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This Happy Breed Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

With This Happy Breed, playwright Noel Coward hoped to glorify the British working class in the same manner that he'd celebrated the "higher orders" in Cavalcade. The film begins just after World War I. Middle-class Londoner Robert Newton hopes to improve his family's lot by moving them into a comparatively posh house in the suburbs. The house is large enough for each family member to claim a corner or room as his or her own, allowing Coward to spotlight the characters' highly individual strengths, shortcomings and emotions. Twenty years go by, filled with the sorts of triumphs and tragedies with which British audiences of the 1940s could readily identify. Finally, left alone after their children and relatives have moved on, Newton and his wife (Celia Johnson) leave the house behind for a smaller, more practical apartment. This was the second of four collaborations between author Noel Coward and director David Lean. While Coward can't completely disguise his patronizing attitude towards "regular folks," Lean is successful in conveying the essential warmth, humanity and value of the film's characters. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:June 1, 1944

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
National Board of Review Celia Johnson Best Actress 1947 Winner

Cast

Robert Newton
as Frank Gibbons
Celia Johnson
as Ethel Gibbons
John Mills
as Billy Mitchell
Kay Walsh
as Queenie Gibbons
Stanley Holloway
as Bob Mitchell
Amy Veness
as Mrs. Flint
Eileen Erskine
as Vi
Merle Tottenham
as Edie
Laurence Olivier
as Narrator
Guy Verney
as Sam Ledbetter

Crew

David Lean
Director
Anthony Havelock-Allan
Producer
Noël Coward
Producer
Anthony Havelock-Allan
Screenwriter
Noël Coward
Play Author
David Lean
Screenwriter
Ronald Neame
Screenwriter
Ronald Neame
Cinematographer
Nacio Herb Brown
Songwriter
Arthur Freed
Songwriter
Noël Coward
Composer (Music Score)
Muir Mathieson
Musical Direction/Supervision
Muir Mathieson
Composer (Music Score)
Jack Harris
Editor
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