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The White Cliffs of Dover Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The White Cliffs of Dover is one of those overlong MGM wartime films that everyone seems to have seen a part of, but no one can remember the film as a sum total. Based on a poem by Alice Duer Miller, the story chronicles the trials and tribulations of one courageous woman through two world wars. Irene Dunne plays an American girl who, in 1914, falls in love with titled Englishman Alan Marshal. At the end of World War 1 in 1918, it is painfully clear that Marshal will not be returning from the battlefields. Remaining loyal to her husband, Irene vows to raise their child in England. Played by Roddy McDowell in his early scenes, Irene's son grows up to be Peter Lawford. At the outbreak of World War 2, Irene despairs at the thought of losing another loved one, but Lawford convinces her that his dad would have wanted him to answer his country's call to the colors. While working as a Red Cross volunteer, Irene finds that she must tend her own mortally wounded son. Unable to save his life, she is grief-stricken, but is gratified with the notion that neither her husband nor her boy have died in vain. Like many films of its ilk and era, White Cliffs of Dover struck a responsive chord with filmgoers, to the tune of a $4 million profit. Watch for a touching scene between Roddy McDowell and 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor; 19 years later, lifelong friends Roddy and Liz would be playing mortal enemies in (1963). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:May 11, 1944

Cast

Irene Dunne
as Susan Dunn Ashwood
Frank Morgan
as Hiram Porter Dunn
Roddy McDowall
as John Ashwood II, as a Boy
Ralph Morgan
Van Johnson
as Sam Bennett
Peter Lawford
as John Ashwood II, at age 24
Elizabeth Taylor
as Betsy (age 10)
C. Aubrey Smith
as Colonel
Dame May Whitty
as Nanny
Gladys Cooper
as Lady Jean Ashwood
John Warburton
as Reggie
Jill Esmond
as Rosamund
Norma Varden
as Mrs. Bland
Harry Allen
as English Cabby
Wilson Benge
as Chauffeur
Matthew Boulton
as Immigration Officer
Edmund Breon
as Maj. Bancroft
Clifford Brooke
as Indian Major in Boarding House
Charles Coleman
as Capt. Davis
Clyde Cook
as Jennings
Alec Craig
as Billings
Guy D'Ennery
as Curate in Boarding House
George Davis
as Boots
Isobel Elsom
as Mrs. Bancroft
Herbert Evans
as Footman
Emily Fitzroy
as Spinster in Boarding House
Ethel Griffies
as Woman on Train
Lumsden Hare
as The Vicar
Keith Hitchcock
as Duke of Waverly
Charles Irwin
as Farmer Kenney
Molly Lamont
as Helen
Nelson Leigh
as British Naval Officer
Doris Lloyd
as Plump Lady at Boarding House
June Lockhart
as Betsy (age 18)
Miles Mander
as Maj. Loring
Emily Massey
as Elegant Lady in Boarding House
Leo Mostovoy
as Bandmaster
Gavin Muir
as Capt. Griffiths
Jean Prescott
as Mrs. Kenney
Arthur Shields
as Benson
Ian Wolfe
as Skipper
Harry Allen
as English Cabby
George Davis
as Boots
Charles Coleman
as Capt. Davis
Leo Mostovoy
as Bandmaster
Edmund Breon
as Maj. Bancroft
Keith Hitchcock
as Duke of Waverly
Lumsden Hare
as The Vicar
Gavin Muir
as Capt. Griffiths
Nelson Leigh
as British Naval Officer
Jean Prescott
as Mrs. Kenney
Guy D'Ennery
as Curate in Boarding House
Doris Lloyd
as Plump Lady at Boarding House
Arthur Shields
as Benson
Charles Irwin
as Farmer Kenney
Ethel Griffies
as Woman on Train
Matthew Boulton
as Immigration Officer
Herbert Evans
as Footman
Clyde Cook
as Jennings
Emily Massey
as Elegant Lady in Boarding House
Molly Lamont
as Helen
Miles Mander
as Maj. Loring
Alec Craig
as Billings
Clifford Brooke
as Indian Major in Boarding House
June Lockhart
as Betsy (age 18)
Emily Fitzroy
as Spinster in Boarding House
Isobel Elsom
as Mrs. Bancroft
Wilson Benge
as Chauffeur

Crew

Clarence Brown
Director
Jan Lustig
Screenwriter
Claudine West
Screenwriter
George Folsey
Cinematographer
Herbert Stothart
Composer (Music Score)
Randall Duell
Art Director
Cedric Gibbons
Art Director
Edwin B. Willis
Set Designer
Irene
Costume Designer
Warren Newcombe
Special Effects
Arnold A. Gillespie
Special Effects
Jack Dawn
Makeup
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