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The Blue Lamp [VHS] [1950]

Jack Warner , Dirk Bogarde , Basil Dearden    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
Price: £12.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Jack Warner, Dirk Bogarde, Jimmy Hanley, Robert Flemyng, Bernard Lee
  • Directors: Basil Dearden
  • Writers: Alexander Mackendrick, Jan Read, T.E.B. Clarke, Ted Willis
  • Producers: Michael Balcon, Michael Relph
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Mono, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.37:1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: 3 July 2000
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CIBY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,522 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Fifty years on, it's hard to appreciate just how shocking one key scene in The Blue Lamp was considered by British audiences. Young delinquent Tom Riley (played with sensuous malevolence by Dirk Bogarde) guns down kindly, benevolent copper, PC Dixon (Jack Warner.) In early 1950s Britain, murdering a policeman was the ultimate taboo. Even the underworld's denizens help the police flush Riley out. Made by Ealing Studios, The Blue Lamp is not a comedy but shares many of the studio's characteristic comic hallmarks, as well as the same writer (TEB Clarke) for their classics Hue And Cry and The Lavender Hill Mob. Consensus and tolerance are the watchwords. Individualism is frowned upon. There are no extravagant displays of emotion, not even from Mrs Dixon (Gladys Henson) when she learns what happened to her husband. The understatement is very moving, although by today's standards the representation of the police seems absurdly idealised. Were they ever the doughty, patient sorts depicted here? It is no surprise to learn that Scotland Yard co-operated in the making of the film but this is much more than just police propaganda. Well-crafted, full of finely judged character performances, it ranks with Ealing's best work. It was made at an intriguing historical moment: before rock and roll and the era of teenage affluence, there was simply no place for young tearaways like Tom Riley. --Geoffrey Macnab

Product Description

Sergeant Dixon (Jack Warner) is shot and killed while teaching a new recruit (Jimmy Hanley) the ropes. Police and some of the West London criminal fraternity hunt down his killer (Dirk Bogarde) in this classic British police story. Sergeant Dixon was later resurrected to star in the long-running TV series 'Dixon of Dock Green'.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great British film 20 Jan 2009
By Emanon
I genuinely believe this to be one of the great British films and I can watch it again and again and never become bored of it. So many memorable images; PC Dixon's fate; the child finding the gun; Dirk Bogarde's chilling performance; the nature of the crime sickening even the most hardened of criminals; and much, much more.
This is truly a window into a lost world - some of the photography of 1950s London is astounding - and I'm sure many modern viewers might find it all a bit silly - this is, after all from an era when accents were either cut glass or "Gor, Blimey Guv'nor" vulgar - but you'd have to have a heart of stone not to be deeply moved by the scene with George Dixon's wife after the shooting.
It also comes from a time before the idea of the "honest copper" was tarnished forever, and when there really were "bobbies on the beat" - a time when many villains could be portrayed as "lovable rogues" but, if you bear in mind that you are watching a slice of lost history - in a very effective semi-documentary style - you will find a lot to enjoy in this film, and the basic sense of justice and ideals of right and wrong as showcased in this film still make very powerful viewing.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars London As It Was (?) 27 Dec 2007
This film was the acorn from which sprang the oak of Dixon of Dock Green, the longrunning TV series featuring Sergeant Dixon, amiably wise local uniformed policeman, who always started and ended each episode with a homespun homily. My grandmother never missed.

In the film, Dirk Bogarde's young gangster shoots dead the then Police Constable Dixon and is pursued relentlessly but with almost amusing gentility by the Metropolitan Police, who, naturally, capture him in the end.

The film is skilfully made and the raffish atmosphere of postwar London brilliantly shown. Ground and aerial shots of the main areas used (Little Venice, Maida Vale, Paddington, North Kensington) are of interest not only to the film buff but to social and architectural historians. As an ex-Little Venice resident myself, I was once more amazed to see how much has changed (sometimes for better, sometimes not) in the Regent's Canal area and elsewhere and how much of the redevelopment has been the work of planners and local councils, rather than the Luftwaffe, who (outside the docks and nearby areas of the City and East London) really damaged London, overall, scarcely at all during WW2. Another interesting point is the paucity of traffic in those poor and petrol-rationed days. Dirk Bogarde is able to drive at speed down deserted streets, pursued by the squad and area cars of the police. The main car chase is, in today's terms, "iconic" and, with its near massacre of a school party on a pedestrian crossing, surely must have inspired the almost identical scene in the watchable Sixties film Robbery (based loosely on the Great Train Robbers).

