Limelight (1936 film)

Last updated

Limelight
"Limelight" (1936 film).jpg
Poster ad from the Sunday Mercury , 1936
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Produced byHerbert Wilcox
Written byLaura Whetter
Starring Arthur Tracy
Anna Neagle
Jane Winton
Ellis Jeffreys
Music by Geraldo
Cinematography Freddie Young
Production
company
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Release date
January 1936
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

Limelight is a 1936 British musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Arthur Tracy, Anna Neagle and Jane Winton. [1] It was released in the U.S. as Backstage. [2]

Contents

Plot

When chorus girl Marjorie (Anna Neagle) discovers singer Bob (Arthur Tracy) busking in the streets, and the star of her show falls ill, she persuades her producer to give him a break. Sure enough, Bob becomes an overnight sensation, but success unfortunately goes to his head.

Cast

Production

The film was the first made by Wilcox's independent production company, Herbert Wilcox Productions, at his Elstree Studios. It was distributed by J. Arthur Rank's newly formed General Film Distributors, ending a previous arrangement Wilcox had with United Artists. The story was based on Anna Neagle's "discovery" by Wilcox when singing in a show with Jack Buchanan' Buchanan agreed to play a role based on himself. The film was known as Street Singer's Serenade. [3]

The film was an attempt to make a more populist contemporary hit, moving away from the more expensive costume pictures such as Nell Gwynn and Peg of Old Drury which Wilcox had recently made starring Anna Neagle. For this film Wilcox partnered her with the popular American singer Arthur Tracy.

This drama musical romance features Arthur Tracy's street singing. The film's Dance Director was Ralph Reader. His work was so appreciated by Herbert Wilcox that he created a part for Reader to dance with Neagle in the actual film.

Critical reception

Allmovie wrote, "in addition to the two stars, Limelight is enlivened by the dancing prowess of the legendary Tilly Losch; also showing up for an uncredited cameo is stage and screen luminary Jack Buchanan. [4]

Related Research Articles

Anna Neagle English stage and film actress and singer

Dame Florence Marjorie Wilcox, known professionally as Anna Neagle, was an English stage and film actress, singer and dancer.

Michael Wilding English actor

Michael Charles Gauntlet Wilding was an English stage, television, and film actor. He is best known for a series of films he made with Anna Neagle, for the two films he made with Alfred Hitchcock and for being Elizabeth Taylor's second husband.

<i>Odette</i> (1950 film)

Odette is a 1950 British war film based on the true story of Special Operations Executive French agent, Odette Sansom, living in England, who was captured by the Germans in 1943, condemned to death and sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp to be executed. However, against all odds she survived the war and testified against the prison guards at the Hamburg Ravensbrück trials. She was awarded the George Cross in 1946; the first woman ever to receive the award, and the only woman who has been awarded it while still alive.

<i>Spring in Park Lane</i>

Spring in Park Lane is a 1948 British romantic comedy film produced and directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle and Michael Wilding. It was the top film at the British box office in 1948 and remains the most popular entirely British-made film ever in terms of all-time attendance.

Herbert Wilcox Film producer and director from Britain

Herbert Sydney Wilcox CBE, was a British film producer and director who was one of the most successful British filmmakers from the 1920s to the 1950s. He is best known for the films he made with his third wife Anna Neagle.

Tilly Losch Austrian dancer

Ottilie Ethel Leopoldine Herbert, Countess of Carnarvon, known professionally as Tilly Losch, was an Austrian dancer, choreographer, actress, and painter who lived and worked for most of her life in the United States and United Kingdom.

Ronald Shiner

Ronald Alfred Shiner was a British stand-up comedian and comedy actor whose career encompassed film, West End theatre and music hall.

<i>Derby Day</i> (1952 film)

Derby Day is a 1952 British drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Michael Wilding, Googie Withers, John McCallum, Peter Graves, Suzanne Cloutier and Gordon Harker. An ensemble piece, it portrays several characters on their way to the Derby Day races at Epsom Downs Racecourse. It was an attempt to revive the success that Neagle and Wilding had previously had opposite each other, but it failed in this regard. In an effort to promote the film Wilcox arranged for Neagle to launch the film at the 1952 Epsom Derby. In the United States it was released as Four against Fate.

