The Lure of Drink
R: A.E. Coleby. D: Blanche Forsythe, Roy Travers, A.E. Coleby, Maud Yates, Roy Travers. P: Barker. UK 1915
Print: National Film and Television Archive
“This surprisingly violent piece of temperance propaganda uses shock tactics to hammer its point home. Big-hearted Ned has sworn off booze, enjoying a happy and sober marriage with widowed Peggy. But when Peggy’s conniving rival Kate tempts him with a tipple, Ned’s ‘dormant demon’ is unleashed in a dramatic Jekyll-and-Hyde-like transformation.
While the film’s pro-temperance agenda is obvious, you may need to look a little closer to spot the WWI subtext. Military recruitment posters adorn most of the pub interiors, inviting the punters to ‘fall-in’. While these are routinely ignored by the idle drunks, the final scene implies that Ned, now a reformed character, goes on to fight for his country. Watch out, too, for the striking street and dock scenes filmed around the west London borough of Ealing; the film was produced at the first generation of Ealing Studios by pioneer William Barker.”
“Ealing Studios is a television and film production company and facilities provider at Ealing Green in west London. Will Barker bought the White Lodge on Ealing Green in 1902 as a base for film making, and films have been made on the site ever since. It is the oldest continuously working studio facility for film production in the world, and the current stages were opened for the use of sound in 1931.”
The Spectator, 27 NOVEMBER 1915
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