It Always Rains on Sunday

Date: 1947
Director: Robert Hamer
Production Company: Ealing Studios

Stars: Googie Withers, John McCallum, Jack Warner, Edward Chapman, Sydney Tafler, John Slater
Location(s): London



A working class housewife finds herself torn between her family and her past when an old lover escapes from prison and hides out in her back yard.

Additional Information:

Replacement screen captures and new location identifications by Phil Wilkinson

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The Sunday morning wind blows an old newspaper past the closed gates of Whitechapel station in London’s East End. This appears to be a set as neither Whitechapel or Aldgate East stations have ever had a brick entrance of this type.

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A Policeman throws his cloak over his shoulders as the rain starts. Looking north along Hartland Road towards Lewis Street from the junction with Clarence Way.

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On the run after breaking out of Dartmoor Prison on the previous evening, Tommy Swann (John McCallum) crosses a railway line on his way to London to get help from his former lover.

Outside the Sandigate’s house a Newspaper Boy makes deliveries as the rain continues. Facing east on Clarence Way NW1 with the war damaged spire of Holy Trinity church rising above the bridge carrying the North London Line between Kentish Town West and Camden Road stations.

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On a sunnier day, by Simon.

The Newspaper Boy continues his round. David Neicho identifies this as Whitechapel High Street in E1 with the corner of White Church Lane to the extreme left.

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The proof, submitted by David Neicho.

A newspaper is dropped off at the tea stand where petty crooks Dicey Perkins Freddy Price and Whitey Williams read about Tommy Swann’s escape. Whitechapel High Street with White Church Passage in the background and the subway steps to Aldgate East station to the right.

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Simon James provides this shot a little further along the street.

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A police car turns a corner and comes to a stand outside Mrs Spry’s doss-house.

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Detective Sergeant Fothergill (Jack Warner) and Detective Sergeant Leech (Frederick Piper) enter the lodgings to make enquiries about Tommy Swann.

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Having reached his old neighbourhood, Tommy Swann walks through the rain. SJ advises that to the left stands Holy Trinity church at the corner of Hartland Road and Clarence Way.

When a Policeman appears at the corner, Swann runs to take cover. Looking towards Clarence Way from the front of Holy Trinity church.

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Houses and graves gone. SJ.

Tommy hides in the church doorway until the Policeman has passed. Holy Trinity church at the junction of Hartland Road and Clarence Way in Chalk Farm.

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More proof from SJ.

When the coast is clear Swann makes a run for it. Jeffery Maunsell confirms the location as Hartland Road.

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The same location by Simon.

The convict runs towards Rose Sandigate’s house nearby. Hartland Road with the rear of buildings on Castlehaven Road and the back of St. Pancras Reform Club as the backdrop.

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Simon captured a very different looking scene.

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Shortly after Rose discovers Swann hiding in the air raid shelter in the back yard, her step daughter Doris sets off to an amusement arcade and tries to win a watch for her boyfriend Ted. This compact corner has the appearance of a studio set.

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As the rain clears, residents begin to populate the streets. Clarence Way in Chalk Farm located by Simon James, adding that the same street also appears in 'Flame On the Streets' and refers us to his book ‘London Movie Guide’.

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Lou Hyams arrives at the The Two Compasses public house in his Talbot to tell the three petty thieves that he can't buy the gross of roller skates that they have stolen. More of the street corner set.

Doris Sandigate makes her way home after a row with her boyfriend over a offer of a job in a West End club by Lou Hyams. Clarence Way west of the railway bridge. Flame in the Streets street. SJ.

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Clarence Way west of the railway bridge by SJ.

Streets are cleaned as the Sunday morning markets end. Wentworth Street E1 at the junction with Tonybee Street with the Princess Alice public house on the corner of Commercial Street in the left of centre background.

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Mark O'Neill provides us with an up to date capture without market stalls. (RL)

Looking along Wentworth Street in Whitechapel from the corner of Leyden Street.

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Mark also provides this capture where the street is filled with stalls. (RL)

After an argument at home, Vi Sandigate (Susan Shaw) leaves the house. Hartland Road in Chalk Farm NW1.

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The same terrace now, note the lack of balcony at the far right. SJ.

Vi telephones her lover, music shop owner Morrie Hyams. A closer view of properties on Hartland Road.

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Without the prop telephone box. SJ.

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At an outdoor wrestling match Ted Edwards (Nigel Stock) confronts Lou Hyams about Doris.

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The amusement arcade proprietor satisfies Ted that he’s on the level before winning his bet on the thrown fight.

Alfie Sandigate (David Lines) and his pal Bertie Potts (Francis O'Rawe) play the mouth organs that they’ve obtained from Morry Hyams as a bribe to keep quiet about Vi. Hartland Road at the junction with Hawley Road.

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The same corner.

