The Comic Trump

26th March 2017

The “TRUMP” was the children’s comic that a young Harry Fowler read in the classic film “Hue and Cry”, which has nothing in common with the current incumbent of the White House, except perhaps for the comic associations, but both characters appear inspired by adventure stories and believe wholeheartedly in criminal conspiracies.

All joking, well almost all joking, aside, the film “Hue and Cry” which was shown on Saturday morning on BBC 2 contains sixty-five London locations, and most of them have been identified and re-photographed by a group of enthusiastic cineasts. These contributors have a remarkable knowledge of geographical locations, as well as the real streets which have appeared in so many wonderful films.

The City, Tower Bridge, Covent Garden, Southwark, Brent, Battersea, Kensington, Holborn, Oxford Circus, Acton, Kingsway, Ealing of course; it was an Ealing Comedy; Cannon Street, Bankside, Shepherds Bush, the East End, The Mall and probably others as well, appear in this splendid film which was made some seventy years ago. Apart from the plot and the nostalgia provided by glimpses of Jack Warner and Alastair Sim; remember them in “Blue Lamp” and “S. Trinians”, also on the “reelstreets” site; the visual record of bomb damage, vehicles, clothing, street furniture and even “speak your weight” machines, show an accurate picture of conditions in post war London, and probably much of the rest of Great Britain.

Bodies, perhaps in potato sacks, predate “Frenzy”, and escapes through the sewers may well be a harbinger for “The Third Man”, and the demise of Orson Welles. The private house and local roads which appear in the film could well be in Ealing, but are, as yet, unidentified.

The social record of life, behaviour, speech; does one still say “lovely grub” and do kids still make Red Indian war whoops; and also the moral attitudes contained in these older films, paints, in moving pictures, a canvas unequalled by a rack of shelving in the local history section of the library.

How many hundred youngsters appeared in the film? Any that are left must be in their very late eighties at least, but they all played their part in creating an unwitting testimonial to life in the real streets.

Hue and Cry, was an Ealing Studio production, with outdoor filmed locations now showing on a computer screen near you,

John Tunstill