|Directed by||Herbert Wilcox|
|Produced by||Herbert Wilcox|
|Written by|| Marjorie Bowen (novel) |
|Starring|| Dorothy Gish |
|Cinematography||Roy F. Overbaugh|
|Edited by||William Hamilton|
British National Pictures
|Distributed by||First National Film Distributors |
Paramount Pictures (US)
|18 July 1926 (US)|
|Budget||£20,000 or £22,000|
|Box office||over £100,000|
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.
Wilcox said he got the idea to make the film after making The Only Way . He saw a theatre bill headlined by "Dolly Elswrothy" and remembered a sketch he saw where Elsworthy played Nell Gwyn. He cabled to see if Dorothy Gish was available and she accepted.
Dorothy Gish was paid £7,000 (£1,000 a week plus expenses). Wilcox arranged to finance the film with an accountant, everyone contributing half. Wilcox says the accountant reneged and he had to finance the film entirely himself. To save money he edited the fim himself
One report says the film was made for £20,000 and Wilcox sold it outright for £35,000.Wilcox says it was made for £14,000 and he sold it for £20,000. The company that bought it was British National Pictures.
The New York Times wrote, "Whatever may be the shortcomings of English motion picture producers. If they can put together other pictures as simply and with as much dramatic effect as this story of Nell Gwyn they should have no difficulty obtaining a showing for them anywhere. The story moves quickly and surely, with nothing to strain one's credulity, and the acting of Miss Gish and Randie Ayrton, who takes the part of Charles, is excellent. So is that of Juliette Compton as Lady Castlemaine. The immorality of the period is suggested without being offensive, and for the second time this Summer a good picture has not been spoiled by prudery. The titles are unusually good and frequently amusing, that dear old gossip Pepys being resorted to for purposes of verisimilitude."
Wilcox says the film "was a riotous success throughout the world."It was sold to the US for £28,000.
It did so well that British National Films signed Wilcox and Gish to make three more films together, which would be financed by Paramount.
Dame Florence Marjorie Wilcox, known professionally as Anna Neagle, was an English stage and film actress, singer and dancer.
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.
Eleanor Gwyn was a prolific celebrity figure of the Restoration period. Praised by Samuel Pepys for her comic performances as one of the first actresses on the English stage, she became best known for being a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England and Scotland. Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella. Gwyn had two sons by King Charles: Charles Beauclerk (1670–1726) and James Beauclerk (1671–1680). Charles was created Earl of Burford and later Duke of St. Albans.
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.
Charles II of England has been portrayed many times.
Juliette Compton was an American actress whose career began in the silent film era and concluded with That Hamilton Woman in 1941.
Nell Gwynn is a 1934 British historical drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Cedric Hardwicke, Jeanne de Casalis, Miles Malleson and Moore Marriott. The film portrays the historical romance between Charles II of England and the actress Nell Gwynn. In the opening credits, the screenplay is attributed to Miles Malleson, "in collaboration with King Charles II, Samuel Pepys and Nell Gwyn." It was also released as Mistress Nell Gwyn.
Limelight is a 1936 British musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Arthur Tracy, Anna Neagle and Jane Winton. It was released in the U.S. as Backstage.
Frederick Randle Ayrton was a British actor of stage and screen, and was also a producer and director.
Trent's Last Case is a 1952 British detective film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Michael Wilding, Margaret Lockwood, Orson Welles and John McCallum. It was based on the 1913 novel Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley, and had been filmed previously in the UK with Clive Brook in 1920, and in a 1929 US version.
King's Rhapsody is a 1955 English musical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Errol Flynn and Patrice Wymore. Wymore was Errol Flynn's wife at the time of filming. It was based on the successful stage musical King's Rhapsody by Ivor Novello.
London (1926) is a British silent film, directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish. The film was adapted by Wilcox from a short story by popular author Thomas Burke. The British Film Institute considers this to be a lost film.
Madame Pompadour is a 1927 British silent historical drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish, Antonio Moreno and Nelson Keys. The film depicts the life of Madame Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV of France. It was the first film to be shot at the newly christened Elstree Studios.
Flames of Passion (1922) was a British silent film drama directed by Graham Cutts, starred Mae Marsh and C. Aubrey Smith.
Chu-Chin-Chow is a 1923 British-German silent adventure film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Betty Blythe, Herbert Langley and Randle Ayrton.
Tip Toes is a 1927 British silent film comedy-drama, directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Dorothy Gish and Will Rogers. The film is a loose adaptation of the stage musical Tip-Toes, with the action transferred from Florida to London.
Southern Love is a 1924 British drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Betty Blythe, Herbert Langley and Randle Ayrton. It is based on the verse drama The Spanish Student by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It is known by the alternative title Woman's Secret.
Nell Gwyn (1650–1687) was a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England.
Mistress Nell Gwyn is the title of the New York edition of an historical novel by the British writer Marjorie Bowen. The book was also published in London with the title Nell Gwyn: A Decoration. The book was first published in 1926.
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.