The Blue Lamp

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The Blue Lamp film poster


Morrissey, in Autobiography, says he attempted to include parts of the film in a music video:

Although The more you ignore me, the closer I get reached number 8 in the UK, the follow-up, Hold on to your friends, was dismissed with a wave of the hand, struggling to touch number 42. I had hatched an interesting video made up of segments of the film The Blue Lamp featuring Dirk Bogarde, Patric Doonan and Peggy Evans. It is Doonan, not Bogarde, who flags down my interest. Born in Derby, he didn’t rise higher than fourth on the bill, and he took his life at the age of 33 – gassed by an unlit stove in his basement flat at 4 Margaretta Terrace in Chelsea. In 1994, Dirk Bogarde was now living just off Cadogan Square after many years in France. He had, it seemed, returned home to die. We briefly correspond, and initially he is willing to approve the video for Hold on to your friends, but having given him a copy of Vauxhall and I he recoils and withdraws his approval. Unaccustomed to backing down, I make my way to his Chelsea flat, but before I can reach the doorway I am met by his spindle-shanked figure groping along a Chelsea side street. Drenched in self-exile and secrets, his eyes are wide with elderly shock. It is a moment of panic, and I turn away as he struggles by, letting it all go. A few months later he is dead.

The crying at the end of Moonriver is sampled from this film (Peggy Evans is the actress sobbing):

Mentioned In

Wikipedia Information


The Blue Lamp is a 1950 British police procedural film directed by Basil Dearden and starring Jack Warner as PC Dixon, Jimmy Hanley as newcomer PC Mitchell, and Dirk Bogarde as criminal Tom Riley. The title refers to the blue lamps that traditionally hung outside British police stations (and often still do). The film became the inspiration for the 1955–1976 TV series Dixon of Dock Green, where Jack Warner continued to play PC Dixon until he was 80 years old (even though Dixon is murdered in the original film). The screenplay was written by ex-policeman T.E.B. Clarke. The film is an early example of the "social realism" films that emerged later in the 1950s and 1960s, sometimes using a partial documentary-like approach. There are also cinematic influences of the film noir genre, particularly in underworld scenes featuring Bogarde's Tom Riley, such as the pool rooms and in and around the theatre, making deliberate use of genre trademarks like slow moving low camera angles and stark lighting. The plot, however, follows a simple moral structure in which the police are the honest guardians of a decent society, battling the disorganised crime of a few unruly youths. The film was set in London, and partly shot on locations there.