OUT OF THE BLUE

GB
1931
1hr 28min
Dir: Gene Gerrard
Starring: Jessie Matthews and Kay Hammond

A baronet’s daughter falls in love with a radio star who is engaged to marry her sister

Based on the play Little Tommy Tucker by Desmond Carter and Caswell Garth, this musical was Jessie Matthews’ first major film role. It was not a success, and Matthews later wrote in her autobiography that the film, adapted from a stage musical, ‘should never have left the boards’. Towards the end there is a train journey on the Continent which is studio-bound. This includes a stock shot of what looks to be a French express and, rather curiously, a drivers’ eye view of a train entering a tunnel somewhere in the UK!!

This single image appears in the film, and it definitely shows the entrance to a tunnel somewhere in the UK. The white painted square on the tunnel wall was an aid to signal sighting, whilst the white diamonds tell drivers that the lines have track circuits. This means that under normal circumstances ‘Rule 55’ need not be carried out if the train has been brought to a stand as the signalman was aware that the train was occupying that particular block.