Ealing Rarities Volume Four in July
Network Distributing has announced the release of the fourth volume of The Ealing Studios Rarities Collection. Featuring four films from the vaults of Ealing Studios and Associated Talking Pictures, this double-disc set is available to own on 8 July 2013. This volume consists of films by Milton Rosmer, Basil Dean, Charles Frend and Michael Relph. Unseen since their original cinema releases and presented as new transfers in their original aspect ratios, The Ealing Studios Rarities Collection Volume 4 is an essential addition to anyone interested in classic British films as well as those interested in re-discovering long-forgotten gems from one of the UK’s most iconic production houses.
The Secret of Loch (1934) Director: Milton Rosmer
Coinciding with a bout of Loch Ness Monster ‘sightings’, this 1930s thriller/mystery features Nessie’s first screen appearance, with stage and early film veteran Seymour Hicks starring as the much-ridiculed professor convinced of its existence. Professor Heggie’s claims that Loch Ness holds a prehistoric monster elicit hostility among fellow scientists, merely succeeding in courting the attention of a host of reporters. These he treats harshly; but one of their number falls in love with his grand-daughter, and hopes to get at him through her. The reporter is unsuccessful, but – following the death of a diver and the resultant publicity, which threatens to unhinge the professor – he begins to seek for himself the truth lurking beneath the surface of the Loch.
The Loves of Joanna Godden (1947) Director: Charles Frend
Edward the Peacemaker was on the throne when Joanna Godden’s father died and bequeathed a large farm on Romney Marsh, in Kent. The beautiful, strong-willed Joanna is now determined to run the farm herself, but her decision outrages the whole shire – and in particular her farmer neighbour Arthur Alce; he is one of the three suitors whom Joanna finds herself torn between.
Birds of Prey (1930) Director and Producer: Basil Dean
Adapting A.A. Milne’s play The Fourth Wall, this tense thriller is among the earliest films produced at Ealing and stars C. Aubrey Smith as a former police commissioner who becomes the target of a revenge plot. At a reception given by Arthur Hilton at his Sussex home the conversation turns to the subject of danger, with Hilton recalling a case in which he was involved as a Natal police commissioner. In it there were three guilty persons, but only one of them was hanged; the other two were sentenced to long terms, vowing vengeance on Hilton. Unknown to him, the same two men are now among his guests, and are determined to have their revenge.
Davy (1957) Director: Michael Relph
Harry Secombe stars in this engaging comedy-drama centred on a young music-hall entertainer hoping to carve out a career on his own. The last comedy produced by Ealing Studios, Davy is directed by Oscar-nominated Michael Relph and produced by his long-term Ealing collaborator Basil Dearden. ‘The Mad Morgans’ are more than an increasingly popular variety act; they are a family team, but one of them aspires to better things, and is in a dilemma as to whether he should go it alone or stick with the group. Despite setbacks and obstacles, Davy finally gets his offer from the top. The entertainment world is his oyster. But flesh and blood have a strong hold on him, and it’s not long before The Mad Morgans are back in business together…