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Saloon Bar (1940)

Against a background of Christmas and the pending arrival of another baby for the landlord, a group of pub locals lead by bookie Joe Harris set out to prove that former customer Eddie ... See full summary »


Walter Forde


Frank Harvey (play) (as Frank Harvey Jr.), Angus MacPhail (screen play) (as Angus Macphail) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gordon Harker ... Joe Harris
Elizabeth Allan ... Queenie King
Mervyn Johns ... Charlie Wickers
Joyce Barbour Joyce Barbour ... Mrs. Sally Watson
Anna Konstam Anna Konstam ... Ivy
Cyril Raymond ... Harry Small
Judy Campbell ... Doris
Al Millen Al Millen ... Fred
Norman Pierce Norman Pierce ... Bill Hoskins
Alec Clunes ... Eddie Graves
Mavis Villiers ... Joan
Felix Aylmer ... Mayor
O.B. Clarence ... Sir Archibald (as O. B. Clarence)
Aubrey Dexter ... Major
Laurence Kitchin Laurence Kitchin ... Peter


Against a background of Christmas and the pending arrival of another baby for the landlord, a group of pub locals lead by bookie Joe Harris set out to prove that former customer Eddie Graves is not guilty of the murder for which he is due to be hanged in the morning. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

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Release Date:

2 November 1940 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

サルーン・バー See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ealing Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Closing credits: The events and characters portrayed in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to any incident, name or individual is coincidental. See more »


Wickers: All you've got to do is find out how he did it and why he did it and prove he did it and convince the police that you've proved he did it and get the police to convince the Home Secretary that... Same again please Ivy.
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References The Sign of the Cross (1932) See more »


To a Sweet Pretty Thing
Written by Fred E. Ahlert and Joe Young
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User Reviews

Simply Great!
24 July 2016 | by mmipyleSee all my reviews

I watched an absolutely charming piece of British ensemble called of all things "Saloon Bar" (1940), with Gordon Harker, Mervyn Johns, Elizabeth Allan, Joyce Barbour, Anna Konstam, Cyril Raymond, Judy Campbell, and others (among whom is a very young pre-teen Roddy McDowall. Taking place basically in a single setting on Christmas Eve or thereabouts, in an evidently pre-war bar, the ostensible idea behind this piece is to save a young man from being hanged in the morning for a murder he didn't commit. But - how to prove it... This began as a play written by Frank Harvey (who also contributed to the screenplay) and then was put on the screen by Angus MacPhail and Jon Dighton. This is one of the four films on Volume 10 of the Ealing Studios Rarities series put out in Britain in the last few years (total of 14 volumes). Mervyn Johns sits on his bar stool during the entire film without moving, drinking, and making wry and sarcastic comments endlessly, deliciously. Elizabeth Allan is Queenie, a bar tending girl the hapless accused was seeing before his sentence. A competing bartendress from another establishment is Judy Campbell. The landlord of the bar where nearly all of the action takes place has an expectant wife upstairs, and it seems that she's been bearing first a boy, then a girl, then a boy, then a girl, in alternate years for some time now. Meanwhile, between endless quaffs of endless Lion ale, Gordon Harker is trying to figure out who really murdered the old lady the young man on death row is accused of killing. If all this sounds, perhaps, somewhat predictable, maybe even stagnant, or boring - trust me, it isn't in the least. It crackles with wit and wonderful acting and direction and atmosphere. It is indelibly British, the definition of it for Americans who think they know what that means, but who really don't. If you're into what pre-World War II Britain was like, this is the essence, a time and a culture that just doesn't exist anymore at all, but which is captured here in a water drop under the spyglass perfectly. Simply great!

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