On the one hand the story follows the first days of a rookie policeman settling in at his new post. Andy (Jimmy Hanley) is fresh-faced, keen, anxious to shine. Pc Dixon shows him the ropes and offers him lodgings under his roof, a tiny terraced house with pigeons in the backyard and socks drying on the line under the mantelpiece. In contrast to this cosy domestic life, which continues in the police station with shots of choir practice and friendly jossing over egg-and-chips in the canteen, is set the story of two young hoodlums, played by Dirk Bogarde and Patric Doonan, and a raid on a dowdy suburban cinema in which Dixon is shot down in cold blood. It seems that shooting a policeman, let alone one as popular with the community as this one, is simply not a right and proper way to further a life of crime, and there is a tacit understanding between the police and the underworld to help catch the guilty. —Britmovie.co.uk
Basil Dearden (born Basil Clive Dear; 1 January 1911 – 23 March 1971) was an English film director.
Dearden was born at Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. He graduated from theatre direction to film, working as an assistant to Basil Dean. He later changed his own name to Dearden to avoid confusion with his mentor.
He first began working as a director at Ealing Studios, co-directing comedy films with Will Hay, including The Goose Steps Out (1942) and My Learned Friend (1943). He worked on the influential chiller compendium Dead of Night (1945) and directed the linking narrative and the “Hearse Driver” segment. He also directed The Captive Heart starring Michael Redgrave, a 1946 British war drama, produced by Ealing Studios. The film was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. The Blue Lamp (1950), probably the most frequently shown of Dearden’s Ealing films, is a police drama which first introduced audiences to PC George Dixon, later resurrected for the long-running Dixon of… read more
Adrian Curry looks at the life of left-wing war artist, and part-time Ealing poster designer, James Boswell.