The History of Wandsworth Common


IN PROGRESS — NOT FOR PUBLICATION


The Granada Cinema, Clapham Junction



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What we were watching in 1949*


* Well, not me, of course — I was only a baby. But films first shown at this time cast a long shadow. In the next decade, cowboy action movies in particular dominated our TV-watching (you can see how prevalent they already were in the cinema) and featured heavily in our games, clothes, and songs and rhymes. (There will more to come on 1950s Cowboy-Culture quite soon.)





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Here's an image of the luxurious interior of the Granada cinema, Clapham Junction — looking down from the gallery to the pit and distant screen. I've Photoshopped in a frame from Riders in the Sky, 1949, directed by John English (who was himself English, would you believe).

Here's a remarkable scene featuring the "Singing Cowboy" Gene Autry, which I've chosen mainly because I love the song so much:





The song Ghost Riders in the Sky as seen and heard at the Granada cinema, Clapham Junction in 1949.

(Click on the image to view a wonderful scene from the film.)

Here's a completely irrelevant plot preview:

Singing cowboy Gene Autry (Gene Autry) comes to the aid of Anne Lawson (Gloria Henry), who is trying to help her rancher father, Ralph Lawson (Steve Darrell), beat a murder rap. Autry suspects that Ralph is in fact innocent, but he's having difficulty getting the two witnesses to the crime to speak up. One of the witnesses ends up killed, and Autry figures out that Rock McCleary (Robert Livingston) is behind it all. McCleary, however, is ready for a fight.





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There were loads of cover versions in 1949 (and later), including those by Burl Ives, Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee. And this, my favourite version, from Vaughn Munroe.

—  Wikipedia: (Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend.


Black Bart, Highwayman (1949)


Here are a few more Westerns shown at the Granada in 1949:



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Blood on the Moon (1949)




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Man from Colorado (1949)




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Nevada (1949)




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(1949)




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Paleface (1949)


Not all Cowboy films were desperately serious:




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Blue Lagoon (1949)


But it wasn't just Westerns, of course.




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Every Girl Should Be Married (1949)




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Loves of Carmen (1949)




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Mr Peabody and the Mermaid (1949)




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Tarzan and the Mermaids (1949)





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The New Adventures of Don Juan (1949)




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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1949)




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Street with No Name (1949)




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The Third Man (1949)




The Third Man, from the script by former Clapham-resident Graham Greene, was playing at the Granada Clapham Junction at the end of 1949. South Western Star — Friday 30 December 1949
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The Life of Riley (1949)



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The Spider and the Fly (1949)



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On the Town (1949)





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Live Shows...


The Granada was also used for live shows — pantomimes, for instance, even ballet.



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Mona Inglesby had continued to tour her "International Ballet" throughout the war, and was still popular:



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Here's a fairly random page from the South Western Star from Friday 30 December 1949, to give a flavour of all the tasty screen treats on offer that week.





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