Saloon Bar (November 2, 1940)
Released on November 2, 1940: It's Christmas, and a good customer of a local bar has been wrongly convicted of a crime and is scheduled to die in the morning. His friends at the bar set out to prove his innocence in time to save him.
Directed by Walter Forde
Written by John Digton, Frank Harvey and Angus MacPhail.
The Actors: Gordon Harker (Joe Harris), Elizabeth Allan (Queenie), Mervyn Johns (Wickers), Joyce Barbour (Sally), Anna Konstam (Ivy), Cyril Raymond (Harry Small), Judy Campbell (Doris), Al Millen (Fred), Norman Pierce (Bill Hoskins), Alec Clunes (Eddie Graves), Mavis Villiers (Joan), Felix Aylmer (Mayor), O.B. Clarence (Sir Archibald), Aubrey Dexter (Major), Helena Pickard (Mrs. Small), Manning Whiley (Evangelist), Laurence Kitchin (Peter), Roddy Hughes (Doctor), Gordon James (Jim), Annie Esmond (Mrs. Truscott), Eliot Makeham (the meek man), Roddy McDowall (young boy), Judy Kelly (girl), Harry Terry (customer in the bar), Torin Thatcher (Mr. Garrod).
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I wonder if the creators of the 1980's U.S. hit television show "Cheers" starring Ted Danson watched this movie? It is Chirstmas Eve and all of the local eccentrics have gathered at Saloon Bar in London. It is Chirstmas Eve and all of the local eccentrics have gathered at the neighborhood Saloon Bar in London.
The bar is about to open, and the owner is speaking with his bar maids, giving last minute instructions, and then opening the bar and rushing upstairs to his living quarters to attend his wife, who is having her seventh child. As the regular patrons file in and start their daily bar rituals, much of the conversation is about a good patron that is scheduled to be hanged the next day because he is accused of murdering his landlady and robbing her. Suddenly the bar maid looks at a bill in the cash register and proclaims that it is one of the stolen bills connected to the murder. They try to determine which of them paid with the bill, and discover that the blind man that stands outside the door used it to by his drink of bitters. The blind fellow smells the bill and tells them that someone put it in his box the previous evening, and it was probably a lady, as the bill had a sweet scent to it.
Next Queenie enters the bar . . . she is a barmaid that has been off work since the trial, because she was engaged to the condemned man, and is too distraught to work. As they tell her about the bill that is part of the stolen money, she starts to recount her recollections of the night that the murder happened. Before long the team of bar regulars are putting together clues enough to solve the crime, and prove that Queenie's boyfriend is innocent after all. Can they present ral evidence to the court before the man is hanged? Will Queenie get her fiance back as an innocent man? Will the police believe the bar patrons as they rush to prove his innocence? Will the real murderer be one of the regulars at the bar? Will the owner's wife have a boy or a girl? And why haven't the sandwiches that are kept under glass turned green? This and more will be revealed as you munch your hot buttered popcorn and enjoy a Christmas Eve murder mystery thriller comedy from our friends across the pond.