Painted Boats

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Painted Boats
Paintedboats.jpg
Painted Boats VHS videotape cover
Directed by Charles Crichton
Produced by Michael Balcon
Written by Louis MacNeice, Stephen Black, Michael McCarthy
Starring Jenny Laird
Harry Fowler
Music by John Greenwood
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Edited by Leslie Allen
Distributed by Ealing Studios
Release dates
September 1945
Running time
63 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Painted Boats (U.S. The Girl on the Canal or The Girl of the Canal) is a black-and-white British film directed by Charles Crichton and released by Ealing Studios in 1945. Painted Boats, one of the lesser-known Ealing films of the period, is brief (63 minutes long), uses a little-known cast and has a slight storyline. It is however considered significant by waterways enthusiasts as a fictionalised documentary, providing a rare extensive filmic depiction of a long-gone way of life on England's working canal system in the 1940s.

Synopsis[edit]

Painted Boats focuses on two families living and working on cargo-carrying canal boats: the "traditional" Smiths on their horse-drawn boat and the "modern" Stoners on their motorised vessel. Despite some differences of opinion (Mr. Smith disapproves of motorised boats as he claims they churn up mud and damage canal banks) relations between the families are generally harmonious.

The main plot strand deals with the tentative attraction between Mary Smith and Ted Stoner, despite their differing viewpoints; Mary appreciates the gentle rhythm of traditional canal life, whereas Ted's ambition is to get off the canals and into mainstream life at the earliest opportunity. World War II intrudes when Ted is called up for military service, leaving the future for the pair uncertain.

Cast[edit]

Location filming[edit]

Location filming took place on the 20-mile stretch of the Grand Union Canal between Stoke Bruerne and Braunston in Northamptonshire, including the Blisworth Tunnel – at 1.75 miles (2.82 km) in length, the third-longest canal tunnel in Britain. Insert shots feature the industrial landscape of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, the famous Anderton Boat Lift in Cheshire and the Limehouse Cut in London.

A preserved section of the horse-drawn boat Sunny Valley as featured in the film is on display at Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum.

References[edit]

External links[edit]