DIRECTED BY BASIL DEADEN
STUDIOCANAL proudly announce another Vintage Classics restoration of Ealing Studios’ classic THE BLUE LAMP, on Blu-Ray for the first time and DVD & EST in fully restored 2K from 12th December.
Starring BAFTA award-winning English acting legend Dirk Bogarde (The Servant, Darling) in a role which catapulted him to stardom, alongside Jack Warner (Dixon of Dock Green, The Square Ring) and Jimmy Hanley (It Always Rains On Sunday), THE BLUE LAMP was the first, and arguably still the most famous of all British Police films, and the inspiration for long-running television series Dixon of Dock Green.
Created by Ealing Studios’ stalwart Basil Dearden (Pool of London, Dead of Night) THE BLUE LAMP was scripted by ex-Policeman and Oscar-winning screenwriter T.E.B Clarke (The Lavender Hill Mob, Passport to Pimlico).
London after the Second World War: Long-serving policeman PC George Dixon (played by Jack Warner) and his latest recruit (played by Jimmy Hanley) go about their daily routine. When they arrive at the scene of a botched robbery at the local cinema the old policeman confronts the villain (Bogarde) and subsequently gets caught in the crossfire. In a rare turn of events the community and the underworld work together with the Law, to track down the villain and mete out the punishment he deserves.
I have such fond memories of this film and its fantastic to see it again in such a clean rerelease.I first watched The Blue Lamp on a television broadcast in the late 1980s. My Aunt introduced me to the film as she was a huge fan of the TV show Dixon Of Doc Green (1955-1976) which produced a staggering 432 episodes. Whilst I never watched the TV show, I was of course aware of it and The Blue Lamp from 1950 is a sort of frontrunner to the long running TV show.
With a great cast and a wonderful look back to the old days of England, Rewatching the film brought back memories of having seen it all those years ago. Very film noir, and with wonderful central performances from Jack Warner, and Jim Hanley, the film is a great trip back to the great British film industry. Now thats not to say anything against the film industry nowadays. I love new films and old films but there is something extra special when seeing a crisp reissue of a film that you haven’t seen for decades. It does make me want to watch all 432 episodes of Dixon Of Doc Green though and then head into the entire run of classic BBC show ‘Julie Bravo’ (which ran from 1980-1985)
On a very sad note but its also a heart warming note. When I was checking out the special features on the Studiocanal/BFI restoration. There is a wonderful full length DVD commentary from one of the writers of the film. Mr Jan Read. Its a pleasure to listen to stories of old, how the film came to be, how he went to a party and met Diana Dors and the casting of the film. Thats the happy part but the sad part was to learn that Jan Read passed away in 2012. There is something amazing but also saddening about listening to someone talk who isn’t around anymore. Its also a valuable special feature, so many stories of film are lost when someone dies, and the dvd commentary means that I get to hear these stories, but also you do to. Thank you Studiocanal for including this commentary on the DVD
Also included on the DVD is a nice but short featurrette which takes us to some of the locations of ‘The Blue Lamp’. Clocking in at just over 13 minutes, Film Historian Richard Dacre gives us a quick into before taking us through some of the places used to piece the film together. Sadly though a lot of the locations used for the film are now gone, having been demolished as buildings often are in London, but the featurette is still an interesting history lesson for film fans.
If you love really decent films, back when films were films and CGI wasnt invented. Check out this wonderful story ‘The Blue Lamp’
New Locations Featurette with film Historian Richard Dacre
London locations Stills Gallery
Production Stills Gallery
BBC Radio 3 the Essay: British Cinema of the 1940s – The Blue Lamp audio featurette
Exclusive Audio Commentary featuring Jan Read & academic Charles Barr
THE BLUE LAMP is part of the ‘Vintage Classics collection’ – showcasing iconic British films, all fully restored and featuring brand new extra content: www.facebook.com/vintageclassicsfilm
The Digital Film restoration was funded by STUDIOCANAL in collaboration with the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme (awarding funds from the National Lottery)