Black Star

Pool of London

Basil DeardenUK86 minutes1951PGB&WEnglish

Nov 30
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Bermuda-born actor Earl Cameron, one of the first genuine Black British screen stars, made his feature debut in Basil Dearden's noir-ish 1951 thriller. Cameron plays merchant seaman Johnny Lambert, a misunderstood tearaway who falls for a white girl (Susan Shaw) while on shore leave; his struggles with racial prejudice are compounded when his (white) best friend enlists his unwitting involvement in a smuggling scheme. Gripping and atmospheric, Pool of London is widely regarded as being one of the first British films to deal with interracial romance; director Dearden would revisit the subject in 1959 with the controversial Sapphire, in which Cameron also starred.

Print courtesy of the BFI National Archive.