Innocent Sinners

Last updated

Innocent Sinners
Innocent Sinners (1958 film).jpg
British theatrical poster
Directed by Philip Leacock
Screenplay by Neil Paterson
Rumer Godden
Based onnovel by Rumer Godden
Produced by Hugh Stewart
Starring Flora Robson
David Kossoff
Susan Beaumont
Cinematography Harry Waxman
Edited by John D. Guthridge
Music by Philip Green
Distributed by J. Arthur Rank Film Distributors (UK)
Release dates
  • 25 March 1958 (1958-03-25)(London, UK)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Innocent Sinners is a 1958 British black and white film directed by Philip Leacock and starring Flora Robson. [1]


It was based on the 1955 novel An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden. [2]


Olivia Chesney is too sick to leave home, somewhere in Battersea in London, but waves out of her window to various neighbours.

These include Lovejoy (June Archer) who is a neglected young girl in post-war London who finds solace in the secret garden which she creates on a bomb site.

Her motivations are mixed: she buys grass seed using borrowed money, and steals a net from a baby's pram to use to protect the seed growing. She steals money from the candle box in the church in order to buy a garden fork.

Lovejoy is being raised by the Vincents. Mr Vincent is a waiter in a posh restaurant and is very kind to Lovejoy. Her mother seems to have a dubious lifestyle when she visits Lovejoy, and she has "male callers" such as Col Baldcock who Lovejoy is asked to address as "uncle Francis". Mr Vincent asks her to leave.

A gang of young boys destroy Lovejoy's garden. One boy (Tip) returns her garden fork to her and suggests a better site: a bombed out church. They become friends. He makes her pay "penance" for stealing money from the church.

Mr Vincent buys two special plates to serve dessert on, but his wife chastises him, as they have bills to pay.

Meanwhile a couple are planning to restore the bombed church. A woman gives Lovejoy a shilling in the church and is impressed when she puts it straight into the candle box (as part of her penance).

The couple go to Vincent's restaurant to eat. They give Lovejoy a ride in their car and give her a miniature rose to plant in her garden. Olivia tries to help.

An old man gives Lovejoy some seedlings as it is too late to plant seeds. Her friend steals earth from the local park (much to the annoyance of the adults).

On a rainy night Tip brings Sparkey to the park to steal earth. Lovejoy gets arrested with the boys.

The police are aware that Lovejoy's mother is not around (she has actually gone to Canada and got married but doesn't want Lovejoy to follow).

The Vincents get into serious financial trouble and have to give Lovejoy away to the home, but Lovejoy runs off.


Related Research Articles

<i>The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex</i> 1939 American historical romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex is a 1939 American historical romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and Olivia de Havilland. Based on the play Elizabeth the Queen by Maxwell Anderson—which had a successful run on Broadway with Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt in the lead roles—the film fictionalizes the historical relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. The screenplay was written by Norman Reilly Raine and Aeneas MacKenzie.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mae Clarke</span> American actress (1910–1992)

Mae Clarke was an American actress. She is widely remembered for playing Henry Frankenstein's bride Elizabeth, who is chased by Boris Karloff in Frankenstein, and for being on the receiving end of James Cagney's halved grapefruit in The Public Enemy. Both films were released in 1931.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Penitential</span> Set of church rules concerning the Christian sacrament of penance

A penitential is a book or set of church rules concerning the Christian sacrament of penance, a "new manner of reconciliation with God" that was first developed by Celtic monks in Ireland in the sixth century AD. It consisted of a list of sins and the appropriate penances prescribed for them, and served as a type of manual for confessors.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Catherine Lacey</span>

Catherine Lacey was an English actress of stage and screen.

