With an atmosphere redolent of pre-war French “poetic realism,” the recently rediscovered and restored It Always Rains on Sunday is a Brueghelian slice of post-war British life. Amid a raucous street market, a feckless trio of thieves try to unload a truckload of hot roller skates. A music store owner chases one shiksa too many. A fight fixer drops a thick roll in the youth center collection box.
In the meantime, a comfortably pipe-smoking inspector Jack Warner plays Javert throughout a long day – climaxing with an excitingly photographed chase through railroad yards and puffing steam engines, two suicide attempts and a murder.
Hamer first made a name for himself as a director with the The Haunted Mirror segment in the 1945 omnibus film Dead of Night (1945). At Ealing, he directed one of the classic British comedies, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), in which Alec Guinness played eight roles.
Hamer was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 1949 Venice Film Festival for his work on the film, as he was in 1954 for directing Guinness in The Detective (1954), which was based on G.K. Chesterton’s short stories. Hamer also also directed Guinness in the romantic comedy To Paris with Love (1955) at Rank and thriller The Scapegoat (1959), which was based on the Daphne Du Maurier novel.