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United Kingdom 1951
Directed by
Basil Dearden
85 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Pool Of London

Like another Basil Dearden film, The Blue Lamp, Pool of London typifies the solidly realist tradition of British film (it was jointly written by Jack Whittingharn and a documentary director, John Eldridge) and the social conscience agenda of Ealing Studios, Its story about black market smuggling on the London Docks is invested with authenticity by the use of the real locations of the South London docks and devoting considerable attention to describing its everyday working life and the austere climate of post-war Britain. 

In a novel  thematic shift for the crime genre the film examines the dilemmas of a black Jamaican seaman (Earl Cameron) trying to deal with English racism in his relationship with a young white girl (Susan Shaw). In this respect, although the film ultimately pays ideological homage to the kind of paternalistic but just (and ever-so-British) authority captured so classically in The Blue Lamp it also contains the seeds of the more trenchantly socially-critical attitude which would develop during the '60s highwater era in British realist cinema.




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