Turn of the Tide

Turn of the Tide (1935) is a British drama film directed by Norman Walker and starring John Garrick, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Wilfrid Lawson. It was the first feature film made by J. Arthur Rank.[1] Lacking a distributor for his film, Rank set up his own distribution and production company which subsequently grew into his later empire.[2]

Turn of the Tide
"Turn of the Tide" (1935).jpg
British trade ad
Directed byNorman Walker
Written by
Produced byJohn Corfield
CinematographyFranz Planer
Edited by
Music byArthur Benjamin
Distributed byGaumont British Distributors
Release date
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film contains many Whitby registered boats (WY) and contains much documentary-style footage of making and repairing lobster creels.


The film is set in the fictional Yorkshire fishing village of Bramblewick and relates the rivalry between two fishing families. It is filmed mainly around Robin Hood's Bay (evidenced in the WY identity codes on the fishing boats).

The characters speak in the local Yorkshire accent and dialect. Rivalry between the lobster fishermen begins when one boat is fitted with a new diesel engine. Ropes are cut so the lobsters cannot be retrieved. The feuding comes to an end when a man from one family says he wants to marry a girl from the other family.

The work is based on the 1932 novel Three Fevers by Leo Walmsley.[3]



Writing for The Spectator in 1935, Graham Greene remarked that the film was "unpretentious and truthful", and "one of the best English films [he] ha[d] yet seen". Rejecting contemporary critical comparison of the film to Man of Aran, Greene suggested that where Man of Aran had featured sentimentality, Turn of the Tide's director "Norman Walker is concerned with truth, [...] and the beauty his picture catches is that of exact statement".[4]

Although the film was originally considered a box-office disappointment it was eventually voted the sixth best British movie of 1936.[5]

Britmovie called it a "refreshingly compassionate drama that benefits from being filmed on location at Robin Hood's Bay and Whitby".[2]


  1. ^ "Turn of the Tide (1935)". BFI. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012.
    - "BFI Screenonline: Fitzgerald, Geraldine (1914-2005) Biography". Screen Online.
  2. ^ a b "Turn of the Tide". Britmovie.
  3. ^ Logan, Philip C. (28 July 2013). Humphrey Jennings and British Documentary Film: A Re-assessment. ISBN 9781409482284 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Greene, Graham (25 October 1935). "Joan of Arc/Turn of the Tide/Top Hat/She". The Spectator. (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russell, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0192812866.)
  5. ^ "BEST FILM PERFORMANCE LAST YEAR". The Examiner (LATE NEWS EDITION and DAILY ed.). Launceston, Tasmania. 9 July 1937. p. 8. Retrieved 4 March 2013 – via National Library of Australia.

External linksEdit