For a director who dabbled in the avant-garde, Cavalcanti makes surprisingly little of the surreal possibilities of this convoluted Dickensian nightmare. As in Champagne Charlie he collaborated with art director Michel Relph to create an impressively atmospheric Victorian London, but stylish visuals hardly compensate for the flat, cursory rendering of some of Dickens' best drawn characters. Only Bernard Miles as Noggs and Cedric Hardwicke as wicked Uncle Ralph are given enough space to establish a proper presence. Meagre and one-dimensional, the film is finally smothered by Ealing's cosy sentimentality.
Cast and crew
Sally Ann Howes