This Happy Breed

  • Film
  • Drama
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One of a number of British films in the '40s attempting to depict the lives of 'ordinary people', adapted by Noël Coward from his own play. Coward's homage to his roots daringly spans the whole of the inter-war period through the lives of Frank Gibbons (Newton) and his bickering, feuding, lower middle class family. Ronald Neame's camera rarely strays outside the family home of the decidedly un-funky Gibbonses, but there is a constant in-rush of public events - from wars to Wembley festivals - to leaven the domestic squabbling, and the evocation of the recent past proved enormously successful in war-torn Britain. Though Lean and Coward are less happy here than in the brittle, refined atmosphere of Brief Encounter, their adventurous excursion into suburban Clapham remains endlessly fascinating.

Release details

Duration: 114 mins

Cast and crew

Director: David Lean
Screenwriter: Noël Coward
Cast: Laurence Olivier
Celia Johnson
Alison Leggatt
John Blythe
Robert Newton
Amy Veness
John Mills
Kay Walsh
Stanley Holloway