February 25, 2017


The Siege of Sidney Street – 1960 | 93 mins | Drama | B&W

Plot Synopsis

The Siege of Sidney Street

Having trawled the seedier side of British history for Jack the Ripper (1959) and the infamous grave-robbers Burke and Hare for The Flesh and the Fiends (1960), low-budget producers Robert Baker and Monty Berman next turned their attention to Edwardian events leading up to the controversial Battle of Stepney involving Latvian anarchists between late 1910 and early 1911 in London. Scriptwriter Jimmy Sangster’s reconstruction spices up the true events on the East End with thrills and romance yet still manages to sympathetically portray the gang of anarchists. The film was shot at Ardmore Studios in Dublin.

Opening on January 3rd 1911 on Sidney Street, the story flashbacks to weeks earlier when enigmatic artist Peter the Painter (Peter Wyngarde) and his fellow Latvian refugees are planning a wages snatch from a nearby factory. The armed robbery goes awry and a number of policemen are injured in the pursuit. Police detective Mannering (Donald Sinden) goes undercover and begins investigating the case, and warns the police armed anarchists are gathering in Cutler Street. At that moment unarmed police are investigating noises emanating from a jeweller’s shop in Houndsditch, which backs onto Cutler Street. The police disturb the gang during a robbery and again a brief shootout ensues as the psychotic Toska (Kieron Moore) fires indiscriminately.

Mannering is taken hostage by the anarchists but before the gang have time to leave the premises the police have the area cordoned off. Peter releases Mannering and sends his orphaned lover, Sara (Nicole Berger), with the policeman. The gang then dig in for a siege. At the break of dawn the police open fire with shotguns, but with the anarchists wielding superior automatic pistols, the Scots Guards are called in as reinforcements.

Production Team

Robert S. Baker: Director
Monty Berman: Director
Robert S. Baker: Cinematography
Monty Berman: Cinematography
Peter Bezencenet: Film Editing
Jill Carpenter: Makeup Department
Betty Sherriff: Makeup Department
Stanley Black: Musical Direction
Stanley Black: Original Music
Robert S. Baker: Producer
Monty Berman: Producer
William Kellner: Production Design
Jimmy Sangster: Script
Alexander Baron: Script
Sydney Wiles: Sound


T.P. McKenna: Lapidos
George Pastell: Brodsky
Tutte Lemkow: Dmitrieff
Godfrey Quigley: Blakey
Peter Wyngarde: Peter
Kieron Moore: Toska
Nicole Berger: Sara
Donald Sinden: Mannering

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