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The Times (04/Jan/1933) - New British films

(c) The Times (04/Jan/1933)



Mr. Charles Laughton, who last year went to America to appear for the first time in a film, has agreed to play an important part in a British picture before returning to Hollywood. The film will be directed by Mr. Alexander Korda, of the London Film Productions, Limited, and although the subject has not yet been chosen, Mr. Laughton's part will probably be a sympathetic one. This will be a decided change for him, as in America he has had only macabre roles, such as the mad commander of the submarine in Devil and the Deep and the poisoner in Payment Deferred. Mr. Laughton's latest addition to his somewhat frightening gallery of screen characterizations is a portrait of Nero in The Sign of the Cross, a screen version of Wilson Barrett's old play, which will be shown in London during the next few months.

Of the new British films shortly to be presented in London at least half a dozen will come from the new Gaumont-British studios at Shepherd's Bush. Among the films now in the final stages of production at these studios are Mr. J. B. Priestley's version of his novel "The Good Com-panions"; Mr. A. P. Herbert's adaptation of Strauss's opera Die Fledermaus, which is to be issued under the title of Waltz Time, with Miss Evelyn Laye, Herr Fritz Schulz, and Miss Gina Malo in the cast; and Love and Let Love, directed by Mr. Anatol Litwak, with Miss Madeleine Carroll, Mr. Ivor Novello, Mr, Laddie Cliff, and Miss Kay Hammond in the chief parts.

From the Islington studios the productions will include The Man from Toronto, with Miss Jessie Matthews and Mr. Ian Hunter in the cast; Five and Six, a comedy, directed by Mr. Anthony Asquith; and Soldiers of the King, in which Miss Cicely Courtneidge will be the principal. This film is being directed by Mr. Maurice Elvey, and for one of the scenes a replica has been made of the front of the old Tivoli Theatre. Mr. Robert Flaherty's latest film Man of Arran will also be completed early this year.


In addition to these films arrangements have been made for the making of Britannia of Billingsgate, to be directed by Mr. Sinclair Hill, with Miss Violet Loraine and Mr. Gordon Harker in the leading parts; I Was a Spy, to be made under the direction of Mr. Victor Saville; It's A Boy, in which Mr. Leslie Henson will appear; Hey! Nonny, an original story by Mr. J. B. Priestley; Joan Haste; Bargain Basement; and Never Come Back, a screen version of Mr. Frederick Lonsdale's play.

Forthcoming productions at the British International studios at Elstree will be The Jewel Song, Hawleys of the High Street, The Southern Maid, from the story by Mr. Dion Calthrop, The Red Wagon, by Lady Eleanor Smith, and The Return of Bulldog Drummond, which will be produced under the supervision of Mr. Alfred Hitchcock. Mr. Denison Clift has been engaged to write and direct a film for the British Lion Film Corporation, a company which intends in future to select stories only from material submitted by authors who have had experience in writing for the screen. Preparations for the screen version of The Lost Chord are now complete, and production will begin at the Twickenham studios this month. Miss Elizabeth Allan will play a leading part in this picture, the last to be made by her before her departure for Hollywood.