JB Priestley's fantasy, in which a demure spinster, an elderly mill-worker and an effete schoolteacher throw security to the winds to seek fortune and adventure with a broken-down band of travelling players, is so engaging that one easily forgives its sentimentality. Saville's direction is adequate rather than inspired, but he elicits marvellous performances from his disparate cast. Matthews' portrayal of a bubblingly neurotic soubrette is wonderful, and not surprisingly shot her to stardom. The film does feed on rather than explore the twee camaraderie of the provincial touring company, but an English backstage musical as witty and well-handled as this is something to be thankful for indeed.
Cast and crew
Edmund Gwenn Mary Glynne John Gielgud Jessie Matthews Percy Parsons AW Baskcomb Max Miller Jack Hawkins