of us; pan follows Westminster truck into Piccadilly, vans driving in same direction; a car approaches from Piccadilly, then turns L off screen.

A tramp seated asleep in a low brick shed or shelter. Westminster street sign for Old Bond St W1, wall-mounted. Low-level view down deserted street, as woman crosses, away from us. Man in raincoat and cloth cap, kneeling on ground, drains dregs from a succession of empty bottles which he then puts in a sack; this is outside a shop or pub. A dejected-looking man in a donkey-jacket, carrying a road-works lantern, picks another up from a wooden barrier round the road-works he's passing; behind are shops: … Sheraton Ltd, James Finlay & Co. Ltd, and a café; we follow the man as he puts the lanterns down beside a large object covered in a dark tarpaulin, outside J. Mortner Ltd, Woollens; behind is London Maid shop; on back of his donkey jack is 'Murphy & Sons' and a phone number; he bends down to put something in a blazing brazier, onto which he puts a large saucepan; he picks up what looks like an advertising board, and sits down with it, as if reading it.

Closer view of the man, casting a critical eye on what is now seen as a chalk drawing of a bearded man (a lifeboatman?); he has something clasped in his teeth - perhaps a pipe - as he touches at the drawing with his little finger.

In a square with a statue at L mid-distance, a police constable walks towards us. Close-up of the policeman's face, smiling as he looks up; his helmet has the EIIR monogram; he looks down at this wrist, then up again - checking the time, it seems - and nods, walking R off camera.

Close-up of car driver, seen through open car window, taking drag on cigarette as he checks his mirror; car is stationary. Pan round junction, from traffic island with Keep Left sign at L, car waiting at lights, ETAM store with prominent window display at R, round to Camera Centre Ltd shop, advertising Leica.

Close-up of man, a burglar, robber or thief, in leather gloves selecting a key from a key ring, attempting to unlock a safe, selecting another key and trying again. (No sound at this time;) a tabby cat eating something in front of three battered metal dustbins. Man opens safe door, and turns round sharply as he hears something. Close-up of Autocall burglar alarm box on wall outside. Man has committed a crime. Cat looks round, looking startled.

Car driver throws cigarette out of window, and prepares to drive on. Rover car at junction, driving off; it turns L past us (reg. RGY 473), drives past Camera Centre. Policeman, near building with 6-column portico, hears alarm and starts running; we see him turn corner; shop opposite is 'Rubans'; building beside us is C.I. Davis & Co. Silks.

The burglar alarm (sound resumes).

Inside shop, burglar behind counter grabs items from shelves behind him and puts them in a holdall he has on the counter, walks quickly to end of counter, opens glass shop-door.

In the street, policeman turns towards us, looking up for the alarm, comes towards us past shop window below awning; pavement is wet; burglar with holdall rushes out from R, straight into path of policeman, who grabs him; their struggling bodies. Close-up of knife in burglar's hand. He stabs the policeman in the gut, who falls forward as the burglar runs off L, dodging the policeman's helmet, which has fallen off; burglar gets into car, which has door open ready for him, as policeman writhes on his back, clutching his stomach. Facing a bank on the corner of a street with a sign saying Grosvenor St, a uniformed (but hatless) man turns the corner looking for the scene of the commotion, crosses in front of us.

Looking upwards, from outside, as a man pulls back a curtain, opens a casement window and looks out.

The uniformed man, crouching on the steps of the Camera Centre (ads in widow for Exacta, and Zeiss Winkel), stands up and rushes into building; the burglar alarm is now audible.

View towards road junction, Russell & Bromley shop at R, KLM opposite, No Waiting sign in centre foreground, as getaway car enters from R and turns towards us, driving past as we look towards the entrance of what may be a hotel.

A finger dials 999 on a Mayfair exchange telephone. Telephone switchboard, as male operator connects plug; stout man with spectacles and greasy hair enters at R and picks up handset to speak.

Angled view down street, past police call box, as car speeds towards us, L to R, past roadworks at junction (with Danger Road Up sign); pan following the car past us, then viewing down the street. View forward from inside car; much scaffolding and construction work on both sides of the street; a Forte's sign at L; past billboards L; past '..ring & ..llow' at L; high double lamp standards in centre of road; a clock mounted perpendicular to the wall at L; part F.W. Woolworth & Co. at L.

Inside police radio control room - five officers, some wearing headphones; nearest is seated at large microphone (and large speaker), as another passes him a note; maps on wall behind; table maps with indicators being moved; he reads the message out. In a police car, an officer with a hand mike acknowledges the call, turns to his driver, who nods, and they drive off to R.