<i>Goodnight, Vienna</i> 1932 film

Goodnight, Vienna is a 1932 British musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Jack Buchanan, Anna Neagle and Gina Malo. Two lovers in Vienna are separated by the First World War, but are later reunited.

<i>The Queens Affair</i>

The Queen's Affair is a 1934 British musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Fernand Gravey, Muriel Aked and Edward Chapman. An Eastern European President falls in love with the Queen whom he had previously deposed. It was also released as Queen's Affair and Runaway Queen.

<i>Piccadilly Incident</i>

Piccadilly Incident is a 1946 British drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Michael Wilding, Coral Browne, Edward Rigby and Leslie Dwyer. Wilcox teamed his wife Anna Neagle with Michael Wilding for the first time, establishing them as top box-office stars in five more films, ending with The Lady with a Lamp in 1951. Wilding was third choice for leading man after Rex Harrison and John Mills.

<i>London Melody</i>

London Melody is a 1937 British musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Tullio Carminati and Robert Douglas. It was made at British and Dominions Imperial Studios, Elstree and Pinewood Studios by Wilcox's independent production company and distributed by J. Arthur Rank's General Film Distributors. It was also released with the alternative title Look Out for Love.

<i>Thisll Make You Whistle</i>

This'll Make You Whistle is a 1936 British musical comedy film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Jack Buchanan, Elsie Randolph and William Kendall. The film was based on a stage play which Buchanan had starred in.

<i>Three Maxims</i>

Three Maxims is a 1936 British drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Tullio Carminati and Leslie Banks. It was released in the United States under the alternative title The Show Goes On. Separate French and German language versions were filmed 1935 in Paris. The film's sets were designed by Wilcox's regular art director Lawrence P. Williams.

The Little Damozel is a 1933 British romance film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, James Rennie and Benita Hume. It is based on the 1908 play by Monckton Hoffe, previously filmed in 1916. The screenplay concerns a captain who pays one of his sailors to marry a woman who works in a nightclub. Dresses for the film were designed by Doris Zinkeisen.

<i>Peg of Old Drury</i>

Peg of Old Drury is a 1935 British historical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Cedric Hardwicke and Margaretta Scott. The film is a biopic of eighteenth-century Irish actress Peg Woffington. It was based on the play Masks and Faces by Charles Reade and Tom Taylor. It contains passages of eighteenth century Shakespearian performance, from The Merchant of Venice, Richard III and As You Like It.

<i>The Lady with a Lamp</i> 1951 film by Herbert Wilcox

The Lady with a Lamp is a 1951 British historical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Michael Wilding and Felix Aylmer. The film depicts the life of Florence Nightingale and her work with wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War.

<i>Nell Gwyn</i> (1926 film) 1926 film by Herbert Wilcox

Nell Gwyn is a 1926 British romance film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish, Randle Ayrton and Juliette Compton. It was based on the 1926 novel Mistress Nell Gwyn by Marjorie Bowen and follows the life of Nell Gwynne, the mistress of Charles II. Wilcox later made a second version of the film in 1934, Nell Gwynn which starred Anna Neagle.

<i>Lilacs in the Spring</i>

Lilacs in the Spring is a 1954 British musical film starring Anna Neagle and Errol Flynn. It was the first of two movies the stars made together, the other being King's Rhapsody. It was released in the US as Let's Make Up. It was the feature film debut of Sean Connery.

This is a summary of 1936 in music in the United Kingdom.

References

  1. "Limelight (1936)". Archived from the original on 14 January 2009.
  2. Slide, Anthony (15 December 1998). Banned in the U.S.A.: British Films in the United States and Their Censorship, 1933-1966. I.B.Tauris. ISBN   9781860642548 via Google Books.
  3. "HERBERT WILCOX'S PROGRAMME". The West Australian . 52 (15, 542). Western Australia. 17 April 1936. p. 2. Retrieved 17 August 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  4. "Limelight (1937) - Herbert Wilcox - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".

Bibliography