<i>Garden of Shadows</i> Novel by V. C. Andrews

Garden of Shadows, a novel by V. C. Andrews, was first published in 1987. V. C. Andrews died in 1986, and her estate commissioned ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman to continue writing novels under her name developed from plot outlines originally written by Andrews. There is some dispute over whether this particular novel was written in part by Andrews before she died, or whether it was written entirely by Neiderman. This is the fifth novel of the Dollanganger series. The novel explains the origin of Olivia Winfield, the events that cause her to become the cold, domineering mistress of Foxworth Hall, and Corinne's childhood and eventual betrayal. It is the fifth novel of the Flowers in the Attic series but considered the prequel, as the story told takes place prior to the events of the first book. The story covers the years between 1918-1957.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Graciosa and Percinet</span>

Graciosa and Percinet is a French literary fairy tale by Madame d'Aulnoy. Andrew Lang included it in The Red Fairy Book.

<i>The New York Hat</i> 1912 film

The New York Hat is a silent short film which was released in 1912, directed by D. W. Griffith from a screenplay by Anita Loos, and starring Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore, and Lillian Gish.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vanda Godsell</span> English actress (1922-1990)

Vanda Godsell was an English actress. Hal Erickson writes in Allmovie, "Vanda Godsell specialised in playing disheveled housewives, busybody landladies and blowsy domestics." She appeared as Mrs Weaver in This Sporting Life (1963), Mrs Pitt in Bitter Harvest (1965), Mrs Goodge in The Wrong Box (1967)

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grace Arnold</span> English actress (1894–1979)

Grace Arnold was an English actress.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lourdes apparitions</span> 1858 reported paranormal activity in Lourdes, France

The Marian Apparitions at Lourdes were reported in 1858 by Bernadette Soubirous, the 14-year-old daughter of a miller from the town of Lourdes in southern France.

<i>Hustling for Health</i> 1919 film

Hustling for Health is a 1919 American silent film featuring Stan Laurel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marianne Stone</span> English actress (1922–2009)

Marianne Stone was an English character actress. She performed in films from the early 1940s to the late 1980s, typically playing working class parts such as barmaids, secretaries and landladies. Stone appeared in nine of the Carry On films, and took part in an episode of the Carry On Laughing television series. She also had supporting roles with comedian Norman Wisdom.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mary Forbes</span> British-American actress (1883–1974)

Mary Forbes was a British-American film actress, based in the United States in her latter years, where she died. She appeared in more than 130 films between 1919 and 1958. Forbes was born in Hornsey, England.

<i>An Episode of Sparrows</i>

An Episode of Sparrows is a novel written in 1955 by Rumer Godden. It was re-issued in 2016 in The New York Review Children's Collection.

<i>Once a Sinner</i> 1950 film

Once a Sinner is a 1950 British drama film directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Pat Kirkwood, Jack Watling and Joy Shelton.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hilda Fenemore</span> British actress

Hilda Lilian Fenemore was an English actress with a prolific career in film and television from the 1940s to the 1990s. Fenemore played mainly supporting roles which were characterised in her obituary in The Stage as "friends, neighbours, mothers and passers-by"; however, her many credits meant that she fell into the category of actresses who a majority of film and TV viewers would have been unable to name, yet whose face was instantly recognisable. Her longest-running role was recurring character Jennie Wren in TV series Dixon of Dock Green, who she played for six series between 1960 and 1965.

You Can't Buy Everything is a 1934 American pre-Code romantic drama film directed by Charles Reisner and Sandy Roth and starring May Robson, Jean Parker and Lewis Stone. It was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Working titles of the film were Rich Widow and Old Hannibal. According to Motion Picture Herald, the principal character of Hannah Bell was modeled after Hetty Green, famous as the miserly "Witch of Wall Street."

<i>Chatterbox</i> (1936 film) 1936 film by George Nicholls, Jr.

Chatterbox is a 1936 American drama film directed by George Nicholls, Jr. and starring Anne Shirley as a young woman who dreams of becoming an actress. The film is based upon the play Long Ago Ladies by David Carb.

<i>Flowers in the Attic</i> (2014 film) 2014 Canadian–American film

Flowers in the Attic is a 2014 Lifetime movie directed by Deborah Chow, starring Kiernan Shipka, Ellen Burstyn, Mason Dye, and Heather Graham. It is the second adaptation of V. C. Andrews’ 1979 novel of the same name.


  1. "Innocent Sinners (1958)".
  2. Goble, Alan (1 January 1999). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN   9783110951943 via Google Books.