February 24, 2017


Daybreak – 1948 | 75 mins | Thriller, Mystery | B&W

Plot Synopsis


Eddie keeps a barber’s shop. Only his assistant Ron knows that he has another trade, briefly indicated by the names of jails scribbled in his pocket-book, middle-aged Eddie is the public hangman. He meets and marries a pretty waif, Frankie. When he inherits his father’s barge business, he gives the barber’s shop to Ron and makes a home for Frankie and himself on one of the barges.

A conceited young Scandinavian seaman, Olaf, hardly troubles to disguise his interest in Frankie. She is attracted to him against her will; she pleads with her husband not to leave her alone any more. Eddie, unable to explain the real reason for his frequent absences, tries in vain to reassure her. When next he has to keep an ‘ official engagement ‘, Frankie asks an old bargeman, Bill Shackle, to remain with her. He has to refuse, and when Eddie unexpectedly returns that night he finds Olaf on the barge.

After a savage fight, Eddie is knocked overboard. Police are called to the barge and arrest Olaf for his murder. Suddenly a revolver shot is heard; in contrition and despair, Frankie has committed suicide. But Eddie has dragged himself ashore to take secret shelter with Ron. Eventually he has the duty of carrying out the death sentence on Olaf. He relishes the opportunity of avenging Frankie’s death. At the last moment, however, he reveals his identity and returns to the barber’s shop to end his own life.

Production Team

Compton Bennett: Director
James A Carter: Art Direction
A Frank Bundy: Associate Producer
Reginald Wyer: Cinematography
Dorothy Sinclair: Costume Designer
Helga Cranston: Editing
Peter Price: Editing
Ben Frankel: Music
Muir Mathieson: Music Direction
London Symphony Orchestra: Orchestra
Sydney Box: Producer
Sydney Box: Script
Muriel Box: Script


Eric Portman: Eddie
Ann Todd: Frankie
Maxwell Reed: Olaf
Edward Rigby: Bill Shackle
Bill Owen: Ron
Jane Hylton: Doris
Eliot Makeham: Mr Bigley
Margaret Withers: Mr Bigley
John Turnbull: Superintendant
Maurice Denham: Inspector
Milton Rosmer: Governor

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