Toilers of the Sea film in Sark, 1936
In 2015 the Museum acquired a batch of photographs taken in Sark in 1936 during the filming of an adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel, 'Toilers of the Sea'.
The photographs show the cast, film crew and locals dressed as extras in the film or watching the action taking place. They also demonstrate how locations, such as Creux Harbour, were dressed for the production. The Museum also has a clipping from the Guernsey Weekly Press from Thursday 8th October 1936 containing coverage of the filming.
Sybil Hathaway, the Dame of Sark, recalled the film in her autobiography in 1961:
"My eldest son Buster had financial interests in the venture, a French producer, Monsieur Jean Choux, was in charge, and the leading parts were played by well-known actors and actresses. A small steamer had been bought and altered to fit the period of the play, in order to be wrecked in the scene which Hugo describes so vividly, and we watched the shipwreck, which was most dramatically carried out on one of our best known rocks, the Autelets. Later I saw the part of the film which had been made on Sark and thought it beautiful, but, alas, when the company went to England for the studio scenes there were financial difficulties and the whole project collapsed."
The film featured the actress Mary Lawson as Deruchette. She is pictured in one of the photographs in front of a mocked up Tavern with her co-star, Wilson Coleman who played Lethierry. In 1938 Mary Lawson married the heir to the Seigneur of Sark, Frederick W. L. C. Beaumont or "Buster" Beaumont.