Sidewalks of London



Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Vivien Leigh Photo
Vivien Leigh as Liberty aka Libby
Charles Laughton Photo
Charles Laughton as Charles Staggers
Rex Harrison Photo
Rex Harrison as Harley Prentiss
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
732.16 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S 6 / 1
1.38 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jotix1008 / 10

Long live the buskers of London

The street performers of London were a delightful bunch of people that eked out a living by doing what came to them naturally: singing, dancing, reciting poetry, or just plain entertainment, directed at the crowds of the West End of London. They belong in a time capsule. The buskers were a local phenomenon.

I discovered this forgotten film at the CUNY cinematheque. It is a film that shows the talents of the young Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison and more established stars like Charles Laughton. In Tim Whelan's film they all come alive in this tale of an impossible love story.

The star turn of Vivien Leigh in the movie is just incredible. Not only could she act, but she was an accomplished dancer as well. Charles Laughton is perfect as the man who is vain enough not to admit to his own age because of the disparity between him and his beloved Libby. There are other delightful performances by Tyrone Guthrie, Larry Adler and other English theatre actors of that era.

This film should be seen, or at least shown on television more often.

Reviewed by MartinHafer7 / 10

Very good, but the end just didn't ring true to Vivian Leigh's character.

The film begins with Charles Laughton playing a busker (a street entertainer). During his spiel to try to encourage donations from the crowd, a horrid street urchin (Vivian Leigh) rushes up and snatches his money. Later, he catches up with her and once again she behaves VERY badly--stealing something from a rich guy (Rex Harrison). Laughton sees this and once again pursues her in order to get the man's stuff in order to return it. But, once again, she screams and behaves horribly--which causes the police to chase them. With this VERY inauspicious introduction, Leigh and Laughton soon would become friends as well as business partners. So, soon she has joined with Laughton and his friends and their new act goes over well--and their finances improve.

A bit later, Leigh is recognized for her talents by Rex Harrison--who happens to be a a big-wig in the theatre circuit. He gives her a break and she hits the big-time. However, she STILL is the same selfish brat she was when the movie began and she badly mistreats poor Laughton. She does nothing to thank him, credit him for some of her ideas or does a thing to help him. In addition, when he proposes to him she rebuffs him and laughs at him! Nice lady, huh?

You could see from this performance that she would make a dandy Scarlet O'Hara. However, in a twist near the end, she uncharacteristically shows a tender side towards her old mentor and friend--but it just didn't work for me, as that was NOT the sort of character she'd been playing throughout the film. This reminded me of the uncharacteristic and ridiculous change Bette Davis' character underwent at the end of "Jezebel". In both cases, it took a truly exceptional movie and knocked its impact down a peg or two.

Without the unnecessary and unbelievable transformation, I'd have given this movie an 8 or 9. As it is, I think a 7 is fair. Worth watching but a poor ending.

Early in the film, you'll see a minstrel at the coffee shop--my how times have changed!

Reviewed by bkoganbing7 / 10

The ancient art of busking

When St. Martin's Lane first came out it was not given any release in the United States, I suppose because American audiences would not be attuned to buskers. We have no equivalent of that here.

Nevertheless it's a nice film. Charles Laughton is the head of a troop of buskers (British street entertainers)who inhabit and perform in and around the London theater district. The group takes in street waif Vivien Leigh and it's obvious she's got real talent. And theatrical composer Rex Harrison appreciates her charms even more than her talent.

Laughton is not a man who takes betrayal gladly as he sees it. The rest of the film you'll have to see for yourself.

It's nice to see both Harrison and Leigh in good parts before they became big stars. Laughton as always is fabulous, he's got the London cockney accent down pat.

After Vivien Leigh became a star with the release of Gone With the Wind, St. Martin's Lane made it to the states in a limited run. It was no big hit in Great Britain for Laughton who co-produced it with Erich Pommer, the second of three films they did. But Vivien Leigh's success helped them recoup a bit.

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