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Love on the Dole (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Love on the Dole
DVD cover
Directed byJohn Baxter
Written byWalter Greenwood (novel and adaptation)
Ronald Gow (play)
Barbara K. Emary
Rollo Gamble
Produced byJohn Baxter
StarringDeborah Kerr
Clifford Evans
CinematographyJames Wilson
Edited byMichael C. Chorlton
Music byRichard Addinsell
Orchestrated, Roy Douglas
Direction, Muir Mathieson
Distributed byAnglo-American Film Corporation (UK)
United Artists (USA)
Release dates
  • 28 June 1941 (1941-06-28) (UK)
  • 12 October 1945 (1945-10-12) (US)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Love on the Dole is a 1941 British drama film starring Deborah Kerr and Clifford Evans. It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Walter Greenwood.[1] It was the first English-made feature film to show English police wielding batons against a crowd.[2]

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It is 1930, at the height of the Great Depression. The Hardcastle family live in Hankey Park, part of Salford. Mr Hardcastle is a coalminer; his son, Harry, is an apprentice at a local engineering firm and Sally, his daughter, works at a cotton mill.

Mr Hardcastle's mine is put on a three-day week.

Harry wins £22 on his winning thruppence treble bet. Bookmaker Sam Grundy pays up without any trouble. At his father's suggestion, he takes his girlfriend Helen to the seaside resort of Blackpool on a holiday.

Harry becomes unemployed when his apprenticeship ends. The family’s plight is made worse by reductions in means tested unemployment benefits (the dole), whilst Helen's unexpected pregnancy causes further tensions.

Sally is courted by factory worker and Labour Party activist Larry Meath but their marriage plans are put in doubt when Larry loses his job. Larry is fatally injured when he tries to restore calm in a clash with the police during an unemployment march. Sally, reluctantly at first, becomes Grundy's mistress to help keep her unemployed family.


Critical reception

Although the book was successful, a proposed film version was rejected by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) in 1936 as it was a "very sordid story in very sordid surroundings".[3] However, in 1940 the BBFC approved a similar proposal, with the film finally released in June 1941.[4]

In a contemporary review, The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote, "Here is a film that ranks with the best we have ever produced. The direction is excellent, the photography admirable, and the casting particularly good."[5]


  1. ^ "British Film Institute: Love on the Dole (1941)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017.
  2. ^ Emsley, Clive (2005). Hard Men: The English and Violence since 1750. London: Hambledon. p. 141. ISBN 1852855029.
  3. ^ Thane, Pat (2018). Divided Kingdom: A History of Britain, 1900 to the Present. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 124. ISBN 9781107040915.
  4. ^ Love on the Dole at the BFI's Screenonline
  5. ^ "Monthly Film Bulletin review".

External links

This page was last edited on 26 February 2024, at 23:29
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