Tin (2014) - Synopsis

The shareholders are throwing good money after bad down their failing tin mine. The chairman, Mr East, has nothing more to invest and turns to the bank. The bankers refuse to advance him any further loan but introduce him to a potential investor from ‘up-country’. This Mr Goldsmith is fooled by the shareholders at a well stage-managed board meeting and, thinking he is onto a winner, parts with a large amount of cash and heads for the station to catch the London train.

That night in the pub the shareholders celebrate their good fortune. East introduces them to a troupe of actors who are in town at his invitation to give a performance of “Fidelio”. A singing competition develops between the locals and the professionals. Goldsmith, who never boarded his train, witnesses the proceedings.

The troupe returns to their digs in East’s house. The ageing actor-manager, Mrs. Dawson, is working her charms on East when Goldsmith bursts in and demands his money back. East explains he is penniless and refers Goldsmith to the bank.

Tin (2014) - Movie PosterThe next day the bankers are posing for a photographic portrait when Goldsmith bursts in to demand they reimburse his dud investment. Then the mine captain, Rundle, arrives with urgent news for the bankers. But they are so occupied trying to see off the angry investor that they do not give Rundle the opportunity to speak. At this point Mrs. Dawson intrudes and offers to purchase the shares. Share transfer certificates are hastily drawn up, signed and witnessed by Rundle. The photo session is completed and, only then, does Rundle finally get to inform the bankers that copper has been found in the mine.

The bankers act quickly, destroying Mrs. Dawson’s share certificate and forging a new one in their name. Rundle, an ostentatiously devout Methodist, finds himself a party to the crime and is forced to witness the deed.

The bankers now determine to bankrupt East and call a meeting of his creditors. Mrs. Dawson surprises East by informing the townsfolk that everyone will be paid as she now has Mr. Goldsmith’s holding in the copper-rich mine. Rundle makes her a laughing stock, suggesting she is deluded, and insisting that he witnessed the sale of Goldsmith’s shares to the bank.

However, it is Rundle’s downtrodden maid, Nel, who realises that evidence of the crime exists in the photographic portrait of the bankers, where they can clearly be seen holding Mrs. Dawson’s certificate. East is once again the town’s favourite mine owner.

Rundle’s life disintegrates around him:, Nel, emboldened by contact with the actors, starts to mock his holier-than-thou attitudes and suggests that he should loosen up. Her teasing backfires and he forces himself on her. Overcome with shame he descends into the mine and attempts to crucify himself.

Just before the performance of Fidelio, Mrs. Dawson pretends to come down with flu and pushes East’s daughter, Wil, onto the stage in her place. As the opera unfolds in the village hall and the local choir takes to the stage to sing the Prisoners’ Chorus, Rundle and the vicar come to blows over God, deep in the mine. The vicar falls into the sea and is carried into the deep by a mermaid.

The next morning, when the opera company leaves, Will has replaced Mrs. Dawson, the vicar has been rescued by his mermaid, Nel, to whom he finally manages to declare his love, and Rundle is a ruined man.