3 user

Down River (1931)

| Crime, Drama | May 1931 (UK)
A customs investigator and his fiancee track down a gang of smugglers whose leader may be a murderer.


Peter Godfrey


Ralph Gilbert Bettison (scenario) (as R.G. Bettinson), Austin Small (novel) (as Seamark)




Credited cast:
Charles Laughton ... Captain Grossman
Jane Baxter ... Hilary Gordon
Harold Huth Harold Huth ... John Durham
Kenneth Kove ... Ronnie Gordon
Hartley Power Hartley Power ... Lingard
Arthur Goullet Arthur Goullet ... Maxick
Norman Shelley Norman Shelley ... Blind Rudley
Frederick Leister ... Inspector Manning
Cyril McLaglen Cyril McLaglen ... Sergeant Proctor
Humberston Wright Humberston Wright ... Sir Michael Gordon
Hugh E. Wright Hugh E. Wright ... Charlie Wong
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Valentine Philip Valentine
Donald Wolfit
Learn more

More Like This 

Wolves (1930)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

An outlaw leader fakes a draw for a sick girl so he can help her escape.

Director: Albert de Courville
Stars: Charles Laughton, Dorothy Gish, Malcolm Keen
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man poisons his nephew out of desperation for money.

Director: Lothar Mendes
Stars: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Sullivan, Ray Milland
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Man sets out for revenge after learning of his wife's affair.

Director: Marion Gering
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton
I, Claudius (1937)

The life and times of the Roman Emperor Claudius (10 B.C. to 54 A.D.).

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Charles Laughton, Merle Oberon, Emlyn Williams
The Tonic (1928)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Ivor Montagu
Stars: Elsa Lanchester, Renee De Vaux, Charles Laughton
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Cedric Hardwicke
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A dying tycoon gives million-dollar windfalls to eight people picked from the city directory.

Directors: James Cruze, H. Bruce Humberstone, and 6 more credits »
Stars: Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, W.C. Fields
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Elissa Landi
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
White Woman (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A nightclub singer marries the rich owner of a rubber plantation. When she returns with him to his estate in Malaysia, she finds out that he is cruel, vicious and insanely jealous. She and ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Walker
Stars: Carole Lombard, Charles Laughton, Charles Bickford
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An English valet brought to the American west assimilates into the American way of life.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charles Ruggles
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton


A customs investigator and his fiancee track down a gang of smugglers whose leader may be a murderer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Did You Know?


First film of Hartley Power. See more »


Down River
Written by Roger Eckersley
See more »

User Reviews

"Struggle little one! You cannot escape me!"
2 May 2018 | by richardchattenSee all my reviews

Charles Laughton as a dastardly Dutch-Chinese smuggler only gradually insinuates himself into this - the last of his British potboilers before Hollywood beckoned - but his new-found stature is attested to by his special billing in the opening credits.

The film is enlivened by actual footage of motor boats filmed on the Thames - including a speedboat chase shot night-for-night - while Andrew Mazzei has designed an enormous nightclub set in which Helen Howell performs an exotic dance in Oriental-style bobbed hair and a slinky unitard. Director Peter Godfrey shows off the set by dollying his camera back and fourth to make sure we get a good look at it; although for most of the rest of the film inspiration fails him and much of the action looks as if we're seeing it from the back of the stalls.

Jane Baxter is an attractive and feisty heroine, while Laughton - with his slicked-back hair, cherubic, bizarrely made up face, Chinese smocks and Buddha-like demeanour - although given relatively little dialogue, plainly doesn't need it to dominate the proceedings.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

May 1931 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed