They Came to a City

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They Came to a City
"They Came to a City" (1945).jpg
Directed by Basil Dearden
Written by Basil Dearden
Sidney Cole
Based on They Came to a City
by J.B. Priestley
Produced by Michael Balcon
Sidney Cole
Starring John Clements
Googie Withers
Raymond Huntley
Renee Gadd
Cinematography Stanley Pavey
Edited by Michael Truman
Music by Ernest Irving
Distributed by Ealing Distribution
Release date
  • August 1944 (1944-08)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

They Came to a City is a 1944 British film directed by Basil Dearden adapted from the 1943 play of the same title by J. B. Priestley. It stars John Clements, Googie Withers, Raymond Huntley, Renee Gadd, A. E. Matthews and others, and is notable for including a cameo guest appearance by Priestley as himself. The plot concerns the experiences of various people who have come to live in their "ideal" city, and explores their hopes and reasons for doing so. Many of the cast had also performed their roles in the original stage play. The film's art direction was by Michael Relph. [1] [2]



Critical reception

In The New York Times, Bosley Crowther wrote, "as symbolism and an outlet for Priestley's philosophy, "They Came to a City" is eloquent and courageous, but as a motion picture it is immobile." [3]

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  1. "They Came to a City". 5 February 1945. Retrieved 30 March 2017 via IMDb.
  2. "They Came to a City (1945)". Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  3. "THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; 'Here Come the Co-Eds,' Lively Burlesque, is Presented at the Criterion, With Abbott and Costello in Chief Roles 'They Came to a City,' Film Made From a Priestley Play Depicting Haman Problems, Appears at Little Carnegie". New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2017.