Halfway House, The

Date: 1944
Director: Basil Dearden and Alberto Cavalcanti
Production Company: Ealing Studios

Stars: Mervyn Johns, Glynis Johns, Tom Walls, Françoise Rosay, Alfred Drayton, Esmond Knight
Location(s): Devon, London, Somerset

Region(s): ,


A group of travellers, all with something to hide in their past, stop at an inn run by the ghosts of a man and his daughter.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

Wendy Fox’s grand parents owned this Farm at this time and she remembers all of the buildings and has some photos of herself sitting in the front meadow as a baby with the cows. She says that it was strange seeing the rooms she knew changed for filming and advises that another film was made at Barlynch Farm but her family has never been able to find out the name of it.  Can anyone help her?

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If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.

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The film starts with various establishing shots which introduce the characters and their stories. This is Duke Street in the Welsh capital with Cardiff Castle clock tower standing to the left. A similar view was seen in ‘Bitter Harvest’.

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Having been given only a few months to live by his Doctor, David Davies conducts a symphony orchestra in the land of his birth. Richmond Theatre on Little Green in Richmond, Surrey. The theatre was used in ‘The Naked Truth’, ‘The Comedy Man’ and ‘The Krays’.

In London, a husband and wife find that their marriage is coming to an end. Facing north on King’s Bench Walk in The Temple.

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Peter went to the Temple and took this shot.

Inside Mr. Truscott’s office, Richard and Jill French discuss divorce as their daughter Joanna listens at the door. King’s Bench Walk in London EC4, also seen in ‘Mister Quilp’, ‘Tom Jones’ and ‘Brothers in Law’.

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This comparison is by Peter too.

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Inside the film’s Parkmoor Prison, the Governor is speaking to disgraced Army Captain Fortescue before his release. A fictional cross between Dartmoor and Parkhurst, but is this also a faked scene?

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Back in Wales, an older couple have problems with their relationship. More second unit work in Cardiff by the look of it.

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Home after losing his ship, Navy Captain Meadows takes to drinking as he and his wife Alice struggle to come to terms with the death of their son.

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Captain Harry Meadows (Tom Walls) and his wife Alice (Françoise Rosay) set off for The Halfway House in their trap. Richard Lovejoy spotted St. Peter's Square in Hammersmith W6, which also appears in 'The Pumpkin Eater'.

Returning to London, a wartime profiteer meets with his contacts. Facing north on Regent Street W1 with the corner of Heddon Street to the left of centre.

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A similar view by Peter.

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Inside the Imperial Palace Hotel, William Oakley bargains for black market goods. Another bit of trickery, the passing vehicles are models too!

At Temple Meads station, a train bound for Wales begins to fill with passengers. The station approach road seen from Temple Gate in Bristol.

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From ground level with Bristol and Exeter House to the right, which is also seen in 'Savage Messiah'. (PW)

Richard French boards the train with Joanna as he takes her on a break to The Halfway House. The station appeared in ‘A Day in the Death of Joe Egg’.

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From a similar viewpoint. (PW)

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At the last minute Terence (Pat McGrath) runs onto the platform and jumps onto the departing train to join his girlfriend Margaret. No wonder he got to the train late, this is Paddington station in London W2.

The train pulls into fictional Ynysgwyn, junction for Cwmbach. East Anstey station on the line from Taunton to Barnstaple in Somerset.

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Clive Rideout found that the station was now a private house with an extension onto the platform. With grateful thanks to Pete for his permission for this and the other location shots. (RL)

When they ask the Porters (Jack Jones and Moses Jones), Squadron Leader French (Richard Bird) and his daughter Joanna (Sally Ann Howes) discover that the train to Cwmbach has already departed. East Anstey station on the road running south from the village.

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Clive found that all trains to anywhere departed in 1966. (RL)

Also missing the connecting train, Terence and Margaret (Philippa Hiatt) join the others. East Anstey station closed in 1966.

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Clive similarly missed the connecting train. (RL)

The Porters mutter to each other about the visitors. The buildings at East Anstey survive in residential use.

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There was no muttering when Clive was there, just birdsong he says.

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The four set off to walk the six miles to The Halfway House. Clive Rideout advises that the view is not from the station, although it looks like the gate has been borrowed for the shot. (RL)

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When they meet on the road, William Oakley takes Fortescue’s binoculars and catches sight of The Halfway House where the Captain had previously seen nothing.

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Fortescue gives Oakley a hair raising lift on the back of his bicycle. IMDB advises that part of the ride was filmed at Porlock Hill, Porlock in Somerset.

The pair approach The Halfway House. Barlynch Farmhouse near Dulverton, Somerset.

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As Clive points out "the bicycle has been upgraded". With thanks to the owner of Barlynch Farm for this and following 'Nows'. (RL)

William Oakley (Alfred Drayton) mops his brow after he and Captain Fortescue (Guy Middleton) reach their destination. Barlynch Farm on Exmoor.

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Clive found that there was now no chance of a pint. (RL)

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David Davis approaches The Halfway House in his car. This is approaching Barlynch Farm from the south on the A396.

The world famous conductor turns off the main road towards the remote hostelry. Looking onto the A396 from Barlynch Farm.

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Lots of overgrowth and a lower shot from Clive without access to the upper storey. (RL)

Gwyneth (Glynis Johns) meets David Davies (Esmond Knight) as he brings the car to a halt.

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The Singer has now become a Range Rover, Clive found. (RL)

Riding on the running board of the car, the landlord's daughter directs David to the car park at the rear of the building. Attached to the farm are the remains of Barlynch or St. Nicholas Priory which dates from the late 1100s.

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The lovely Glynis wasn't there to direct Clive - "more's the pity" he says. (RL)

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Rhys (Mervyn Johns) the landlord comes out to greet Captain and Mrs. Meadows. Barlinch Farm stands between the River Exe and the A396 road running between Tiverton and Dunster.

Oakley and Fortescue play on the green outside the inn. Barlynch Farm near Dulverton.

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Clive found less wall and more flora now. (RL)

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Terence and Margaret take a walk by the river.

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The young woman finds that the man she is to marry has thoughts at odds with her own.

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Joanna runs inside the building after a feigned rescue from the river goes terribly wrong.

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The Halfway House, a ghostly inn near Cwmbach in Wales played by Barlynch Farm on Exmoor in Somerset.