Contraband (1940)

Contraband Film Poster- battle ships in the water firing at each other, two floating heads of the main characters are above. A plane is in the air. Conrad Veidt Contraband is written across the centre

Contraband Film Poster © British National Films

Director: Michael Powell
Writers: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell
Starring: Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson, Hay Petrie
Production Company: British National Films
Kent Locations Used: Ramsgate

Set in early World War II, Contraband (1940) is about a Danish sea captain, delayed in a British port when a blackout occurs. The darkness brings chaos with smugglers and spies wanting to take advantage and the captain is forced to participate in a game of cat and mouse through the dark streets of London looking for important papers that belong to the ship. However, he discovers something a lot bigger than a few thieves trying to make a quick profit.

Directed by Michael Powell (A Canterbury Tale (1944), The Red Shoes), the film stars Conrad Veidt (Casablanca, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), Valerie Hobson (Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Great Expectations (1946)) and Hay Petrie (One of Our Aircraft is Missing, Crimes at the Dark House).

Ramsgate, particularly the harbour and railway station, doubled as the fictional town Eastgate-on-Sea in the film.

Situated in East Kent,Ramsgateis a beautiful coastal town, home to the Port of Ramsgate, the only Royal Harbour Marina in the country. The area also boasts a beach, amusements, arcades, shops, restaurants and a theatre. Ramsgate has been used as a film location for Eastenders (2015), Big Bad World (2013) and Johnny English Reborn (2011).

Contraband was released on Saturday 11th May 1940 and is now available to purchase on DVD.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.