Pool of London (film)

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Pool of London
Original British quad format film poster
Directed by Basil Dearden
Screenplay by Jack Whittingham
John Eldridge
Produced by Michael Balcon
Michael Relph (associate producer)
Starring Bonar Colleano
Earl Cameron
Susan Shaw
Cinematography Gordon Dines
Edited by Peter Tanner
Music by John Addison
Distributed by GFD (UK)
Release date
  • 22 February 1951 (1951-02-22)(UK)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£130,000 [2]

Pool of London is a 1951 British noir [3] crime film directed by Basil Dearden. [4] It stars Bonar Colleano, Earl Cameron and Susan Shaw. [5]



The character-driven story of Pool of London centres around the crew of the merchant ship Dunbar, which docks in the Pool of London. The crew members are given shore leave, with some practising petty smuggling and other various dodges. Set in post-war London, the film is of note for portraying the first interracial relationship in a British film. [6]

Black crew member Johnny (Earl Cameron), an all-round nice guy, meets a pretty blonde, Pat (Susan Shaw), who offers to show him the sights of London. In a visually-rich montage, they visit the National Maritime Museum and the Greenwich Observatory. Also shown briefly are views from the dome of St Paul's Cathedral, and some of the bombed areas around the cathedral before the rebuilding of Paternoster Square.

Another seaman, Dan (Bonar Colleano), inadvertently becomes involved with a jewel robbery in which a night watchman is murdered.

Main cast


Pool of London premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on 22 February 1951. [1]

Critical reception

In The New York Times , Bosley Crowther wrote, "there is excitement and suspense in the gritty and grimy melodramatics," and concluded that the film, "though not distinguished, is entertaining and has the flavor of a great shipping port." [7]

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  1. 1 2 "Pool Of London". Art & Hue. 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  2. Harper, Sue; Porter, Vincent (2003). British Cinema of The 1950s The Decline of Deference. Oxford University Press USA. p. 285.
  3. tasteofcinema.com
  4. Brooks, Xan (8 August 2017). "'I've not retired!' Earl Cameron, Britain's first black film star, on Bond, racism – and turning 100" via www.theguardian.com.
  5. "Pool of London (1951)". BFI. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  6. BFI Screenonline: Pool of London Linked 2015-06-08
  7. "Movie Reviews". 2 July 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2020 via NYTimes.com.