Hindle Wakes (1952 film)

Last updated
Hindle Wakes
Directed by Arthur Crabtree
Written byJohn Baines
Based on Hindle Wakes by Stanley Houghton
Produced byPhilip Brandon
William J. Gell
Starring Lisa Daniely
Brian Worth
Leslie Dwyer
Sandra Dorne
Cinematography Geoffrey Faithfull
Edited by Max Benedict
Music by Stanley Black
Distributed byMonarch Film Corporation
Release date
10 November 1952
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Language English

Hindle Wakes is a 1952 British drama film, directed by Arthur Crabtree and starring Lisa Daniely, Brian Worth, Leslie Dwyer and Sandra Dorne. The film was the fourth and last screen adaptation of the famous Stanley Houghton play of the 1910s, dealing with an independent-minded young woman insisting on her right to enjoy a sexual flirtation regardless of the disapproval of family or society.


It was produced and distributed by the independent Monarch Film Corporation. It was made at the Merton Park Studios in London with sets designed by the art director Andrew Mazzei. Location shooting took place in Blackpool and Llandudno.


Lancashire mill-girls Jenny Hawthorne (Daniely) and Mary Hollins (Sandra Dome) go on holiday to Blackpool during the annual wakes week in their hometown of Hindle. They run into Alan Jeffcote (Worth), the son of the owner of the mill in which they work, who has also travelled to Blackpool with a group of friends while his fiancée is detained on business in London. Jenny and Alan hit it off immediately, and he persuades her to leave Blackpool to spend the week with him at Llandudno. To cover her tracks, Jenny leaves a postcard with Mary, asking her to send it to her parents (Leslie Dwyer and Joan Hickson) later in the week. She and Alan leave their friends and set off for Wales. They book into a hotel on the Promenade as Mr and Mrs Jeffries.

Shortly afterwards, Mary is involved in a serious boating accident and is killed. Her possessions are returned to Hindle and the unsent postcard is found in her luggage. Jenny's parents are already suspicious and concerned by the fact that Jenny has not returned to Hindle as they would have expected in view of such a tragic turn to her holiday, and the discovery of the postcard increases their fears. Jenny returns at the end of the week. Her parents ask about her holiday, and allow her to dig a hole for herself as her fictitious account shows she is unaware of Mary's death and has clearly not spent the week in Blackpool. When confronted with the truth, Jenny admits to where she has been, and with whom, but defiantly refuses to be made to feel guilty or immoral.

The Hawthornes decide that they will have to confront the Jeffcotes (Ronald Adam and Mary Clare) with their son's unacceptable behaviour. Mrs. Hawthorne's anger is tempered by the fact that she believes the situation may be turned to financial advantage. Hawthorne feels some trepidation, as he and Jeffcote have been friends since childhood and have remained on good terms despite Jeffcote's rise to social prominence. To the surprise of the Hawthornes, Jeffcote agrees that in the circumstances Alan must be made to marry Jenny to prevent a scandal. Mrs. Jeffcote is less convinced, anticipating the ruin of Alan's reputation and business prospects. A meeting is convened between all the interested parties. Jenny and Alan remain silent while their parents try to thrash out suitable arrangements, and Mrs. Hawthorne and Mrs. Jeffcote become involved in an undignified shouting match. Jenny and Alan leave to talk alone. She tells him that she has no designs on his money and has no interest in marrying him. She then announces her decision to the incredulous parents, adding that Alan was no more to blame than she was, for both of them it was just a "little fling" about which neither need feel guilty, and that a woman has just as much right as a man to enjoy a brief sexual flirtation with no strings attached. Alan returns to his fiancée, while Jenny confidently leaves home and her mother's fury for an independent life without interference.



This was the first film version of the play since 1931 and it was felt to be a rather odd choice, as the subject matter which had been considered controversial and provocative a generation earlier now appeared somewhat anachronistic in light of the major changes which had taken place in British society in the interim, particularly the more liberal attitudes growing from the national experience during World War II when previous taboos had been relaxed to a significant degree. The film was felt to be dated, even by 1952 standards, and the incongruity of supposed Lancashire mill-workers speaking in cut-glass Mayfair tones was also singled out as an absurdity.

The storyline is set in the 1950s and is a valid and accurate reflection of that period. However, it has little resemblance to either the original story or the earlier film versions, having a very different atmosphere. It would have been more widely credited had it not adopted the title "Hindle Wakes" as this does little to validate the film.

Related Research Articles

Joan Hickson British actress

Joan Bogle Hickson, OBE was an English actress of theatre, film and television. She was known for her role as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple in the television series Miss Marple. She also narrated a number of Miss Marple stories on audiobooks.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leslie Dwyer</span> English actor

Leslie Gilbert Dwyer was an English film and television actor.

