The Halfway House (1944)

UK, 1944
95m
35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

A British fantasy film directed by Basil Dearden and an uncredited Alberto Cavalcanti.

Plot Summary

A group of travellers, each haunted by something from their past, converge on an inn in the Welsh countryside. They start to notice that something is very wrong with the inn and its owners, the innkeeper and his daughter Gwyneth – why do they seem to think that the war is still being fought, why are all the newspapers a year old and why doesn’t Gwyneth cast a shadow?

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Directed by: Basil Dearden, Alberto Cavalcanti [uncredited]
© MCMXLIII [1943] Ealing Studios Limited
Ealing Studios present
Produced by: Michael Balcon
Screenplay by: Angus MacPhail and Diana Morgan
Script Contribution: Roland Pertwee, T.E.B. Clarke
Suggested by the play The Peaceful Inn by: Denis Ogden
Camera: Wilkie Cooper
Supervising Editor: Sidney Cole
Editor: Charles Hasse
Music: Lord Berners
Sound Supervisor: Eric Williams
Recordist: Len Page
Dresses: Bianca Mosca
Special Effects: Roy Kellino
Special Effects Photography: Lionel Banes *
Art Director: Michael Relph

Cast
Françoise Rosay (Alice Meadows)
Tom Walls (Captain Harry Meadows)
Mervyn Johns (Rhys)
Glynis Johns (Gwyneth)
Alfred Drayton (William Oakley)
Esmond Knight (David Davies)
Richard Bird (Richard French)
Philippa Hiatt (Margaret)
Sally Ann Howes (Joanna French)
Guy Middleton (Captain Fortescue)
Valerie White (Jill French)
Pat McGrath (Terence)
C.V. France (Mr Truscott)
Roland Pertwee (prison governor)
Eliot Makeham (George)
John Boxer (John)
Rachel Thomas (Miss Morgan)
Joss Ambler (Pinsent)
Jack Jones, Moses Jones (Welsh porters)

Alternative Titles

Das Geisterhotel – Austria
Halfway House
The Half-Way House
Majatalo
– Finland
Mellan två världar – Sweden

References

Periodicals

  • Castle of Frankenstein no.10 p.40
  • The Dark Side no.60 p.17 – review

Books

  • British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928-1959 by David Quinlan p.215 – credits, synopsis
  • The Cinema of Basil Dearden and Michael Relph by Alan Burton and Tim O’Sullivan pp.8-9, 12, 28, 33-34, 36, 46-47, 49, 51, 60-65, 71, 76, 83, 85-86, 105, 158, 329
  • Directed by Basil Dearden by James Howard pp.7, 11, 12, 13, 42-49, 53, 68, 310
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.34, 190
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.60
  • Liberal Directions: Basil Dearden and Postwar British Film Culture by Alan Burton, Tim O’Sullivan and Paul Wells (eds.) pp. pp.8, 11, 16, 23, 27, 33, 60, 108-115, 224, 241, 242, 252, 257n1
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.180 – credits