The final scenes before Bogarde's capture, in the crowded yet lonely confines of a dog-racing track (White City, I think) are classic, capturing the clammy despair of a criminal like that in those days when a crime like his would lead inevitably to the hangman's rope. A British classic.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie 29 July 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This was the movie that changed British gangster films for ever,
Originally written by (Lord) Ted Willis, it introduced us to PC George Dixon, part social worker, part father confessor and part copper.
Dirk Bogarde plays a troubled teenager with a gun (even though when the film was made, Bogarde was already a a decorated war hero!) who kills PC Dixon in an alley.
Jack Warner's character was brought back to life to star in the BBC's long running series "Dixon of Dock Green" which ran from 1955 until 1976.
It's a great movie, a real slice of 1950's post-war Britain.
Buy and enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dixon before Dock Green 27 April 2011
Good drama usually stems from pitting the good guys against the bad guys. This film is no exception: old-fashioned police constable Jack Warner (George Dixon) walking the beat, ably assisted by new boy Jimmy Hanley are pitted against the likes of scared robber Dirk Bogarde in an early starring role. In 1950, shooting a 'copper' was the ultimate crime which united even the shady underworld in the search to bring the culprit to book - in this case, the hangman's noose, a fact of which even the child who finds the murder weapon is only too well aware. This is a Britain that no longer exists, with streets with no traffic where a police chase in squad cars with dringing bells encounters no more obstacles than a group of school children crossing the road. It is a London still full of bomb sites where small children play around puddles, dressed in torn rags and live in slums. It is a world where people look so much older than at the same age today - Warner was 'only' 54 in 1950 when the film was released but he already looks ripe for retirement let alone going on to be Dixon of Dock Green until his eighties. One wonders why such a good copper as Dixon was still only a constable at such an advanced age and only a sergeant in Dock Green? Bogarde's love interest, Diana Lewis was supposed to be 17 and although Peggy Evans was admittedly 25 at the time, she still looks nothing like a girl of the same age today. It's an age of raincoats and hats, of barrow boys, of cinema accents which still tended to be rather cut glass (even little Queenie's repeated 'No's!), of where Tessie O'Shea with her ukulele was top of the variety hall bill. There's a whole world of nostalgia here.

The film itself is enagaging with its tear-jerking moments and others of levity and can be watched again and again. Optimum's DVD is a lovely crisp, well-contrasted black and white copy with good sound but has this company's usual failings of no sub-titles or extras.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Oh yes one off the oldis thanks.
Published 4 days ago by flogger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Ideal for a video fest
Published 25 days ago by Mrs Carolyn Haynes
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it.
I like it.
Published 1 month ago by MJAY1950
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought as a gift, no complaints
Published 1 month ago by BL
4.0 out of 5 stars blue lamp
One of the best films ever made a epic from the era and probably the best police film ever a classic
Published 2 months ago by Martin Stone
4.0 out of 5 stars good film
although this is an old film, it was very well re-produced, the sound and picture quality were very good, it was very enjoyable to watch
Published 3 months ago by Maureen Sobey
5.0 out of 5 stars great.
I have been looking for this film for ages as its one of my all time favourites.. so I was so pleased with my purchase.
Published 6 months ago by michael ellis
5.0 out of 5 stars Starring Role!!!
I love this film because of its 1950's grittiness. It is also a favourite of mine because Jack Warner, Dirk Bogarde and Jimmy Hanley would drink in my brother-in-law's local pub... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bluett
4.0 out of 5 stars Mustn't Grumble.
The Blue Lamp is directed by Basil Dearden and written by T.E.B. Clarke. It stars Jack Warner, Jimmy Hanley, Dirk Bogarde, Robert Flemyng and Peggy Evans. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Spike Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant, Iconic Film.
Was policing in the capital in 1949 really as it's depicted in `The Blue Lamp'? I like to think so. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. R. D. M. Kirby
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