Pool of London 1951

This is a really good British film with marvellous location shooting, mainly in and around Tower Bridge and the docks in London . It is fast moving, with good story, well acted and directed by Basil Dearden

Some of the locations are interesting for anyone who kew the area – one sequence was shot in the Maritime Museum and we also see the power station billowing smoke and at that time no docklands development.

Earl Cameron plays a West Indian sailor and we have Bonar Colleano in the leading role and tragically he died in a motor accident eight years after making this film.

There were plenty of well known actors in this – Susan Shaw, Moira Lister, Alfie Bass, Leslie Phillips – and James Robertson Justice – he seemed to be able to get parts all the time – how did he do that ?

This has a really good story and anyone wishing to see a glimpse of early post-war London, trams and all – this film has it


ABOVE – Dan MacDonald (Bonar Colleano) and his best friend, Jamaican Johnny Lambert (Earl Cameron)

Into the Pool of London on the River Thames sails the Dunbar, a cargo ship out of Rotterdam, and the seamen on board disembark for a weekend of leave.

Dan MacDonald (Bonar Colleano) and his best friend, Jamaican Johnny Lambert (Earl Cameron) meet up with Dan’s girlfriend Maisie (Moira Lister) while Johnny befriends ticket seller Pat (Susan Shaw).

Dan supplements his wages with some light smuggling of cigarettes, nylons, bottles of brandy and the like. As he drops some cigarettes off for one of his contacts, he is approached by a stranger who offers him £100 to smuggle a small box to Rotterdam.

ABOVE Leslie Phillips, Bonar Colleano and Earl Cameron

It turns out that the stranger performed a jewel robbery with his gang but the robbery went wrong and they killed the night watchman. With Scotland Yard on the trail of the jewels, Dan asks Johnny to carry the box on board the Dunbar.

Maisie’s sister talks to the authorities and the ship is held in port by the police and custom’s officers who are waiting for Dan to appear so they can arrest him.

Meanwhile, the robbery gang are pursuing Dan also and he is bundled into a car at gunpoint, they demand he returns the diamonds – which he can’t do since he already gave them to Johnny.

He is shot in the shoulder but escapes and heads for the Dunbar to stop his friend from boarding the ship and being caught by the police. Arriving just in time, Dan collects the package from Johnny and turns himself in to the police.

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