Sidewalks of London
|Sidewalks of London|
|Directed by||Tim Whelan|
|Produced by||Erich Pommer
Charles Laughton (uncredited)
|Written by||Bartlett Cormack
|Music by||Arthur Johnston|
|Edited by||Robert Hamer
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures (US)|
|Release dates||18 October 1938 (UK)
15 February 1940 (US)
|Running time||85 minutes|
Sidewalks of London, also known as St. Martin's Lane, is a 1938 British, black-and-white, comedy drama starring Charles Laughton as a busker or street entertainer who teams up with a talented pickpocket, played by Vivien Leigh. The Film co-stars Rex Harrison and Tyrone Guthrie in a rare acting appearance. It also features Ronald Shiner as the barman (uncredited). It was produced by Mayflower Pictures Corporation.
|This section requires expansion. (July 2013)|
- Charles Laughton as Charles Staggers
- Vivien Leigh as Libby
- Rex Harrison as Harley Prentiss
- Larry Adler as Constantine
- Tyrone Guthrie as Gentry
- Gus McNaughton as Arthur Smith
- Ronald Shiner as the Barman (uncredited)
According to Vivien Leigh's biographer Alexander Walker, Laughton and Vivien Leigh didn't get along while working together. Walker wrote that when an attempt was made to obtain Leigh's services for a film version of Cyrano de Bergerac, Laughton stated that she would have to dye her hair blonde. Leigh asked for a blonde wig, but Laughton insisted she dye her hair. The discussions fell through and Leigh felt slighted.
When Leigh was approached to make Sidewalks of London, she did not want to work with Laughton and she felt no attachment to the role. Nevertheless, she was persuaded otherwise. In Alexander Walker's biography of Leigh, Larry Adler is quoted as saying that Leigh was difficult to work with. He said, "She didn't like Charles and he didn't like her. But he was much more professional. One weekend there were a few close-ups of Vivien to be done outside a theater and Charles, who invariably went down to the country with Elsa [Lanchester] at weekends, stayed up in town to 'feed' Vivien lines from behind the camera. I doubt if she'd have done as much for him. [Laurence] Olivier would show up on the set and they'd disappear into her dressing-room and it was quite a business to get her back to work." Olivier would show up on the days that Leigh was to shoot love scenes with the handsome Rex Harrison.
The film was the basis for the musical Busker Alley with songs by the Sherman Brothers. After several false starts with Tommy Tune as director and starring Tune and Melissa Errico, the musical had its full debut in 2004 starring Jim Dale.
- Sidewalks of London at AllMovie
- Sidewalks of London at the Internet Movie Database
- Sidewalks of London at the TCM Movie Database
- Sidewalks of London on Lux Radio Theater: 12 February 1940