Moon Over the Alley, The

Date: 1975
Director: Joseph Despins
Production Company: British Film Institute (BFI)

Stars: Sean Caffrey, Basil Clarke, Erna May, Debbie Evans, Peter Farrell, Doris Fishwick, Norman Mitchell
Location(s): London



The trials and tribulations of a boarding house’s residents are portrayed in the run up to their eviction and the demolition of the building.

Additional Information:

Screen shots and uncredited ‘now’ images uploaded by Phil Wilkinson


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Bert Gusset (John Gay) leaves the house that stands next to the titular alley. Unknown location.

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The owner of the boarding house, on the film's Candover Street W11, makes his way to work.

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A little later, Jack MacMahon (Sean Caffrey) leaves the lodging house.

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The barman glances along the alley as he heads off to work at his second job.

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Jack enters Joe Tudge's shop to buy cigarettes. Unidentified location.

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A homesick Indian Gentleman (Jaron Yalton) comes along looking for lodgings.

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The Gentleman asks Bertha Gusset (Erna May) if she has any vacancies, she does not.

That evening, two vagrant buskers, Sybil (Doris Fishwick) and Akki (Peter Farrell), make their way to the alley to sleep. The pair are walking into Dunworth Mews off Portobello Road, London W11 with The Castle public house standing in the background.

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A pair of vans being unloaded to spoil the view.

A Policeman (Richard Eden) approaches as a Hippie (Miguel Sergides) sings and plays guitar with his spliff smoking friends.

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Dunworth Mews W11.

Back up is called by the Officer and a police car screeches into view. Looking out of Dunworth Mews onto Portobello Road. The continuity of the scene between image mooval008 and this one suggests that the alley runs north from Dunworth Mews, it doesn't.

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Same buildings, different businesses.

As the Hippies are arrested, a group of youths hang around in the street.

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Talbot Road, London, London W11

Ronnie Gusset (Patrick Murray) and Nellie Tudge (Lesley Roach) head for the cinema.

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The corner of Talbot Road and Portobello Road, London W11, redeveloped. (RL)

The Electric Cinema on Portobello Road, London W11.

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Parked vehicles made a better shot impossible.

A film within a film, the young couple watch 'It Happended Here' at the cinema. This is the village of Eashing south of Guildford in Surrey.

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Nick Gilbey provided this shot. See image ih001 for 'It Happended Here' on Reel Streets.

Sybil and Akki walk past The Castle pub on Portobello Road whilst young Katy (Debbie Evans) plays ball as she waits for her Mother, who's inside.

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Too early for opening time!

In the early hours of the following morning, Jack leaves the pub after a night of heavy drinking. Portobello Road in W11. The railway bridge in the distance carries the Hammersmith & City Line between Westbourne Park and Ladbroke Grove.

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A busier view today.

The empty street begins to come alive. Looking northwards on Portobello Road just south of the junction with Westbourne Park Road.

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The empty street came alive too soon for a better shot.

Jack staggers into the the alley as he makes his way home. The junction of Portobello Road and Dunworth Mews, London SW11.

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The same corner now.

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Sybil and Akki are awoken in their cardboard boxes by Jack as he nears home.

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As the morning draws on, the market is set up in Portobello Road. The start of a tilt and pan showing the rooftops of W11.

Traders await their customers. Portobello Road with the Earl of Lonsdale public house, previously Henekeys Bar, in the left distance.

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Portobello Road now, from ground level.

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Shops open up for business on Portobello Road. The street was also seen in 'Otley'.

Washington (Danny Ray) asks Sybil and Akki for directions to the house where Jim lives, another lodger of the Gusset's.

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In the left of the image is The Castle public house.

Bertha Gusset buys eggs from a Stallholder (Gilbert Sling).

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The same spot now with The Electric Cinema in the background.

A group of Musicians play outside The Colville public house. The corner of Portobello Road and Talbot Road. The pub is currently called The Ground Floor Bar.

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Seems a bit drastic!

Washington walks with Jim (Leroy Hyde) through the market. The junction of Portobello Road, Talbot Road and Blenheim Crescent in W11.

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Another phase of this buildings life. (RL)

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Jim and Washington look at the shops as they move through the crowds with their wives and Jim's young daughter.

Stalls are perused. Portobello Road with the Hammersmith & City Line bridge in the right distance.

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Facing south on Portobello Road at the junction with Acklam Road with the Westway passing overhead. Neil Rigby points out that the junction also appears in 'Slayground'. (RL)

A group of protestors enter the market. David Neicho identifies this location as Upper Tachbrook Street in SW1 looking towards Vauxhall Bridge Road. The houses and shops on the left still remain.

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Absolutely right. This now does little justice as I need to be higher. The gap in the row is Longmoore Street, SW1. SJ

A Demonstrator (Annabella Leslie) is taken into custody and loaded into a police van. Tachbrook Street facing the junction with Warwick Way and Upper Tachbrook Street identified by David Neicho.

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Further down the road. The Queen's Arms on the corner which spent some time in the 80s and 90s as a Slug and Lettuce then sensibly reverted to its original name. SJ

Shoppers leave the market and the traders pack up their stalls. Trellick Tower stands over Golborne Road in W10.

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Trellick Tower still shrouded in fog.

That evening, Mr. Deray (Basil Clarke), the oldest lodger in the Gusset's home, makes his way past the group of Hippies.

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The same part of Portobello Road now.

Ronnie and Nellie walk home together before turning into the alley where they are attacked by the group of youths. Portobello Road, London W11.

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A few changes but the same location.

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After an argument in his room, Jack wanders around Soho looking for June, his girlfriend. Meard Street off Wardour Street in London W1.

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Jack arrives at a club where June is working as a stripper. Unknown location.

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Demolition begins after the Gussets and their lodgers are evicted. Unidentified location.

Through fencing is glimpsed a vision of the community's future.

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Anjano Ginho places this as the South Kilburn Estate under construction and came up with convincing support courtesy of (RL)