FILM: Steel City on the Silver Screen

Wilfrid Lawson in Hard Steel (1942), filmed in Sheffield and  based on the novel 'Steel Saraband' by Rotherham author Roger Dataller (a pseudonym for Arthur Eaglestone)
Wilfrid Lawson in Hard Steel (1942), filmed in Sheffield and based on the novel 'Steel Saraband' by Rotherham author Roger Dataller (a pseudonym for Arthur Eaglestone)
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Two almost forgotten black and white movies filmed in Sheffield are getting rare sceenings at the Showroom this weekend.

In 1942 as the Second World War raged and Sheffield’s steel industry became more important than ever, Hard Steel was made in Sheffield to bolster the war effort. It tells the cautionary tale of Walter (Wilfrid Lawson), an ordinary steelworker who rises through to ranks to become a manager, unleashing his tyrannical side. The story plays out against the backdrop of the city’s steel industry, capturing the processes and the atmosphere of the time on celluloid.

The film is based on a pre-war novel, Steel Saraband, by Roger Dataller, a nom de plume of Rotherham author Arthur Eaglestone who spent 12 years in the steel industry and three as a timekeeper at Rawmarsh colliery before winning a scholarship to Oxford and becoming a literature tutor for the WEA and the University of Sheffield.

Hard Steel was aired on television in the 1980s, but the screening at the Showroom Cinema on Sunday 14 July, 6pm is a very rare opportunity to see the film.

The screening coincides with the University of Sheffield’s Yorkshire Voices exhibition, which features the work of Arthur Eaglestone. Two experts from the University, Dr Jane Hodson and Hugh Escott will lead a discussion session after the film.

Also on Sunday, the Showcomotion Young People’s Film Festival is screening Wings of Mystery, a 1963 Children’s Film Foundation production.

It features a group of kids who foil the person in a steelworks selling details of a new alloy to a foreign agent and evocative shots of Sheffield.