It Always Rains on Sunday (1947)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

After the war, British films began avoiding the heiresses and lordships that had dominated the drama field and began pursuing "realism" -- which often was just as artificial as the earlier white-telephone pictures. John McCallum plays Tommy Swann, a product of the working class who tries to better himself by becoming a criminal. Escaping from prison, Swann hides out in the East London home of his former mistress Rose (Googie Withers), who has since married George Sandigate (Edward Chapman). The film is told from Swann's point-of-view, and a dismal view that is. Nor does Rose seem any happier with her drab lot in life. Swann's return does nothing but further their misery, tearing Rose' family apart and sending Swann back into the arms of the law. Considered a tension-laden slice of life in 1949, It Always Rains on Sunday seems a bit contrived today, though it does full justice to the Arthur La Bern novel on which it is based -- especially when the film leaves the environs of the house and zeroes in on its colorful roster of bit actors. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Rialto Pictures


John McCallum
as Tommy Swann
Googie Withers
as Rose Sandigate
Edward Chapman
as George Sandigate
Patricia Plunkett
as Doris Sandigate
Susan Shaw
as Vi Sandigate
David Lines
as Alfie Sandigate
Sydney Tafler
as Morry Hyams
Betty Ann Davies
as Sadie Hyams
John Slater
as Lou Hyams
Jane Hylton
as Bessie Hyams
John Carol
as Freddie Price
Jack Warner
as Detective Sgt. Fothergill
Frederick Piper
as Detective Sgt. Leech
Hermione Baddeley
as Mrs. Spry
John Salew
as Caleb Neesley
Gladys Henson
as Mrs. Neesley
Michael Howard
as Slopey Collins
Jimmy Hanley
as Whitey
Alfie Bass
as Dicey
Edie Martin
as Mrs. Watson
Betty Baskcomb
as Barmaid of the `Two Compasses'
Gilbert Davis
as Pub Owner of the `Two Compasses'
Al Millen
as Bill Hawkins
Vida Hope
as Mrs. Wallis
Arthur Hambling
as Yardmaster
Grace Arnold
as Ted's Landlady
John Vere
as Rev. Black
Patrick Jones
as Chuck Evans

as Bertie Potts
David Knox
as Newspaper Boy
Susan Shaw
as Vi Sandigate
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Critic Reviews for It Always Rains on Sunday

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (8)

Hamer's artful and iconoclastic film mixes a day in the life of a working-class family with a startling prison-break melodrama.

March 25, 2012
New Yorker
Top Critic

A resolutely downbeat - remarkably so for Ealing Studios - account of a day in the life of Bethnal Green...

Full Review… | November 16, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

This is a mostly forgotten gem.

Full Review… | January 9, 2009
Boston Globe
Top Critic

[Hamer] shows a fluency with noir's shadowy visual vocabulary, but what really links this to the genre is its sense of haunting regret and lost opportunity.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A real gem.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Offers some nicely authentic backgrounds, an expert performance by Googie Withers and a breathtaking finale. But the net effect is disappointing.

Full Review… | May 5, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for It Always Rains on Sunday

a nearly forgotten postwar noir from ealing studios; a rich slice of lower class life in london's east end. googie withers plays a tough housewife, settled in with older husband and stepkids, whose sense of adventure is rekindled when her lost lover escapes from prison and turns up on her doorstep. lovely grimy desperation ensues. considered a precursor to kitchen sink dramas of 60s british cinema. this was my first experience with amazon on demand, good quality and if they keep turning up gems like this it won't be the last

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Better and more compelling than most modern dramas with a stunningly beautiful chase through a rail yard toward the end which would not be nearly so striking and effective in color.

Michael Harbour
Michael Harbour

[font=Century Gothic]"It Always Rains on Sunday" is a movie that is impressive, complex and ahead of its time in depicting the citizens of an East End London neighborhood in a series of interlocking tales during a single day.(For example, one of the families portrayed is Jewish but they are not stereotypes.) This is a working class neighborhood where the people work hard during the week but their one day of rest, Sunday, when they would like to get out and about, it rains which is symbolic of their entire situation. So to escape, they go to the market, the cinema, the pubs, the fights or a nightclub. At the same time, some are desperate enough to resort to crime which even though it is occasionally violent, is usually theft-related but it never pays. A trio of hapless burglars attempt to break into a safe but only manage to steal 144 pairs of roller skates. Another thief, Tommy Swann(John McCallum), has just escaped from Dartmoor leading Detective Sergeant Fothergill(Jack Warner) to see if any of his old friends might know where he is hiding. One person he talks to is Rose Sandigate(Googie Withers) who used to be involved with Tommy but is now married to George(Edward Chapman), 15 years her senior.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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