This film screened 16th & 17th January 2010.

84 minutes, U.K., 1940, ?Black and White, 35mm

Who, with any sporting interest, could resist a film with this title? It refers, of course, to the famous ‘marble halls’ of Highbury, long before Arsene Wenger and the move to the Emirates: when all the players were British and low-paid, and a high-profile match against an amateur side, the Trojans, was a plausible scenario. Evocative footage of the stadium, the stars and management team of the time, and of plenty of on-field action, provides a vivid background for a complicated murder plot. This was Dickinson’s second film; like his first, The High Command, it was singled out for high praise by the novelist Graham Greene, then film critic of the weekly magazine
The Spectator. He wrote that ‘this picture is as good to watch as either of the Thin Man films, and Dickinson gives us wit instead of facetiousness – wit of cutting and wit of angle.’

This film will be shown first in a double bill with Gaslight.

85 minutes, U.K., 1940, ?Black and White, 35mm

This adaptation of the stage melodrama by Patrick Hamilton, set in Victorian England, may have seemed a strange project for the British industry as it entered the war, but it served a double function: it signalled Britain’s commitment to go on making high-quality films even at a time of peril, and its story of a Germanic husband (Anton Walbrook) oppressing his English wife (Diana Wynyard), but in the end being triumphantly resisted, served as a potent topical allegory. Gaslight made such an impact that MGM bought the rights, and pressed Dickinson to cross the Atlantic to remake it with Hollywood stars. When he chose to go on supporting the cinematic war effort at home, George Cukor remade it instead, and Dickinson’s film, following the contractual rules, was officially destroyed. But he saved his own copy, and had it preserved in the film archive in London, an act for which we can be truly grateful.

This will be shown second in a double bill with The Arsenal Stadium Mystery.

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