Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.
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Submitted by Mark Fuller
The Fire Raisers
Kinematograph Weekly: 21st September 1933
Hearty melodrama which deals with a topical subject, the machinations of fire-raisers, and turns it into popular entertainment, suitably attuned to the tastes of the masses. The straightforward story leading to a few holding situations, and good spectacle help to atone for the weakness of the dialogue and the paucity of humour. Providing it is properly exploited, the picture should, with its ready-made box-office subject, meet with adequate success in industrial and populous areas.
STORY:- Bronson, a go-ahead fire-assessor succeeds by employing not too scrupulous methods in building up a big business, and marries the daughter of an eminent under-writer at Lloyds, much against her father's wishes. His extravagances, particularly on the turf, however, eventually cause him to join up with a fire-raiser.
When nemesis overtakes him he deliberately goes to his death after saving the life of an investigator, engaged to his typist, his spectacular end saving his wife and her father from disgrace.
ACTING:- Leslie Banks is vital and compelling as Bronson, Anne Grey is attractive and refined as his wife, and Lawrence Anderson does his best to draw humour in the role of the investigator.
PRODUCTION:- The story does not throw any new light on the activities of fire-raisers, nor does it make a wide departure from the canons of conventional melodrama, but its topicality, good fire thrills, and convincing atmosphere enable it to provide adequate popular entertainment. The cast is a good one, and the players succeed in concealing as far as possible the weakness of the dialogue and its lack of humour. The subject is suitably compressed, and the thrills occur at even intervals, thus securing satisfactory momentum. An unimaginible (sic) but workmanlike job.
SETTINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHY:- There is a good range of interiors, the exteriors are convincing, and the actual fire scenes are staged on a spectacular and thrilling scale.
POINTS OF APPEAL:- Up-to-date melodramatic story. Sound characterisation by a good cast, thrills and general technical efficiency.
AT A GLANCE:- Hearty Melodrama with a topical subject, story obvious and dialogue weak, but characterisation sound, atmosphere good, and fire thrills spectacular. Adequate popular entertainment, hardly suitable but safe for children.
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