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Tread Softly Stranger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tread Softly Stranger
UK release poster
Directed byGordon Parry
Produced byGeorge Minter
Written byGeorge Minter
Based onplay Blind Alley by Jack Popplewell
StarringDiana Dors
George Baker
Terence Morgan
Music byTristram Cary
CinematographyDouglas Slocombe
Edited byAnthony Harvey
George Minter Productions
Distributed byRenown Pictures
Release date
August 1958
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Tread Softly Stranger is a 1958 British crime drama directed by Gordon Parry and starring Diana Dors, George Baker and Terence Morgan. The film was shot in black-and-white in film noir style, and its setting in an industrial town in northern England mirrors the kitchen sink realism movement coming into vogue in English drama and film at the time. The screenplay was adapted from the stage play Blind Alley (1953) by Jack Popplewell.[1][2]


The action takes place in the Yorkshire steel town of Rawborough – Rotherham was used for the extensive location filming – to which native son Johnny Mansell (George Baker) has fled after racking up large gambling debts in London. Johnny moves into a cramped flat with his brother Dave (Terence Morgan), a clerk in a local steel mill, and Dave's girlfriend Calico (Diana Dors), a hostess in a local nightclub. Calico comes up with a plan for the brothers to rob the payroll at Dave's workplace to steal enough money to cover Dave's fraud and Johnny's debts.[3]



Dors made the film after starring in a number of movies in the US.[4][5]

It was shot at Walton Studios in Walton-on-Thames.[6]


Tread Softly Stranger did reasonable business at the box-office on its original release but received little critical attention, being seen as a typical crime potboiler which would be watched once and then forgotten. Its reputation was upgraded in later decades, with critics finding much to admire, particularly the cinematography by Douglas Slocombe with its authentic feel of everyday life in a steel town of the era. The main incongruity in the film is cited as the noticeable lack of Yorkshire accents in characters who were supposedly born and brought up in the area. It is also questionable whether a town such as Rawborough in the 1950s would have been the venue for a nightclub of the type in which Calico is employed, a far cry from the working men's club it purports to be.[citation needed]

The eponymous theme tune was sung by Jim Dale.

Tread Softly Stranger received its first DVD release in the UK in 2008.

Box Office

Kinematograph Weekly listed it as being "in the money" at the British box office in 1958.[7]


  1. ^ Filmer, Fay (11 February 1956). "PICTURE SHOW gossip". Picture Show. 66 (1716). London. pp. 3–4.
  2. ^ "TREAD SOFTLY, STRANGER". Monthly Film Bulletin. 25 (288). London. 1 January 1958. p. 92.
  3. ^ "Tread Softly, STRANGER". Picture Show. 71 (1849). London. 6 September 1958. p. 9.
  4. ^ Schallert, Edwin (15 October 1957). "Andy Hardy's Return Forecast; Diana Dors Will Rejoin Gassman". Los Angeles Times. p. A9.
  5. ^ Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.
  6. ^ Nepean, Edith (12 April 1958). "Round the British Studios". Picture Show. 70 (1828). London. p. 11.
  7. ^ Billings, Josh (18 December 1958). "Others in the Money". Kinematograph Weekly. p. 7.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 December 2020, at 22:30
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