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United Kingdom 1946
Directed by
Charles Crichton
79 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Hue And Cry

Although associated with the much-loved, slightly macabre comedies which characterize post-war British humour, the appeal of  Hue and Cry, other than for those who perhaps recall it with fondness from their youth, is largely in the footage of bombed-out East London locations.

In best Secret Seven style, a group of working class youngsters discovers that a master criminal (Jack Warner) uses a comic book to convey coded messages about their next job to his minions . When the police fail to act on their alarm the lads (and one lassie) set out to bring the villains to brook. Written by T.E.B. Clarke whose The Blue Lamp (1950) is one of the classic post-war endorsements of the status quo (and which also starred Jack Warner and was produced by Michael Balcon whose agenda for defining British values was quite explicit), Hue and Cry, with its two-dimensional heroes and villains is essentially a kid’s film or at least presumes a child-like mentality. As such it has little appeal to an adult audience these days with Alastair Sim’s performance caricatural although Charles Crichton’s direction and Douglas Slocombe's photography give the material a considerable lift.




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