The Silver Darlings (1947) starring Norman Williams, Christopher Capon, Murdo Morrison, Helen Shingler directed by Clarence Elder Movie Review

The Silver Darlings (1947)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Helen Shingler and Clifford Evans in The Silver Darlings (1947)

A Little Darling

When they were forced off their land the farmers in the North East of Scotland took to the seas as fishermen, but were confronted by the British Naval press gangs who would force them out of their boats and in to service. It is how Catrine (Helen Shingler) ends up alone and with a young son to raise as her husband was forced into service when he was out on his small boat fishing one day. It is whilst dealing with this sudden loss she meets the charming Roddie (Clifford Evans), a popular man in the fishing community who is also popular with Catrine's young son who grows up wanting to be a fisherman as well despite Catrine's fears.

The names of the director or cast didn't ring a bell and no where could I stumble across a review of "The Silver Darlings" other than a few words which said it was a poor adaptation of a book which told the story of fishing in the area with depth and realism. Yet "The Silver Darlings" spiked my curiosity, not because I have an interest in the history of sea fishing in Scotland but to come across an old movie with no reviews is a bit or a rarity.

Murdo Morrison and Helen Shingler in The Silver Darlings (1947)

The thing is that "The Silver Darlings" is a charming little melodrama with Catrine at the centre of things with her fear that the sea will rob her off her son, her relationship with nice guy Roddie and various other fears surrounding the safety of her son such as when the plague strikes. But it isn't what I call gripping just pleasant with many an attractive framed scene with Helen Shingler looking radiant as Catrine. But I wouldn't say it has much oomph, just a nice drama with some nice direction and cinematography.

As for the look at the history of fishing well you do learn some things such as it being farmers forced off of their land who took to the boats and then not only faced the danger of the sea but also the press gangs. You also see how illness also caused issue at the time and various other things. But the story of fishing is not the focus of the movie and those who expect a real look at the hard work of fishing are likely to be disappointed.

What this all boils down to is that as a movie fan looking to be entertained "The Silver Darlings" certainly achieves that with a beautiful look and some nice melodrama which keeps it ticking over nicely. But for those drawn to it because of it being about the history of sea fishing might find it short on realism and depth.