The Dominion Theatre (showing 'The Last Man to Hang'), as car drives past L to R, then past Burton's; at L is newspaper placard for The Post.

View down street as car approaches; scaffolding at R has Higgs and Hill sign; lorry drives away in opposite direction. Driver's view as he steers right, past John Somers Ltd Motor Accessories, into street with trees at L. Pan following car round junction, from Burton's to John Somers. View forward from inside car as it drives S down Charing Cross Road, past Foyles at R, Lyons Corner House at L, across zebra crossing, three buses approaching (routes 24 & 29); building advertising River Breeze at L.

LCC ambulance drives towards us, across road to scene of stabbing, past HMV shop, Frost & Reed Ltd Fine Paintings; stops outside Camera Centre, where uniformed man stands over lying policeman; ambulance man rushes round, places pillow under his head, shakes loose a blanket, as other ambulanceman opens rear doors.

View up Charing Cross Road from Cambridge Circus, car and bus approaching; Marks & Co. shop at R, also sign for 'Damaroids the Great Rejuvenator'. View forward from car as it crosses Cambridge Circus, theatre showing 'The Secret of the Age', 'Alkit' above awning; L past the Marquis of Granby pub (past sign saying No Right Turn).

Squeal of brakes as car turns R into Earlham Street. Driver's view. Car receding in Earlham Street. Pursuing police car turns L at Cambridge Circus, but carries on down Shaftesbury Avenue; billboard on corner of Earlham St advertises Mel Torme. Outside the Camera Centre, a crouching ambulanceman wraps a blanket over the policeman, now lying on a stretcher; a car pulls in at R, and a man in raincoat and trilby hat gets out, and crouches beside the policeman. Close-up of him talking to the injured policeman, who nods. The detective enters the Camera Centre as the ambulancemen lift the stretcher into the ambulance.

The man watching from the window takes a pull on a cigarette, and leans in again. Inside his hotel room, he stands beside a dressing table mirror, takes another pull, then walks past some doors to stub the cigarette out in an ashtray on a bedside table which has a lamp made from a wine bottle; a woman is asleep face down in the double bed at R. The sleeping woman, the bedclothes in disarray. The man addresses her, then takes a few paces back, puts on his necktie, then lifts up the nylon stockings she has draped over the back of a chair. Him standing, her still sleeping, as he drops the nylons, puts on a jacket, takes a wad of paper money out of his rear trouser pocket, and places a couple of notes on the bedside table; he opens the door and leaves. The sleeping woman, the bedside table in foreground; the lamp is actually made from a Drambuie bottle; she opens her eyes, sees the money, and snuggles back down again.

An LWD lorry laden with milk - churns and bottles - reverses into the entrance to Charing Cross Hospital; above is an illuminated sign saying 'Accidents'; inside is a sign pointing to Casualty, X-Ray, and Out-Patients Department.

Inside the hospital, a man in a coat, seated on a tubular steel and canvas chair, taps his fingers anxiously together, then rises as he sees a nurse approach from L; she looks at him, but walks straight past; he puts his hands in his pockets, looking dejected and disappointed; two nurses wheel a person on a trolley past him; and he sits back down again, he is an expectant father.

A white-tiled wall, as a white-clad surgeon comes in from R, yawns, then washes his hands.

The Strand, the tower of St Clement Dane's in mid distance, clad in scaffolding; a bank on the corner at R; a 11 bus approaches past a flashing Belisha beacon; ad for Littlewoods on side, camera pans, following the bus, then revealing corner of Aldwych behind.

'Waterloo Bridge' inscription. Across Waterloo Bridge towards Festival Hall, a prominent factory chimney,as car approaches; pan past a street-sweeper's cart to the Embankment. Looking from Aldwych down Strand towards St Clements, buses approaching; stationary van in foreground; pan to the entrance to Somerset House, as bus advertising Crawford's Cream Crackers on side passes.

View towards Bush House from corner with Lancaster Place; Midland Bank at R; Morris Minor 1000 stopped at lights in foreground. Same scene from corner on opposite side of Strand; bus advertising 'Senior Service Satisfy' passes Janus, Wilson & Waller, and Midland Bank; car turns towards us; bus advertisign Littlewoods turns L for the bridge; police car approaches and drives L towards Aldwych; taxi drives L to R. View up at sign 'No entry except from Strand (west)'.

Vans and porters at Covent Garden market; a porter wheels a barrow in at R, as car drives in, stops abruptly, and a man runs out from either side of the car. Police car pulls up immediately behind, two policemen get out and give chase, as people step forward to look on.

The front passenger's seat in the car, with a holdall full of cameras.

