Eastcote – Gangway (1937)

Gangway (1937) | Eastcote

Former resident of Eastcote, Jessie Mathews stars a young reporter who goes undercover to unmask gangsters planning a jewel heist. ‘Gangway’ is also a witty commentary on the success of Hollywood films in Britain compared with homemade produce.

In his book ‘Hollywood and the Americanization of Britain’ Mark Glancy remarks of the British Board of Film Classification’s dual policy in the Thirties of allowing American films into cinemas while requiring Britain to always be portrayed as a law-abiding and orderly place full of decent folk: “The censors’ narrow view of their own national life and character had the effect of making British films seem staid and rigid, while Hollywood’s America was more exciting and, for some at least, more recognisably true-to-life.”

Mathews, Britain’s first international star, was in reality anything but the prim but chipper debutante she portrayed on screen. She had affairs with Tyrone Power, Danny Kaye, (uncle of Oliver) director Carol Reed and Salvador Dali.