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Film Screening: On the Night of the Fire - The First British Film Noir

  • City Library 33 New Bridge Street West Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8AX (map)

A prelude to Newcastle Noir!

This rarely seen expressionist thriller is now considered to be the first British Film Noir, directed by Irish auteur Brian Desmond Hurst who had been mentored by John Ford in the USA. 

Ralph Richardson is Will Kobling, a barber whose business struggles in a poor Northern riverside neighbourhood. Kobling's impulsive theft of £100 has fatal consequences for his immediate family and the suspicious local community.

This is dark fable was filmed on location in Newcastle upon Tyne prior to World War Two (worth the price of admission in itself!) It was the big screen debut for the city, which is curiously never named. Locations used include the Sunday Quayside Market and Ouseburn. There are echoes of MOdd Man OutThe Informer and Regle de Juex if you look hard enough. The production team reads like a future Who’s Who of classic Brit Cinema. 

The screening will be introduced by film historian and author Chris Phipps.

More information here.