Calling the Tune

Date: 1936
Director: Reginald Denham and Thorold Dickinson
Production Company: Independent Film Producers (IFP), Phoenix Films

Stars: Adele Dixon, Sally Gray, Sam Livesey, Donald Wolfit, Eliot Makeham
Location(s): Middlesex



During the early days of the gramophone industry, a love story unfolds as record manufacturers resort to dirty tricks in the struggle for market supremacy.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Wilkinson

An aerial view of the two factory’s appearing in this film can be seen via this link click here.

The building in Capture 3 can be seen at 1:05 in this YouTube Video of the tour of the factory by the Prince of Wales in 1936, note the lady dressed up in her finery to listen to the radio at the end!

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Can you help:

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

  • 'Now' required

In this production there are just a couple of montages featuring industrial premises to represent the factories and offices of the competing record manufacturers.

  • 'Now' required

Definitely part of an industrial site rather than a within a studio.

  • 'Now' required

The years pass and the factories become more modern as business thrives. Di Davies has personal connections with the "Gramaphone Factory" complex in Hayes, Middlesex, an appropriate location given the storyline. This building was on Blyth Road and is seen in a number pictures on "Britain From Above". (RL)

  • 'Now' required

This is the later Art Deco building beside the railway line (to the right), also appearing in the next capture. Di's grandfather worked there for 40 years. She tells us that the building was known locally as 'The Gram'. Clearly built after the early 1930's aerial shots. (RL)

Another view of the Art Deco building that would look at home on the Great West Road. A link to an aerial view of this building can be seen via the Header Section of this film. (Here the railway is on the left). (RL)

image no 5

Di Davies obtained this shot of the EMI building at Hayes as she was flying by on a GWR train heading for Paddington. Unfortunately for her there was no flying return journey due to damage to overhead cabling at Ealing. Lucky for us all that she didn't leave it till then. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

Workers leave the factory at the end of their shift. This looks like the factory on Blythe Road in Hayes. (RL)

  • 'Now' required

A crooked shop floor Worker meets Dick Finlay (Donald Wolfit) as the two prepare to blow up Harbord's plant. Maybe a set, maybe a wall at a studio or maybe even the factory from the other captures.