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The Winslow Boy (1948 film)

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Title: The Winslow Boy (1948 film)  
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Subject: Anthony Asquith, Terence Rattigan, Alexander Korda, Anatole de Grunwald, Aubrey Mallalieu
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The Winslow Boy (1948 film)

The Winslow Boy
Video cover
Directed by Anthony Asquith
Produced by Anatole de Grunwald
Written by Terence Rattigan
Anatole de Grunwald
Anthony Asquith
Based on The Winslow Boy by Terence Rattigan
Starring Robert Donat
Margaret Leighton
Sir Cedric Hardwicke
Basil Radford
Neil North
Jack Watling
Kathleen Harrison
Hugh Dempster
Music by William Alwyn (comp.)
Dr. Hubert Clifford (dir.)
Cinematography Osmond H. Borradaile
Freddie Young
Edited by Gerald Turney-Smith
Production
company
Distributed by British Lion Films
Release dates
1948
Running time
112 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £211,383 (UK)[1]

The Winslow Boy is a 1948 film adaptation of Terence Rattigan's play The Winslow Boy. It was made by De Grunwald Productions and distributed by the British Lion Film Corporation. It was directed by Anthony Asquith and produced by Anatole de Grunwald with Teddy Baird as associate producer. The screenplay was written by de Grunwald and Rattigan based on Rattigan's play. The music score was by William Alwyn and the cinematography by Freddie Young.

The film stars Robert Donat, Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Margaret Leighton with Basil Radford, Kathleen Harrison, Francis L. Sullivan, Marie Lohr and Jack Watling (who was also in the original West End play). Also in the cast are Stanley Holloway, Mona Washbourne, Ernest Thesiger, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Lewis Casson, Cyril Ritchard and Dandy Nichols. Neil North, who plays the title role, also appeared in the 1999 film adaptation directed by David Mamet.

Contents

  • Background 1
  • Plot 2
  • Cast 3
  • Differences from the play 4
  • Production 5
  • Reception 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Background

Set against the strict codes of conduct and manners of the age, The Winslow Boy is based on a father's fight to clear his son's name. The boy (Ronnie) is expelled from Osborne Naval College for supposedly stealing a five shilling postal order, without receiving a fair trial. His father (Arthur) and sister (Catherine) lead a long running legal battle, that takes them as far as the House of Commons. The play focuses on a refusal to back down in the face of injustice – the entire Winslow family, and the barrister who represents them (Sir Robert Morton), make great sacrifices in order that right be done.

The play was inspired by an actual event, which set a legal Woodchester in Gloucestershire where his parents lived. There is no real world counterpart to the character of Catherine, although she is central to the plot of the play and films.

Plot

Ronnie Winslow (Neil North), a cadet at the Royal Naval College, is accused of the theft of a postal order. An internal enquiry which grants him no chance of defence, finds him guilty and his father, Arthur Winslow (Sir Cedric Hardwicke), is requested to remove his son from the college. Unwilling to accept the verdict, Winslow and his daughter Catherine institute their own enquiries and engage a friend and family solicitor, Desmond Curry (Basil Radford) to assist them, including the briefing of the best barrister in England at the time, Sir Robert Morton (Robert Donat), should the case come to court.

The government is unwilling to allow the case to proceed, but after heated debates in the House of Commons, the government yields, and the case does come to court. Morton is able to discredit much of the supposed evidence and the government finally withdraws the charges against Ronnie. Although the family win the case, each of them has lost something along the way: Dickie Winslow (Jack Watling) has been forced to leave Oxford due to the lack of money, Catherine (Margaret Leighton) loses her marriage settlement and subsequently her fiancé, John Watherstone (Frank Lawton), and Arthur Winslow loses his health.

Cast

Differences from the play

Unlike the play and the David Mamet remake, the 1948 film shows the actual trial, while in other versions, the trial occurs offstage and the audience is told (but not shown) what occurred during it.

Production

The film was shot in early 1948.[2]

Reception

It was one of the most popular films at the British box office in 1948.[3] The picture was nominated for the BAFTA UN award for 1948.

References

  1. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links

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