Tiger by the Tail aka Cross-Up

Date: 1954
Director: John Gilling
Production Company: Tempean Films

Stars: Larry Parks, Constance Smith, Lisa Daniely, Alexander Gauge, Ronan O'Casey
Location(s): London



On assignment to London, American newspaper hack John Desmond meets a mysterious woman in a night club and a brief romance ensues but our mystery lady is part of a counterfeit ring and Desmond is caught up in the whole affair. Together with his beautiful English secretary Desmond is kidnapped by the gang who will stop at nothing to retrieve a diary containing vital information.

Additional Information:

Screen captures and uncredited now shots uploaded by Richard Lovejoy


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The London location is established with a night or early morning shot of Tower Bridge.

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A daytime shot.

John Desmond (Larry Parks) clutching his chest, staggers across a deserted road. Chancellors Road, London W6 The tanks were part of the Hammersmith Distillery.

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Nothing of the original is left.

Shortly after collapsing a police car pulls up and John starts to recall events for the purposes of the film.

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It is after all the same corner as tibytl002.

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John arrives in London with a premonition that nothing good would come out of the trip. Pan American World Airways Stratocruiser arriving at London Airport, now Heathrow. With thanks to "chevron" of pprune.org forum for confirming the airport and also to "canberra97" for advising that the background hangars remain.

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We cut to John walking to the passenger building at Northolt Airport. These buildings were also seen in The Six Men and The Teckman Mystery

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He is met by Jane Claymore (Constance Smith), who is to be his secretary and she takes him to his “hotel in Kensington”. Unidentified terrace.

John meets femme fatale Anna Ray (Lisa Daniely) in a bar and spends every spare moment with her. Having enjoyed lunch with her he enquires what she is doing in the afternoon. Lincoln Street, London SW3

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Still a very desirable location.

They part, but John’s question is not answered. Bray Place towards Blacklands Terrace, London SW3

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Somewhat smarter now.

He decides to follow her despite having been told not to enquire about her “work”. Draycott Avenue towards Coulson Street, London SW3

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A street light gives way to parking restrictions.

Anna approaches a waiting taxi where gang leader Foster (Cyril Chamberlain) opens the door for her. Draycott Avenue, London SW3

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For once a vehicle was strategically parked.

However, Anna catches sight of him. The background is not that of tibytl010 but Coulson Street looking towards Lincoln St, London SW3.......

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...now with a few more boxes.

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John and Anna struggle after she pulls a gun on him and she gets shot. Having revealed his story to his secretary Jane, he is anxious to read the papers the following morning.

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With nothing in the news and realising that he had sent Anna a telegram the night before that could implicate him he returns to the flat to retrieve it. The body has gone! No 5 wherever and the house name is “Mancetter”.

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As he makes his escape he is confronted by the “police”. Clarke (Robert Moore) and Nick (Ronan O’Casey)

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He is driven away. View of the road for historic reference and tracing the location.

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Fitzgerald (Alexander Gauge) visits Foster (Cyril Chamberlain) at his warehouse offices to learn that John’s telegram has been recovered and that John is being held at “the house”. Christopher Matheson has found the location, Crescent Wine Vaults, London Dock, E1 now incorporated into Vaughan Way.

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“The house”.

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John escapes from the house via a rear window and on to railway land. Horton’s Guide to Britain’s Railways in Feature Films states somewhere near to the GW main line. See Capture 20

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“Don’t cross the track Desmond” shouts Foster. See Capture 20

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John is pursued by gang members amongst the railway trucks. Behind John there is what looks like a station with a distinctive signal box or building between the rails. Glyn Horton, whilst not 100% sure believes this to be Taplow with Taplow signal box and station in the top left hand corner. They and the surrounding trees and bushes look similar. I am 100% in agreement with Glyn.

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He manages to find his way to a farm and hastily leaves for the nearby station after Foster calls and enquires of the ladies if they have seen an “escaped mental patient”.

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Foster (Cyril Chamberlain) arriving, included as the distinctive wall might help location identification.