The two boys jump onto a wall and continue to play their instruments. Hawley Road was revisited in ‘Flame in the Streets’ and again, over forty years, later in ‘The Tall Guy’.

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Moving along Hawley Road.

As the pair pass Neesley’s house, three figures walk up to the door. Hawley Road turns to continue beneath the railway bridge.

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Hawley Road as it appears now. SJ.

Dicey Perkins (Alfie Bass), Freddy Price (John Carol) and Whitey Williams (Jimmy Hanley) call on fence Caleb Neesley looking to sell a gross of stolen roller-skates. 60 Hawley Road located by SJ . . .

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. . . and proven too. SJ.

Alfie and Bertie enjoy the sight of a Policeman dealing with a crash between a car and a barrow. The corner of Hartland Road and Hawley Road in NW1.

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From a similar viewpoint by SJ.

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Having dealt with the collision, the Policeman spots Dicey, Freddy and Whitey leaving Neesley's house.

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As the rain starts again, The Salvation Army Band play their last tune. Another studio set, or maybe part of the same one.

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Detective Sergeant Fothergill and Detective Sergeant Leech head to Caleb Neesley’s home to ask questions. Hartland Road with Hawley Road to the right.

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Having realised their mistakes and made up, Ted and Doris climb onto his Norton 19 motorbike.

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The camera follows the couple as they ride away.

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Leaving Rose and journalist Slopey Collins injured at the Sandigate’s house, Swann looks for a means of escape from the area. Hartland Road NW1.

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When Morry gets out of his car to console his wife Sadie after she finds out about Vi, Swann seizes the opportunity.

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Tommy Swann speeds away in the Triumph Dolomite. The corner of Mile End Road and Grove Road in London E3. (PW)

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The junction of Mile End Road, Clinton Road and Burdett Road in Mile End. The junction has been completely redesigned. (PW)

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Looking south along Burdett Road from the junction of Mile End Road. Only the bus stop remains in the same place. (PW)

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Facing east on East India Dock Road from the junction with West India Dock Road located by Mick Lemmerman.

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Looking along West India Dock Road with the Great Eastern Hotel to the left identified by Mick Lemmerman. The area has been completely redeveloped.

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This shot has the appearance of a model . . . and a model car was used to speed along a model Whitechapel High Street at the start of the film.

Swann nears the docks. Mick Lemmerman identifies this as the swing bridge and associated footbridge over the Millwall Dock Entrance Lock on Westferry Road E14.

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Mick Lemmerman provides this map showing the location with the arrow pointing in the direction of the shot.

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Back in the East End, an ambulance takes Rose to hospital. Clarence Way in NW1.

Knowing that the car will by now be reported stolen, Swann sees a chance to change modes of transport. Three Colt Street E14 with the London & Blackwall Railway bridge passing overhead. (PW)

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Christopher Matheson provides this shot of the same spot now, as he says, at least the bricks and perhaps the curb stones could be original. (RL)

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The Triumph is brought to a halt. The junction of Three Colt Street and The Mitre in Limehouse. (PW)

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Swann gets out and returns to the bike leaning against a gent’s convenience. Through the bridge in the centre right distance can be seen buildings on Newell Street. (PW)

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The fugitive grabs the bike and cycles away. Beneath the bridge on Three Colt Street that now carries the Docklands Light Railway between Limehouse and Westferry stations. (PW)

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Swann heads for the docks in the hope of working his passage to Cape Town. Mick Lemmerman recognised this as near Pier Head Cottages north of the swing bridge that crosses the Millwall Dock Entrance Lock on the Isle of Dogs.

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Cycling along an empty road, Swann knows that the police aren't far behind him. Thomas Barker advises that this is Bollo Lane in Acton W4 looking north-westward towards Acton Town station.

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With Detective Sergeant’s Fothergill and Leech closing in, level crossing gates slam shut against the road ahead. Bollo Lane level crossing on the line between South Acton and Gunnersbury stations in Acton Green identified by Thomas Barker.

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Drawing to a halt at the gates, the Detectives spot the stolen bike and realise that Tommy Swann has crossed the railway by the footbridge. Bollo Lane Level Crossing on Bollo Lane, Acton Green in Ealing W4 located by Thomas Barker.

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Swann runs through the high walled roads of the dock lands.

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Thomas More Street in E1, also featured in ‘Hue and Cry’ and ‘Seven Green Bottles’.

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Swann makes his way into a busy railway yard. Temple Mills Goods Yard in Leyton E10. Manor Yard Signal Box would later occupy this part of the sidings. (PW)

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Climbing onto a goods wagon, Tommy Swann sees the Detectives talking with the Yardmaster. Temple Mills Good Yard with Ruckholt Road bridge to the top left. Marshall Road now passes through the site and Frank Cheevers adds “In those days the sidings were a mish mash of various yards but were completely modernised in the 1950s. There’s not much left now and a Eurostar depot has been built on part of the site.”