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St. Martin's Lane (1938)

On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room. Charles, who recites dramatic monologues, sees that a young pickpocket, ... See full summary »

Director:

Tim Whelan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Laughton ... Charles Staggers
Vivien Leigh ... Liberty aka Libby
Rex Harrison ... Harley Prentiss
Larry Adler ... Constantine Dan
Tyrone Guthrie ... Gentry
Maire O'Neill Maire O'Neill ... Mrs. Such
Gus McNaughton ... Arthur Smith
Polly Ward Polly Ward ... Frankie
Basil Gill ... Magistrate
Helen Haye ... Selina
David Burns David Burns ... Hackett
Phyllis Stanley ... Della
Edward Lexy ... Mr. Such
Clare Greet ... Old Maud
Alf Goddard Alf Goddard ... Doggie
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Storyline

On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room. Charles, who recites dramatic monologues, sees that a young pickpocket, Libby, also has a talent for dancing and adds her to his act. Harley, the theater patron who never knew Libby took his gold cigarette case, is impressed by Libby's dancing and invites her to bring Charles and the other buskers in his group to an after-the-play party. Libby comes alone. A theatrical career is launched. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When VIVIEN LEIGH swings it...and CHARLES LAUGHTON sings it...WOW! (original ad) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1939 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Las Calles de Londres See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Wilding according to Lewis Gilbert's memoirs was cast in the film but later replaced. See more »

Goofs

After Libby (Vivien Leigh) steals six pence from Charles's hat on the sidewalk, she runs to a food stall and orders a coffee. When she orders the coffee and "two doorsteps" her necktie is under the right side of her collar. She then walks around to the other side of the stall on now her necktie is not under the collar. See more »

Quotes

Charles Staggers: There ain't no answer. You're after justice and logic. There ain't no justice, and there ain't no logic. The world ain't made that way. Everything's luck, see. And good temper. And if you can take a joke. The whole of life's a joke.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits start as names on a billboard. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Vivien Waltz
Music by Arthur Johnston
Lyrics by Eddie Pola
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A treat for film coinnesseurs
27 November 1999 | by Eva IonescoSee all my reviews

This is a rare treat for coinnesseurs, a film where three of the greatest actors of Hollywood, Rex Harrison, Charles Laughton, and Vivien Leigh, strut their considerable stuff! They were all still relatively young in 1938, but already you can see the promise of great things to come, for the three, especially Laughton, who was already one of the world's finest actors.

In many ways the story resembles Harrison's later role as Professor Higgins in "My Fair Lady"(1964). Laughton and Leigh play buskers in the street, and Harrison plays a toff who gives Leigh a chance at stardom. Laughton plays quite a similar role to his later "Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1939) who falls in love with the girl but recognises he is too ugly for her, and eventually contents himself with her kindness towards him. You can see Laughton's superb acting skills, when she kisses him, and his eyes shine with satisfaction and pride, as they wave goodbye to each other. It is truly a precious moment in films, a moment to savour.

The following year saw the release of Leigh's "Gone With The Wind" and of course "The Wizard of Oz", two of the greatest films ever made, so minor films like this tended to be forgotten quickly. It's worth taking another look, though, at this film, which deserves far more recognition than it got.


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