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After telephoning Jane at the office and agreeing to meet at Cannon Street Station he climbs the stairs to the platform. All the evidence suggests that this is Walton-on-Thames, down side, Mayfield Road. The entrance has since been moved to the left.

Jane leaves the office as Nick stands idly reading a newspaper. Kensington Court, London W8 Here she is heading away from Kensington High Street.

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More of a dining culture these days.

As she passes a parked car the driver heads off to precede her. Kensington Court, London W8 Here she is walking towards Kensington High Street, a clever cut.

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More eateries and coffee shops.

At the underground, Truscott (John Watson) watches Jane walk through as he waits for Nick. High Street, Kensington

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At least the tiles have been retained.

Jane hurries to catch a waiting train. High Street, Kensington

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You can hear it now....."don't run, stand behind the yellow line, be careful......."

The train arrives at the “next station” where she considers a last minute dash before the doors close but her followers are watching. A different train stock than the one she boarded. With sincere thanks to Nick Cooper who advises that this is the west end District Line westbound Platform 1 Gloucester Road. The wrong direction for Cannon Street!

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It remains as the District Line westbound track after the track rearrangement in the 1970's.

As a result the train pulls out with them all on board. An entirely different train Stock pulling out from the east end of the District Line eastbound Platform 2 Gloucester Road at the time of filming. Once again, with thanks to Nick - http://www.nickcooper.org.uk/

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It remains as the District Line eastbound platform, east end.

John arrives at Cannon Street to meet Jane as arranged.

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Substantial re-development took place in the early 2000's

Jane’s train pulls into “Cannon Street” except that it is once again Platform 2 Gloucester Road but the west end of the District Line eastbound platform advises Nick Cooper.

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A "deck" was constructed above the station in the 1990's on which a shopping mall and apartment building was built.

Before the doors close Jane manages to give Nick the slip, but not his companion Truscott. They exit from an entirely different carriage than that in which they have supposedly been travelling. High Street, Kensington.

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Platform 4 with thanks to Theresa for allowing me onto the platform.

She enters Cannon Street station concourse to wave at John, followed by Nicks companion, Truscott.

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A little more open to the elements now.

At which moment two police officers approach John in connection with him being reported missing, with amnesia, by his employers.

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Difficult to replicate as a result of all the changes.

Foster, posing as a mental health doctor, kidnaps John from the hospital where he had been taken by the police and attention returns once again to London. The River Thames and Houses of Parliament from the South Bank.

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A somewhat busier location these days.

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Jane recovers the diary from the hospital that John “stole” from Anna’s apartment and had hid in his mattress. Foster watches as she leaves and sends his man after her.

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She is grabbed from the pavement and bungled into the car.

Action then takes place at the warehouse seen in tibytl016 where John is shot, Jane escapes to involve the police and the gang escape by car. The corner of Brown St and Harrowby Street, London W1 also seen in Double Exposure and Delayed Action.

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I am getting to know this corner quite well.

The majority of the police car chase scenes are too dark to warrant capture but I think this might be Hammersmith Broadway.

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If I am correct then this is the scene now.

Eventually the gang arrive in familiar territory. Crisp Road, London W6 few metres away from Riverside Studios.

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Now one way.

Turning sharply into St. James Street, London W6 In reality a dead end!

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A more orderly turn would be required now.

The police in pursuit are also now in Crisp Road…… Also seen in The Long Arm

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In reality they would have passed them but the chase continues.

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….and pull up just in time to see the gang’s car crash and burst into flames but not too late to arrest the occupants. The sign says “Station Hotel” the property next door appears to have a cross or an anchor or similar. Peter Brown has almost immediately identified the background building as Richmond, Surrey station. The Station Hotel as was, now "One Kew Road" immediately opposite, had at the back a room that was the venue of the Crawdaddy Club (see Wikipedia) where the Rolling Stones and others first achieved fame. The location of the films action has now been built upon, the scene in 1937 can been seen on Britain from Above (EPW053661)