On the Night of the Fire

Date: 1939
Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Production Company: Greenspan & Seligman Enterprises Ltd.

Stars: Ralph Richardson, Diana Wynyard, Romney Brent, Mary Clare, Henry Oscar
Location(s): Tyne & Wear



A struggling barber commits a petty theft which leads to his becoming involved in blackmail and murder.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

Also known as ‘The Fugitive’ (US Title)


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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.

Lots of river views in this production set in Newcastle upon Tyne which was then in Northumberland. The Tyne Bridge spanning the River Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead. Paul Fitzpatrick advises that this was shot from the top of what is now Vermont Hotel in Newcastle. Paul stood on the spot when he worked there three years ago, the rest of the roof top he says is now a garden for private functions. (RL)

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David Pike took this shot from the top of the castle on Castle Garth. The building in front/below is the Vermont Hotel identified by Paul Fitzpatrick in the screen Capture text. (RL)

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The River Tyne with the dual deck road and rail High Level Bridge crossing the scene.

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Will Kobling (Ralph Richardson) stands on the quayside watching ships and boats. Looking up river on Quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear.

Through an open factory window on a side street the hard up barber sees coins and banknotes on a desk.

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Paul Fitzpatrick provides this shot of The Close, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, telling us that whilst there is now no open window with the Copthorne Hotel occupying the left hand side the same warehouses remain to the right. The King Edward V11 rail bridge with cross girders are still evident in distance, whilst the newer blue bridge foreground is the metro bridge Queen Elizabeth 2. (RL)

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Having taken the cash, Will and his wife Kit (Diana Wynyard) go shopping at a riverside market. More of Quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne NE1.

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Will is followed by two detectives after he kills a draper who was blackmailing him, during a fire at a warehouse.

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The barber crosses waste ground before finding the men waiting for him ahead.

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Confronting the men but getting no response, Will continues his journey. This is currently an unidentified chare. In the dialect of north-east England, a chare is a narrow medieval street or alley.

At the bottom of the chare the two men catch up with Will. The now lost Ouseburn Road with Ouseburn Viaduct to the top. The route of the roads is traced by pathways beneath the Byker Metro Viaduct.

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Paul Fitzpatrick provides an up to date shot of the same but much changed location. (RL)

When Will knocks at the door of a Charwoman, the two wait across the road. This bridge crosses the Ouse Burn as it passes between Ouseburn Viaduct and Byker Bridge.

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This further shot from Paul reveals a still very recognisable spot. (RL

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The railway viaduct running eastward from Newcastle Central with the Tyne Bridge approach road passing beneath.

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A pan starts with a view of the Tyne Bridge and the spire of All Saints Church in the left distance. The city of Newcastle upon Tyne and it's various bridges are seen in 'Payroll', 'Get Carter and 'Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads'.

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Newcastle Swing Bridge seen from the Gateshead side of the River Tyne with the River Police Station on Pipewellgate in the foreground. The bridge is also seen in ‘Schizo’, ‘Get Carter’ and ‘Payroll’.

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The camera continues to pan to bring the High Level Bridge into shot. The scene appears to have been filmed from Bankwell Lane in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear.