Hatter's Castle (film)

Last updated

Hatter's Castle
Hatter'sCastleposter.jpeg
Directed by Lance Comfort
Written by Rodney Ackland (additional dialogue)
Screenplay by Paul Merzbach
Rudolf Bernauer
Based onnovel by A. J. Cronin
Produced by Isadore Goldsmith
Starring Robert Newton
Deborah Kerr
James Mason
Emlyn Williams
Cinematography Mutz Greenbaum
Edited byDouglas Robertson
Music byHorace Shepherd
Production
company
Grafton Films
Distributed by Paramount British Pictures
Release dates
  • 2 February 1942 (1942-02-02)(UK)
  • 19 April 1948 (1948-04-19)(US)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Hatter's Castle is a 1942 British film noir based on the 1931 novel Hatter's Castle by A. J. Cronin, which dramatizes the ruin that befalls a Scottish hatter set on recapturing his imagined lost nobility. [1] The film was made by Paramount British Pictures and stars Robert Newton, Deborah Kerr, James Mason, and Emlyn Williams. [2] It is believed to be the only film that depicts the Tay Bridge disaster. [3]

Contents

It was shot at Denham Studios with sets designed by the art director James A. Carter.

Cast

Box Office

According to Kinematograph Weekly the film was one of the most popular at the British box office in 1942, after Mrs Miniver, First of the Few, How Green was My Valley, Reap the Wild Wind, Holiday Inn, Captains of the Clouds, Sergeant York, One of Our Air Craft is Missing and before Young Mr Pitt. [4]

Critical reception

Variety wrote, "Here is a film, if ever there was one, that is best indicative of one player’s superlative performance. The player, Robert Newton, disregards tradition and enacts the featured male role without bombast or any sort of vocal pyrotechnics. There is little in the picturized version of A.J. Cronin’s bestseller that is not already stale and the plot travels along stereotyped lines to an obvious conclusion. It is, however, artistically produced, photographed and acted...The leading lady is Deborah Kerr, lovable and sincere as the daughter; the juvenile lead of Doctor Renwick is restrainedly played by James Mason." [5] while more recently, Time Out called it "An entertaining slice of Victorian melodrama adapted from AJ Cronin's novel. Not quite Gothic, but edging that way through Newton's performance (one of his more controlled efforts) as the social-climbing Glasgow hatter...Damped down by flat direction, but the sets and camerawork are excellent." [6]

Related Research Articles

Deborah Kerr British film and television actress (1921-2007)

Deborah Jane Trimmer CBE, known professionally as Deborah Kerr, was a British actress. She was nominated six times for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Mason</span> English actor (1909–1984)

James Neville Mason was an English actor. He achieved considerable success in British cinema before becoming a star in Hollywood. He was the top box-office attraction in the UK in 1944 and 1945; his British films included The Seventh Veil (1945) and The Wicked Lady (1945). He starred in Odd Man Out (1947), the first recipient of the BAFTA Award for Best British Film.

Emlyn Williams Welsh writer, dramatist and actor

George Emlyn Williams, CBE was a Welsh writer, dramatist and actor.

The year 1941 in film involved some significant events, in particular the release of a film consistently rated as one of the greatest of all time, Citizen Kane.

A. J. Cronin Scottish novelist, 1896–1981

Archibald Joseph Cronin, known as A. J. Cronin, was a Scottish physician and novelist. His best-known novel is The Citadel (1937), about a Scottish doctor who serves in a Welsh mining village before achieving success in London, where he becomes disillusioned about the venality and incompetence of some doctors. Cronin knew both areas, as a medical inspector of mines and as a doctor in Harley Street. The book exposed unfairness and malpractice in British medicine and helped to inspire the National Health Service. The Stars Look Down, set in the North East of England, is another of his best-selling novels inspired by his work among miners. Both novels have been filmed, as have Hatter's Castle, The Keys of the Kingdom and The Green Years. His 1935 novella Country Doctor inspired a long-running BBC radio and TV series, Dr. Finlay's Casebook (1962–1971), set in the 1920s. There was a follow-up series in 1993–1996.

<i>Hatters Castle</i>

Hatter's Castle (1931) is the first novel of author A. J. Cronin. The story is set in 1879, in the fictional town of Levenford, on the Firth of Clyde. The plot revolves around many characters and has many subplots, all of which relate to the life of the hatter, James Brodie, whose narcissism and cruelty gradually destroy his family and life. The book was made into a successful film in 1942 starring Robert Newton, Deborah Kerr, and James Mason.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Newton</span> English actor (1905–1956)

Robert Guy Newton was an English actor. Along with Errol Flynn, Newton was one of the more popular actors among the male juvenile audience of the 1940s and early 1950s, especially with British boys. Known for his hard-living lifestyle, he was cited as a role model by the actor Oliver Reed and the Who's drummer Keith Moon.

