89 minutes
Black and White

A Gainsborough Picture
Distributed by British Gaumont
Recorded at Islington, London

Director: Victor Saville
Written by Sidney Gilliat and G.H. Moresby-White

Production Personnel: Angus MacPhail, Ian Dalrymple, George Gunn and Louis Levy
Scenario: G.H. Moresby-White
Dialogue: Emlyn Williams
Photography: E. Van Enger
Art Direction: Alfred Junge and A. Vetschinsky
Film Editor: R.E. Dearing
Unit Manager: Herbert Mason
Recordist: H.E. Hand
Costumes: Gordon Conway

Jessie Matthews
- Milly the Non-Stop Variety Girl
Sonnie Hale - Alf the Bus Conductor
Gordon Harker - Hamilton Briggs
Belle Chrystall - Mary
Ralph Richardson - A Schoolmaster
Cyril Smith - Fred the Driver
Max Miller - Joe
Muriel Aked -
Miss Twig
Richard Hulton - Johnny
Alfred Drayton - the Detective
Eliot Makeham - Mr Jackson, the Shipping Clerk
Ursula Jeans - Eileen Jackson
Edmund Gwenn - Mr Wakefield, the 'City' Man
Mary Jerrold - Flora Wakefield
Robertson Hare - Mr Lightfoot in the Park
Martita Hunt - Agnes, his wife
Leonora Corbett - Dolly, a Lady of Easy Virtue
Donald Calthrop - Hugh Nicholls
Ivor McLaren - Dancing Instructor
Emlyn Williams - Blake, the Gentleman of Fortune
Frank Lawston - Frank Parsons
Hartley Power - An American
Percy Parsons - An American
O.B. Clarence - Clerk
Gibb McLaughlin - A Florist


It is a wet and windy Friday the thirteenth and a London bus with a colourful group of passengers is making its way through town when the crane on a nearby building site crashes into the road, sending the bus into a shop window.  Two of the passengers are killed, but who are these unfortunate people and how did they spend their last day alive?

Friday the Thirteenth takes us through the day preceding the accident with each of the passengers and tells their stories.  There is Alf the bus conductor and follower of the turf (Sonnie Hale) whose superstitious streak makes his day one of grim foreboding and comical avoidance behaviours.  There is Millie the Non-Stop Variety Girl (Jessie Matthews) who is having trouble with her conservative fiance, the schoolmaster (Ralph Richardson).   He objects to her travelling to Paris with her theatre-promoter to perform in a show; she is determined to maintain her independence and the career she has worked so hard to build up;  there is the young couple who are celebrating their engagement after endless scrimping and saving, but who are now trying to shake off  a ruthless blackmailer who knew the young man in prison years ago and threatens to destroy their plans.  There is the fast-talking dealer in stolen goods who is being set up by two American detectives posing as tourists;  the city man's forgetful wife who is on her way to deliver an urgent message to his broker about some hot shares which turn out to be the ruin of all who touch them;  the hen-pecked husband fleeing from the guiles of a prostitute in the park and the hard-working travel agent who is rushing home to surprise his unfaithful wife with the ocean cruise tickets he has slaved to buy. 

This is a dramatic, humorous and engaging story with excellent character studies and performances.  A British classic. 

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