It Always Rains on Sunday (1947)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Drama, Psychological Drama  |   Release Date - Nov 25, 1947 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

A crime drama that also fits into the "slice of life" school of filmmaking, It Always Rains in Sunday is one Ealing Studio film that deserves to be much better known. Ealing's name is associated with a certain style of expert comedy, and deservedly so, but it was capable of turning out masterful work in other genres, and Sunday is a prime example of this. While its portrayal of working-class life will no longer seem as daring as it did in its day, and while that portrayal may be a bit simplistic in places, this bleak melodrama still packs a considerable punch. The precisely structured screenplay neatly weaves in the threads of its many stories, creating a rich tapestry, a snapshot of life during one rainy Sunday in Bethnal Green. That life may be at base bleak, but it doesn't prevent the characters from being full of life, although that life may be expressed in terms of anger or resentment rather than joy. Director Robert Hamer works with a sure and solid hand, keeping the main story in focus while carefully working in the many subplots and balancing the social melodrama elements with those of the crime thriller; he also clearly enjoys the damp milieu and has a field day working with light and shadow. The cast is excellent, despite a few obviously affected accents, with a surprising effective turn from Googie Withers and a quietly affecting one from Edward Chapman. All in all, an excellent melodrama.