<i>I Know Where Im Going!</i> 1945 film by Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

I Know Where I'm Going! is a 1945 romance film by the British-based filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It stars Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey, and features Pamela Brown and Finlay Currie.

<i>Odd Man Out</i> 1947 film by Carol Reed

Odd Man Out is a 1947 British film noir directed by Carol Reed, and starring James Mason, Robert Newton, Cyril Cusack, and Kathleen Ryan. Set in a Northern Irish city, it follows a wounded Nationalist leader who attempts to evade police in the aftermath of a robbery. It is based on the 1945 novel of the same name by F. L. Green.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Phyllis Calvert</span> British film actress (1915–2002)

Phyllis Hannah Murray-Hill, known professionally as Phyllis Calvert, was an English film, stage and television actress. She was one of the leading stars of the Gainsborough melodramas of the 1940s such as The Man in Grey (1943) and was one of the most popular movie stars in Britain in the 1940s. She continued her acting career for another 50 years.

<i>Major Barbara</i> (film) 1941 film by Gabriel Pascal

Major Barbara is a 1941 British film starring Wendy Hiller and Rex Harrison. The film was produced and directed by Gabriel Pascal and edited by David Lean. It was adapted for the screen by Marjorie Deans and Anatole de Grunwald, based on the 1905 stage play Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw. It was both a critical and a financial success.

<i>William Shakespeares Julius Caesar</i> 1953 Shakespearean film by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Julius Caesar is a 1953 American film adaptation of the Shakespearean play, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and produced by John Houseman for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It stars Marlon Brando as Mark Antony, James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius, Louis Calhern as Caesar, Edmond O'Brien as Casca, Greer Garson as Calpurnia, and Deborah Kerr as Portia.

<i>The Citadel</i> (1938 film) 1938 film

The Citadel is a 1938 British drama film based on the 1937 novel of the same name by A. J. Cronin. The film was directed by King Vidor and produced by Victor Saville for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British at Denham Studios. It stars Robert Donat and Rosalind Russell.

Rodney Ackland

Rodney Ackland was an English playwright, actor, theatre director and screenwriter.

<i>A Place of Ones Own</i> 1945 film

A Place of One's Own is a 1945 British film directed by Bernard Knowles. An atmospheric ghost story based on the 1940 novel of the same title by Osbert Sitwell, it stars James Mason, Barbara Mullen, Margaret Lockwood, Dennis Price and Dulcie Gray. Mason and Mullen are artificially aged to play the old couple. It was one of the cycle of Gainsborough Melodramas.

<i>The Young Mr. Pitt</i> 1942 British film

The Young Mr. Pitt is a 1942 British biographical film of the life of William Pitt the Younger and in particular his struggle against revolutionary France and Napoleon. It was directed by Carol Reed and stars Robert Donat, Robert Morley, Phyllis Calvert and John Mills. Made in black-and-white, it was produced by Edward Black and Maurice Ostrer for the British subsidiary of 20th Century Fox.

<i>Separate Tables</i> (film) 1958 film

Separate Tables is a 1958 American drama film starring Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Burt Lancaster, and Wendy Hiller, based on two one-act plays by Terence Rattigan that were collectively known by this name. Niven and Hiller won Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively for their performances. The picture was directed by Delbert Mann and adapted for the screen by Rattigan, John Gay and an uncredited John Michael Hayes. Mary Grant and Edith Head designed the film's costumes.

<i>Penn of Pennsylvania</i> 1941 film by Lance Comfort

Penn of Pennsylvania is a 1941 British historical drama film directed by Lance Comfort and starring Deborah Kerr, Clifford Evans, Dennis Arundell, Henry Oscar, Herbet Lomas and Edward Rigby. The film depicts the life of the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn. It is also known by the alternative title Courageous Mr. Penn.

It Happened in Flatbush is a 1942 American sports film directed by Ray McCarey and starring Lloyd Nolan, Carole Landis and Sara Allgood. The film is a baseball comedy inspired by the 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers' pennant win.

<i>My Old Dutch</i> (1926 film) 1926 film by Laurence Trimble

My Old Dutch is a 1926 American silent drama film directed by Laurence Trimble and starring May McAvoy and Pat O'Malley. It was produced and distributed by Universal Pictures. Trimble had directed a 1915 British version of My Old Dutch that was also released by Universal.

References

  1. "Hatter's Castle (1941) - Lance Comfort - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".
  2. "Hatter's Castle (1942)".
  3. Brandon, David; Brooke, Alan (26 December 2010). Blood on the Tracks: A History of Railway Crime in Britain. History Press. ISBN   9780752462295 via Google Books.
  4. Lant, Antonia (1991). Blackout : reinventing women for wartime British cinema. Princeton University Press. p. 231.
  5. "Review: 'Hatter's Castle'". Variety. 1 January 1941.
  6. "Hatter's Castle".