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Saving of Bill Blewitt, The (1936)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Mousehole, Cornwall. The boat of rascal sailors Bill Blewitt and Joe Jago slips from its moorings on a blustery day and is blown against the rocks. The two fisherman salvage what they can but their uninsured boat is ruined. Their only hope is the unused vessel of a local retiring fisherman, but he refuses to sell his boat, the Pleasant, for less than £100. A dejected Joe gets a job as a sailor; Blewitt turns his back on the sea and gets a job at the local quarry.

Blewitt remains outwardly unconcerned, but the physical nature of the quarry work takes its toll and one evening he takes some money from the teapot where his wife, Hetty, keeps her savings. However, the returning Hetty blocks his way to the pub and Blewitt is forced to hide out of her sight in an alley. The unsuspecting Blewitt is plucked from the alley by a postal savings man and, despite his efforts to escape, has to deposit his wife's savings into a post office account. On the way home he spies the Pleasant and vows to save up to buy it. His wife tells him he'll face competition from Joe, who has also set his heart on buying the boat.

Two years pass, and though Blewitt's savings have been hit by reduced working hours in the winter and the need to buy new tools, he has managed to save £25. But he also now faces a new rival. A wealthy tourist couple are attracted by the Pleasant, and though they really want a yacht rather than a fishing vessel, they offer the old fisherman a £50 down-payment. Blewitt rushes round to the fisherman and offers £25 plus a percentage of the future catch, but is rejected as a charity case.

Fortunately, Joe returns the next day from his spell at sea and by pooling their money, Blewitt and Jago finally secure the Pleasant. They take to the sea and land a triumphant catch, which they bring spectacularly to market.