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Soho Bites 32: Turn the Key Softly (1953)
Episode 3222nd January 2022 • Soho Bites Podcast • Dominic Delargy
00:00:00 00:53:57

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Softly Shoe Shuffle.

Murphy's Law states that if you've arranged an interview with a brilliant guest to talk about a fantastic film in a great location, then you will catch Covid and have to self-isolate. This is why my interview with Ming Ho about Turn the Key Softly (1953) took place online and not in the lovely surroundings of the BAFTA bar as originally planned.

Turn the Key Softly is set over a period of twelve hours and follows three very different women on their first day of freedom after their release from Holloway Prison.

Starring Yvonne Mitchell, Kathleen Harrison and a very young Joan Collins, it is directed by Jack Lee who also wrote the screenplay along with producer, Maurice Cowan and is based on the novel of the same name by Johh Brophy.

Have a look at these lovely old lobby cards, produced to promote Turn the Key Softly.

Have a look at some of the locations in Turn the Key Softly on Reelstreets

You can follow Ming on Twitter.

As the period of self isolation dragged on, a real in-person meeting was still impossible, so Dom met up with John Snelson online to hear about two forgotten musicals set on the streets and nightclubs of Soho. The Crooked Mile ran for 160 performances at the Cambridge Theatre in 1959-60 and Ace of Clubs also ran at the Cambridge, for 211 performances in 1950.

The Crooked Mile consolidated the UK career of Millicent Martin. Here is some publicity material from the show.

Ace of Clubs was written by Noel Coward, the MD was Mantovani and Graham Payn & Pat Kirkwood starred. Pat Kirkwood did not have an affair with Prince Philip. Nope. No way. Definitely not. Graham Payn was Noel Coward's long-term partner. Here's some publicity material from the show.

The Crooked Mile was based on Peter Wildeblood's novel "West End People". I can't afford it so have put it on my list for Santa.

We have another podcast coming out! Starting in March, a series of screenings and Q&As will take place at the Kino Cinema in Bermondsey which will be magically turned into a podcast a few days after each one. Follow the podcast at, follow us on Twitter and we'd love to have you come to a screening. All you have to do is buy a ticket.

The originator of Soho Bites, Dr Jingan Young, has a new book coming out all about.... guess what? Films set in Soho! Get your copy at Foyles.

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