The Steel Key – Joan Rice

Probably my favourite actress in this – Joan Rice

I watched The Steel Key today and enjoyed it – with Terence Morgan at his most dashing as the confidence trickster Johnny O’Flynn who meets and falls in love with the lovely Joan Rice. Throughout the film, he is able to keep ahead of the police headed up by Insp Forsythe (Raymond Lovell) in his bid to outwit a ruthless gang behind a plot to steal a rare chemical formula.

Colin Tapley plays the villainous boss in a very suave and polite style – something Colin was always able to do

Follow the twist and double twist double twist in the storyline – and you may well feel dizzy by the end

Joan Rice is very good in this one = virtually at the end of her film career. I can never understand why that should be because she was a capable and very attractive actress

ABOVE – Joan Rice talking to Colin Tapley – by this time she had begun to suspect that all was not what it seemed and she was very suspicious.

ABOVE – The sanatorium. Old Quarry Hall on Springbottom Lane in Bletchingley, Surrey that was also seen in the film ‘Blackout’ SEE MORE DETAILS below

ABOVE – Terence Morgan keeps watch – a good job he did

Joan Rice ABOVE tells of her concerns as Terence Morgan listens intently – BELOW

An exciting scene BELOW

ABOVE and BELOW – A thrilling sequence at Newhaven when Terence Morgan – or most likely his stunt man, leaps from the side onto the passing boat. It is all done in one take so there were no tricks here

An impressive leap

ABOVE – Michael Balfour turns the boat round for home.

  • Below taken from the Reelstreets site

Old Quarry Hall

Old Quarry Hall, Springbottom Lane, Bletchingley, Surrey

Old Quarry Hall: Saturday 3rd March – Chaldon History Group
Old Quarry Hall, Springbottom Lane, Bletchingley, Surrey

Old Quarry Hall a 15-bedroom country house once stood on the corner of Springbottom Lane and White Hill Lane and appeared in the 1950 film Blackout as “The Grange”, as well as the 1953 film The Steel Key as  “Crabtrees Sanatorium”.

The property dated from the 1880’s but was acquired by Patrick’s Great Grandfather in 1908. Born in Liverpool in 1868, he was of German Jewish descent and was educated in Germany from the age of 12. He went on to become Chairman of the London based metals trading firm Brandeis Goldschmidt & Co Ltd. He and the Company led the development of the London Metal Exchange to becoming the most important of the world’s metals markets, indeed, following the first World War he helped the Government in the disposal of scrap metal.

Paul Kohn-Speyer, a serious collector of antiques and artefacts from around the world, expanded the Old Quarry Hall Estate during his ownership. Indeed, his own visiting card shows that he owned a considerable amount of land on either side of Springbottom Lane, almost 200 acres, as well acquiring another substantial property in Chaldon to the north.

His death in October 1942 necessitated the break-up of his Estate. His widow Anna, moved to another property that they had owned, with much of the furniture, a good example of which can be seen in the following photograph, was auctioned a year later.

Old Quarry Hall was used as offices by the Guarantee Trust Company of New York towards the end of WWll but in 1948 it was leased, firstly to Tempean Films and later to Stirling Film Distributors. Thereafter, without regular maintenance the property quickly fell into disrepair, indeed even the lead had been taken from the roof. Paul Kohn-Speyer’s Trustees knew that the sensible way forward was to dispose of the Estate and needless to say, three “prestige” properties stand there now.

Maybe these pictures will help us to identify the inclusion of the Hall in other Tempean Films.

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