Anthony Asquith (1928)

PG Certificate
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Our Score
Anthony Asquith, the son of First World War prime minister Herbert Henry Asquith, proved to have the common touch with this intriguing drama, which earned him his first solo credit after co-directing Shooting Stars (1928) with AV Bramble. Asquith reveals his familiarity with prevailing continental approaches to silent cinema in a working-class saga that chronicles the romantic tug-of-war between London Underground attendant Brian Aherne, power station electrician Cyril McLaglen, perky shop girl Elissa Landi and McLaglen's devoted neighbour, Norah Baring. In addition to using Stanley Rodwell's camera to provide intimate subjective perspectives, Asquith also bathes Ian Campbell-Gray's interiors in expressionist lighting and makes evocative use of montage both to convey thought and increase the tension of the climactic chase sequence. Yet it's the director's eye for location detail (whether shooting in confined or open spaces) that most impresses, as the everyday lyricism makes the artier modernism seem less conspicuous. The result is something of a neglected gem.

Cast & Crew

Bill Brian Aherne
Nell Elissa Landi
Kate Norah Baring
Bert Cyril McLaglen
Director Anthony Asquith

Other Information

Language: English Black and White Theatrical distributor: BFI Distribution Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 11 Jan 2013

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