Gangway (film)

Gangway is a 1937 British musical film directed by Sonnie Hale and starring Jessie Matthews, Barry MacKay, Nat Pendleton and Alastair Sim.[1] Its plot involves a young reporter goes undercover to unmask a gang of criminals who are planning a jewel heist. AKA as Sparkles in Australia and on Australian release 78rpm records.[2] Jessie Matthews was nicknamed SPARKLE in the film.[3][4]

Gangway (1937 film).jpg
Sheet music cover
Directed bySonnie Hale
Written byscreenplay:
Lesser Samuels
Sonnie Hale
Story byDwight Taylor
StarringJessie Matthews
Barry MacKay
Nat Pendleton
CinematographyGlen MacWilliams
Edited byAl Barnes
Music bymusic & lyrics:
Samuel Lerner
Al Goodhart
Al Hoffman
musical director:
Louis Levy
special orchestration:
Bretton Byrd
Distributed byGaumont British Distributors
Release date
  • 21 January 1938 (1938-01-21) (UK)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Newspaper film critic Pat Wayne (Jessie Matthews) boards an ocean liner to New York to interview glamorous movie star Nedda Beaumont (Olive Blakeney). Once aboard, Pat somehow gets mixed up with a gangster (Nat Pendleton), and a Scotland yard inspector (Barry MacKay), who both mistake her for a female jewel thief called "Sparkle."

Main castEdit

Critical receptionEdit

In a contemporary review, The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote, "There is less, and less elaborate, singing and dancing than in previous Jessie Matthews' films, but the slight story is amusingly developed, the dialogue is good, Jessie Matthews herself gives a very good light comedy performance and the film as a whole scores on its comedy, and on its burlesque of American gangsters rather than on its music. Nat Pendleton and Noel Maddison are good as the tough gangsters and Alistair Sim as a very secret detective walks away with the picture in the few short scenes in which he appears. Barry Mackay gives a pleasing light performance and keeps the romance in the right key".[5] Writing for Night and Day in 1937, Graham Greene gave the film a mixed review, complaining of the "pitiably amateurish direct[ion]" and the writing as "hardly distinguished". Greene praised the acting of Sim, but concluded that "the best one can say of Gangway is that it is better than [Hale's] previous picture".[6] More recently, the BFI Screenonline wrote, "it is one of the more enjoyable Matthews vehicles and is fast moving enough to please most audiences."[3]


  1. ^ "Gangway (1937)".
  2. ^ "Gangway (1937)".
  3. ^ a b "BFI Screenonline: Gangway (1937)".
  4. ^ (Wayback Machine 2018-09-02)
  5. ^ "Monthly Film Bulletin review".
  6. ^ Greene, Graham (7 October 1937). "The Road Back/Gangway". Night and Day. (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russell, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. Oxford University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0192812866.)

External linksEdit