Something in the City

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Something in the City
"Something in the City" (1950).jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Maclean Rogers
Written by H. F. Maltby
Michael Pertwee
Produced byErnest G. Roy
Starring Richard Hearne
Garry Marsh
Ellen Pollock
Betty Sinclair
Cinematography Geoffrey Faithfull
Edited by Charles Hasse
Music by Wilfred Burns
Distributed by Butcher's Film Service
Release date
  • September 1950 (1950-09)
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Something in the City is a 1950 British comedy film directed by Maclean Rogers and starring Richard Hearne, Garry Marsh and Ellen Pollock. [2] [3] It includes an early uncredited performance by Stanley Baker as a police constable. [4]



Mr Ningle has been living a lie for seven years by pretending to still be commuting to his financial services job in the City of London from which he had been sacked. Every day, he journeys in and changes into the disguise of his alter ego: an artist who sells paintings on the pavement in Trafalgar Square.

His life is thrown into turmoil when his deception is nearly discovered by Mr. Holley, the father of his daughter Beryl's new fiancé, Richard. The father happens to be the managing editor of the Evening Courier newspaper, and worried about his prospective in-laws. A series of misunderstandings lead to the mistaken belief that Ningle has been murdered by "Artie the artist", leading to a massive police manhunt. Ningle manages to stage a fake suicide for Artie, while he reappears and pretends he had amnesia for the past 48 hours.

When Holley publishes an offer of a large sum to Artie by way of apology (having heard that he committed suicide), Ningle cannot resist "resurrecting" the artist, but Holley now suspects the truth. Ningle manages to outmanoeuvre him, however, and presents the money to Beryl and Richard, enabling them to marry despite the opposition of Richard's parents.



The film was made at Nettlefold Studios in Walton-on-Thames and on location around London. [3] The film's director, Maclean Rogers, was experienced in second feature productions. It was distributed by Butcher's Film Service.

Critical reception

The Radio Times Guide to Films gave the film 2/5 stars, writing: "After 40 years as a circus clown and music-hall comic, Richard Hearne finally found fame on TV as the fumbling old fool, Mr Pastry. But the performer was less fond of the character to whom he owed his fortune than the public, and Hearne frequently sought to escape from the corny slapstick of his children's shows. Here, he plays a pavement artist who convinces his wife he is a high financier. The cheery street folk simply don't ring true and the pathos makes Chaplin look like a cynic." [5]

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  1. Gifford, Denis (1 April 2016). British Film Catalogue: Two Volume Set - The Fiction Film/The Non-Fiction Film. Routledge. p. 574. ISBN   9781317740636.
  2. "Something in the City". British Film Institute Collections Search. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  3. 1 2 "Something in the City (1951)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016.
  4. "Stanley Baker". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 29 March 2016.
  5. Radio Times Guide to Films (18th ed.). London: Immediate Media Company. 2017. p. 857. ISBN   9780992936440.