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(John Baxter, 1941)
Release date: 19 July 2022
Limited Edition Blu-ray

Adapted from the celebrated novel of the same name by Walter Greenwood, Love on the Dole was one of the most controversial British films of its time, having been banned from production by the British Board of Film Censors and labelled a ‘very sordid story in very sordid surroundings’. It was eventually made in 1941 at a time when the Second World War had radically altered the country's social conditions and attitudes.

During the Depression in 1930s Salford in the North of England, young Harry Hardcastle (Geoffrey Hibbert, In Which We Serve) and his sister, Sally (Deborah Kerr, The Chalk GardenThe Innocents), fall victim to poverty and unemployment, and are forced to make difficult decisions to survive.

Making its US debut on Blu-ray, Love on the Dole is complemented by a selection of contexualising archival extras, including the feature-length 1947 documentary A City Speaks, which is co-scripted by Greenwood.


  • High Definition remaster
  • Original mono audio
  • The BEHP Interview with Barbara K Emary (1988, 99 mins): archival audio recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the Love on the Dole screenwriter and regular John Baxter collaborator in conversation with Bob Allen and Bob Dunbar
  • Island People (1940, 11 mins): co-directed by Paul Rotha and Philip Leacock, this documentary short was intended to give French audiences a flavour of pre-war life in Britain
  • A Call for Arms! (1940, 8 mins): short film, produced and directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, focusing on a pair of chorus girls who consider joining the war effort
  • Our Film (1942, 14 mins): propaganda short, directed by Harold French and produced by a filmmaking co-operative at Denham Film Studios, about the benefits of national unity during wartime
  • A City Speaks (1947, 70 mins): feature-length documentary exploring the history, industry, and post-war development of Manchester, England, produced and directed by Rotha, and co-written by Love on the Dole author Walter Greenwood
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on all films
  • Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Neil Sinyard, archival articles, new writing on A City Speaks and the short films, and film credits
  • US premiere on Blu-ray
  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies for the US

UPC: 843501038567