This film is part of Free

Last Chord: The Life Story of a Merchant Seaman

There's high drama in this short film from Sonny Hanson and R P Cue - which features a maritime tragedy and men of the Dungeness lifeboat service

Amateur film 1947 12 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


Sonny Hanson and R P Cue's film opens with a composer at his piano. We see a naval officer with his wife at a station. His train passes a church, which starts a flashback to his own wedding. The couple are later seen with their small child. We see storms, high waves, a shipwreck and the officer swimming for his life. A lifeboat is launched as the wife weeps. She receives a telegram with good news after which we see the couple back in church. The film ends with the composer writing Finis.

Ashford resident 'Sonny' Hanson was a keen and creative amateur film-maker who began his hobby in the 1930s. A member of the Ashford Film Society, 'Sonny' collaborated on a large number of mostly fictional productions. His experiments in special effects like the model shipwreck seen in this film, suggest that Sonny Hanson was a skilled and imaginative amateur film-maker who thoroughly enjoyed his hobby. As the titles suggest, this film was originally accompanied by a soundtrack, 'London Fantasia' written by Clive Richardson. It is extremely likely that Richardson is the composer seen at the piano throughout the film, though, unfortunately, the original soundtrack that came with the film has been lost.