Hatter's Castle (film)

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Hatter's Castle
Directed byLance Comfort
Produced byIsadore Goldsmith
Written byRodney Ackland (additional dialogue)
Screenplay byPaul Merzbach
Rudolf Bernauer
Based onnovel by A.J. Cronin
StarringRobert Newton
Deborah Kerr
James Mason
Emlyn Williams
Music byHorace Shepherd
CinematographyMutz Greenbaum
Edited byDouglas Robertson
Grafton Films
Distributed byParamount British Pictures
Release date
  • 2 February 1942 (1942-02-02) (UK)
  • 19 April 1948 (1948-04-19) (US)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Hatter's Castle is a 1942 British film noir based on the 1931 novel Hatter's Castle by A. J. Cronin, which dramatizes the ruin that befalls a Scottish hatter set on recapturing his imagined lost nobility.[1] The film was made by Paramount British Pictures and stars Robert Newton, Deborah Kerr, James Mason, and Emlyn Williams.[2] It is believed to be the only film that depicts the Tay Bridge disaster.[3]

It was shot at Denham Studios with sets designed by the art director James A. Carter.


Box Office[edit]

According to Kinematograph Weekly the film was one of the most popular at the British box office in 1942, after Mrs Miniver, First of the Few, How Green was My Valley, Reap the Wild Wind, Holiday Inn, Captains of the Clouds, Sergeant York, One of Our Air Craft is Missing and before Young Mr Pitt.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Variety wrote, "Here is a film, if ever there was one, that is best indicative of one player’s superlative performance. The player, Robert Newton, disregards tradition and enacts the featured male role without bombast or any sort of vocal pyrotechnics. There is little in the picturized version of A.J. Cronin’s bestseller that is not already stale and the plot travels along stereotyped lines to an obvious conclusion. It is, however, artistically produced, photographed and acted...The leading lady is Deborah Kerr, lovable and sincere as the daughter; the juvenile lead of Doctor Renwick is restrainedly played by James Mason."[5] while more recently, Time Out called it "An entertaining slice of Victorian melodrama adapted from AJ Cronin's novel. Not quite Gothic, but edging that way through Newton's performance (one of his more controlled efforts) as the social-climbing Glasgow hatter...Damped down by flat direction, but the sets and camerawork are excellent."[6]


  1. ^ "Hatter's Castle (1941) - Lance Comfort - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".
  2. ^ "Hatter's Castle (1942)".
  3. ^ Brandon, David; Brooke, Alan (26 December 2010). Blood on the Tracks: A History of Railway Crime in Britain. History Press. ISBN 9780752462295 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Lant, Antonia (1991). Blackout : reinventing women for wartime British cinema. Princeton University Press. p. 231.
  5. ^ "Review: 'Hatter's Castle'". Variety. 1 January 1941.
  6. ^ "Hatter's Castle".

External links[edit]