Diane Keen is an English actress, known for her portrayal of Fliss Hawthorne in the Granada sitcom The Cuckoo Waltz and Julia Parsons on the BBC soap opera Doctors. She also appeared in Nescafé advertisements from 1980 to 1989.

<i>The Family Way</i> 1966 British film

The Family Way is a 1966 British comedy-drama film about the marital difficulties of a young newlywed couple living in a crowded house with the husband's family. Based on Bill Naughton's play All in Good Time (1963), the film began life in 1961 as the television play Honeymoon Postponed.

Mary Clare British actress (1892–1970)

Mary Clare Absalom was a British actress of stage, film and television.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Stuart (actor)</span> Scottish actor

John Stuart, was a Scottish actor, and a very popular leading man in British silent films in the 1920s. He appeared in three films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Hindle Wakes is a stage play by Stanley Houghton written in 1910. It was first performed in 1912.

Lisa Daniely British actress

Lisa Daniely was a British film and television actress.

<i>No Kidding</i> (film) 1960 British comedy film

No Kidding is a 1960 British comedy film directed by Gerald Thomas featuring Leslie Phillips, Geraldine McEwan and Irene Handl, Noel Purcell and Julia Lockwood. The film is adapted from Verily Anderson's 1958 memoir Beware of Children, under which title the film was released in the US. Anderson also wrote the screenplay.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sandra Dorne</span> British actress (1924–1992)

Sandra Dorne was a British actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Beatrice Varley</span>

Beatrice Evelyn Varley was an English actress who appeared in television and film roles between 1936 and 1964. She made her screen debut in the 1936 film Tomorrow We Live and began to portray a variety of character roles in films such as Oh, Mr Porter!, Holiday Camp and The Wicked Lady before moving predominantly into television until she died in 1964.

Belle Chrystall was a British actress who appeared in a number of leading roles in British films during the 1930s. She was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1910. She came to London and after appearing on stage was given a minor part in a film A Warm Corner, directed by Victor Saville but she was given no more work after that. The filming of Hindle Wakes led her to apply for the part of Jenny Hawthorne which led her to become an instant success. She made her last film in 1940.

<i>The Strange Woman</i> 1946 film by Edgar George Ulmer

The Strange Woman is a 1946 American melodrama film directed by Edgar G. Ulmer and written by Ulmer and Hunt Stromberg, starring Hedy Lamarr, George Sanders and Louis Hayward. Originally released by United Artists, the film is now in the public domain.

<i>Hindle Wakes</i> (1927 film) 1927 film by Maurice Elvey

Hindle Wakes is a 1927 British silent film drama, directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Estelle Brody and John Stuart. The film is adapted from Stanley Houghton's 1912 stage play of the same name, and reunites Brody and Stuart following their hugely popular pairing in the previous year's Mademoiselle from Armentieres. The film was also released under the title Fanny Hawthorne.

<i>Hindle Wakes</i> (1931 film) 1931 film

Hindle Wakes is a 1931 British film drama, directed by Victor Saville for Gainsborough Pictures and starring Belle Chrystall and John Stuart. The film is adapted from Stanley Houghton's 1912 stage play of the same name, which had previously been filmed twice as a silent in 1918 and 1927. Saville had been the producer on the highly regarded 1927 version directed by Maurice Elvey. Both Stuart and Norman McKinnel returned in 1931 to reprise their roles from the 1927 film.

Hindle Wakes is a 1918 British silent film drama, directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Colette O'Niel and Hayford Hobbs. It is the first of four screen versions of the celebrated and controversial 1912 play by Stanley Houghton. It which was a sensation in its time for its daring assertions that a woman could enjoy a sexual fling just as much as a man, without feeling any guilt or obligation to explain herself, and that she was perfectly capable of making her own life decisions without interference from family or the need to bow to social pressures.

Margaret Bannerman Canadian actress

Margaret Bannerman was a Canadian actress. She is known for her work in the English films The Gay Lord Quex, Lady Audley's Secret and Hindle Wakes. She had a successful career on stage, appearing in revues and light comedy.

<i>Marilyn</i> (1953 film) 1953 film by Wolf Rilla

Marilyn, released in the United States as Roadhouse Girl, is a 1953 British film noir directed by Wolf Rilla starring Sandra Dorne and Maxwell Reed.

<i>Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story</i> 2019 television biopic

Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story is a 2019 American biographical drama television film directed by Jeffrey G. Hunt. Produced by Lifetime as part of its "Ripped from the Headlines" feature film series, it aired on September 28, 2019. The film stars Addison Holley, Nicolette Pierce, Sara Booth, Ian Lake, Kate Drummond, Wilson Cruz, Steven Cumyn, and Elisa Mooncherry. The screenplay by Michelle Paradise is based on the 2016 memoir Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That’s When My Nightmare Began by Alex Cooper and Joanna Brooks, which documents Cooper's experience in being sent to a conversion therapy home and the brutalities she endured while there.