Biopic of 18th century Irish actress Peg Woffington. With curly hair, gypsy earrings and an excruciating Irish accent, Neagle's Peg is intended as a warm earthy hussy. 'That David Garrick, sure he's the broth of a man,' is typical of her banter (script by Miles Malleson from the play Masks and Faces by Charles Reade and Tom Taylor). But there's not a hint of spontaneity or passion about her performance. Even when she's swilling beer with the male members of the Steak and Kidney Club, or dressed as a young swell, fighting a duel in the Vauxhall Gardens, there's always a Home Counties reserve, a coldness, about her. When she sings, she sounds suspiciously like Vera Lynn. Even stiffer is Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Garrick, a pompous, porcine figure with a ridiculous bellow of a voice. Wilcox is so determined to remind us of his high art credentials that he continually slows up the action with dreary static scenes of his stars reciting Shakespeare on stage.
Cast and crew
Anna Neagle Jack Hawkins Cedric Hardwicke Hay Petrie Margaretta Scott Mairie O'Neill Arthur Sinclair Sara Allgood