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Patrick Hamilton: book by book > To The Public Danger/Money With Menaces

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message 1: by Andrew (last edited Mar 05, 2016 02:36AM) (new)

Andrew Mackay | 84 comments "To The Public Danger" is a radio play by Patrick Hamilton, produced in 1939, and inspired by the motor accident that almost killed him. It is a didactic but very vivid work on the dangers and evils of drink driving. In 1948 it was filmed in black and white by Terence Fisher, later of Hammer horror fame. The film is expanded from the radio play, but contains a good deal of the original dialogue, and is absolutely true to the spirit. The film is now enjoyably and nostalgically dated, but the atmosphere is quintessentially Hamiltonian. The entire fifty minute film is available on YouTube, extraordinarily, under the rubric Patrick Hamilton Terence Fisher. YouTube also has an animated photo of Hamilton giving the impression of reciting the threatening phone calls from his other and better radio play, "Money With Menaces". There is in fact a good deal of Hamiltonia in English and other languages on the site.

message 2: by Lucinda (new)

Lucinda | 38 comments Thanks for this Andrew. I had seen the Money With Menaces animation and at first thought it was a recording of Hamilton. I find the animation a little weird, but enjoyed the recording. Am I right in thinking there is no existing recording of Patrick Hamilton's voice? I've never been able to find one.

message 3: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Mackay | 84 comments I imagine the recording may be the original BBC from 1939, but really have no idea. I agree, the animation is unsettling.

message 4: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 3944 comments Mod
Money With Menaces is on the main page here at TPHAS....

And here's the film of "To The Public Danger"....

....which I'd never seen - so appreciate you mentioning it Andrew

message 5: by Nigeyb (last edited Mar 08, 2016 09:01AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 3944 comments Mod
Also, in "The Siege of Pleasure" (1932), Patrick Hamilton works in an incident of drunk driving - this following his own horrific accident at the hands of a drunk driver.

In 1932, whilst walking with his sister and wife in London, Patrick Hamilton was struck by a drunk driver and dragged through the street. His injuries were devastating. After a three-month hospital stay, multiple surgeries (the accident ripped off his nose and left one arm mangled), and a period of convalescence, Hamilton suffered physical and emotional scars that would continue with him for the rest of his life. Some claim this contributed to his alcoholism. It certainly badly affected his self-esteem and he became very self conscious about the visible scars and loss of mobility.

To The Public Danger was originally commissioned by the BBC as part of a road safety campaign.

message 6: by David (new)

David | 864 comments I'm glad I found this by trawling the boards, as my friend, who is studying 'the unreliable narrator and alcohol' sent me the link a couple of days ago.

Sunday dinner was suspended for 45 minutes whilst I soaked it in.

I wonder if there's a subliminal link between our Five For Friday and Roy Plomley's appearance in the film?

Livinginthecastle | 23 comments Just read a copy of both of these plays at the British Library. There's a forward to the edition by the BBC producer Val Gielgud saying how marvellous PH is at radio, possibly buttering him up to do more? Anyway they had the cast lists of the original productions and Patrick Hamilton is not part of either cast.

Both of them are definitely 'issue' plays, but I think Money with Menaces has more flair and the menacing phone man is kind of recreated in The Man Upstairs. I must admit I found Cole in To the Public Danger somewhat more charming and well rounded than the other characters who are merely ciphers.

message 9: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 3944 comments Mod
I've listened to Money with Menaces, but not read, or experienced, To The Public Danger except that film version that David has helpfully linked to above.

message 10: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 3944 comments Mod
Good article here....

The Forgotten: "To the Public Danger" (1948)

A drunken night out turns fatal in Terence Fisher's early short, To the Public Danger, from a radio play by Patrick Hamilton.

Excerpt from the article....

This is the world of writer Patrick Hamilton, specialist in psychological torment (Gaslight), nerve-shredding anxiety (Rope) and alcoholic madness (Hangover Square). Few other writers can abuse their protagonists, and their public, with such merciless cruelty, while displaying at the same time a pained compassion for life's victims.

To the Public Danger is adapted from a BBC radio play by Hamilton, and abounds in sharply-drawn detail, mostly delivered as dialogue: it must have made a gripping listen, and if the film has a flaw, it's that nearly every effect is achieved by sound and voice. Still, Fisher serves up some nice nocturnal joyriding, all via rear projection of course, but with some intense low angles from under the steering wheel.

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