In the market, at R is a lorry advertising Mackeson's; a man wheels a laden barrow towards us, and another an empty handbarrow, as a robber runs towards us and off L, pursued by a policeman; in foreground an onlooker at L, a barrow of wooden boxes labelled 'Dennis & Cooper, London' and 'Decol Deposit' at R. Looking down on market colonnade, lined at L with boxes of fruit and veg, porters standing around; robber runs towards us, topples a crate of apples, causing the pursuing policeman to stumble; they run off L, between crates.

In the market, a Hazel & Steadman barrow of crates reverses in from L; behind, a porter carries on his head a pile of wooden boxes taller than himself; a porter at R laughs, as a man walks in from R, looking admiringly. Robber runs in from back, pursued by policeman; porter drops his huge pile of boxes in the robber's path; the robber falls over and is grabbed by the policeman, as the porter comes over to retrieve his boxes.

Second robber runs round corner towards bank of five telephone boxes, grabs at one. He pulls open the door and crouches inside, pulling the door to as the policeman runs past. The policeman stops beside a lamp post in the paved alley by the phone boxes, then walks back to the box with the robber, opens the door, and apprehends him, pushing him towards us with his hand behind his back; then down the street as we look up at the front of the market buidling.

A hanging pub sign 'The White Lion, Charringtons Toby Ale', down to the pub window (panes sing 'Wines', 'White' 'Lion'), then left to window (panes saying 'Public' 'Bar'). Pub-type piano music on soundtrack; half a dozen market porters drinking beer inside; most are in cloth caps, one is in an apron; big sign on wall says 'Market Workers Only'; man in centre is being congratulated. Close-up of central porter as he drinks a short; he smiles as someone tweaks his ear, looks round, and finishes his drink. Man in jacket at R reaches over to pull down the peak of the porter-hero's cap.

Masked surgeon operating, viewed over nurse's shoulder; he looks up, meaningfully. Close-up of ventillator deflating once; fade.

Double hospital doors, one of which says 'Maternity'; a nurse opens the other, and smiles back at someone still inside. Close-up of her smiling. Her face drops as she walks away, L.

Man in raincoat and trilby walks towards us; from behind, surgeon in gown approaches and speaks to him, clearly giving him bad news; behind them, a nurse walks round and addresses the dejected seated man, who has been asleep; not getting there straight away, the penny eventually drops, he beams, clasps the nurse, stands up, and kisses her on the cheek; he looks at his watch, clasps her again, kissing her on the forehead, and rushes off, R, as she smiles. She shakes her head, and walks off L.

The proud father standing at the entrance to Charing Cross Hospital, looking at the sky; the LWD lorry is parked beside him. He looks up and stretches, very self-satisfied. He strolls towards us, and kicks a stone, as a woman passes R to L. He stops at a roadside refreshment kiosk, where four men are standing drinking tea. He orders a tea, and a man in a white jacket pours him one from a large metal teapot; the man leaves a coin on the counter; which the vendor picks up, as they exchange a few words; the man standing beside him shakes his hand; the father looks away, as the vendor puts something on the counter for him.

Man strolls along path in park, L to R, past a tree and a tramp sprawled on a bench. Close-up of the bearded tramp, in great-coat, and with a crown-less hat with feathers stuck in it. The tramp sits up. Pigeons on the grass in the park. The tramp gathers his things together, and walks off R.

Statue of an eagle, on a tall plinth on the Embankment; father walks to river front, facing W; Royal Festival Hall behind him, a moored river cruiser at R; he checks his watch, smiles, and walks R; County Hall passes behind him; moored river boats.

Viewed over a Trafalgar Square fountain, he walks in from L in distance, holding his coat in his hand, then pirouettes with the coat in a flock of pigeons, which fly up en masse; pan to the foot of Nelson's Column, looking down Whitehall; building behind has ad for Exide batteries; tilt up to Nelson at top of Column. The steeple of St Martin's, then down to the classical frontage, and in the foreground a streetsweeper sweeping the gutter, his cart at centre; an ABC van drives away in distance; chimes of Big Ben on soundtrack; Big Ben strikes seven as sweeper uses broom and shovel to pick up the debris; cyclist passes R to L, motorcyclist passes L to R.

Man ascends steps of St Martin's, looks up at display board giving 'The Story of the Church', stops in doorway, hesitantly, then enters, past a woman on her knees washing the floor.

Outside St Martin's a Daily Mail van pulls up, and a man dumps a pile of papers, out of the sliding door, onto the pavement. Close-up of the pile of papers; superimposed is the intertitle 'A Day Begins . . .'

[Ends]


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