|Storm in a Teacup|
|Produced by||Victor Saville |
|Music by||Frederick Lewis|
Storm in a Teacup is a 1937 British romantic comedy film directed by Ian Dalrymple and Victor Saville and starring Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison (in his first starring role), Cecil Parker, and Sara Allgood. It is based on the German play Sturm im Wasserglas by Bruno Frank, as well as the English-language adaptations: London's Storm in a Teacup and Broadway's Storm Over Patsy, both written by James Bridie. A reporter writes an article that embarrasses a politician. Meanwhile, the newspaperman is also attracted to his target's daughter.
A Scottish town's powerful provost (mayor) struts and brags about his city "improvements" while the cowed villagers are sullenly forced to put up with him. A free-spirited English reporter (Rex Harrison) is brought from London to work for the local newspaper and soon clashes with the autocrat—while falling in love with his daughter (Vivien Leigh). He strikes out against the Provost by taking up the cause of a poor woman who sells ice cream from a pushcart, and has dared to protest against the provost's new "dog tax". The local police are about to put her sheepdog Patsy to death because she cannot pay the back taxes and subsequent fine incurred by her ownership of the dog.
The idealistic young reporter exposes the injustice in the local newspaper before the editors have a chance to suppress the article, and it sparksan indignant protest campaign all over England and Scotland. The furious provost rashly sues the "cheeky little rotter from London" for libel. A courtroom scene ensues which strongly resembles a "kangaroo trial" until, in view of local support for the defendant (with the villagers humorously barking like dogs) and the budding love affair between the reporter and the provost daughter, the provost gives up, and all is happily resolved.
At the time of the film's initial release, reviews were favourable. In The New York Times , Frank S. Nugent called it "an engaging miniature" and "a splendid comic brew".The critic for The Montreal Gazette wrote, "the excellent story is done fullest justice by the directors, Victor Saville and Dalrymple, and by the large and often-brilliant cast." The critic for Boys' Life called it "a riot of fun for the audience."
The number of favourable reviews grew over time. Leonard Maltin rated this movie three out of four stars and called it "witty social comedy."The book Guide to British Cinema considered this film as one of Victor Saville's "well-crafted, genre films" and "the breezy Rex Harrison–Vivien Leigh social comedy." The book British Film Directors: A Critical Guide called it "a whimsical comedy with anti-fascist undercurrents." The book A Chorus of Raspberries: British Film Comedy 1929–1939 considered this film "one of the best British comedies of the decade."
Anne Edwards, author of the 1977 biography of Vivien Leigh, considered this film a "funny but inconsequential comedy;" nevertheless, she called Leigh's performance "witty and warm" for her role that "could not have given [Leigh] much pride of accomplishment."
Vivien Leigh, styled as Lady Olivier after 1947, was a British actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, for her definitive performances as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and Blanche DuBois in the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a role she had also played on stage in London's West End in 1949. She also won a Tony Award for her work in the Broadway musical version of Tovarich (1963). Although her career had periods of inactivity, in 1999 the American Film Institute ranked Leigh as the 16th greatest female movie star of classic Hollywood cinema.
Scotch is an adjective in English, meaning "of or from Scotland". Many Scots dislike the term Scotch and some consider it offensive. The modern usage in Scotland is Scottish or Scots, and the word Scotch is now only applied to specific products, mostly food or drink, such as Scotch whisky, Scotch pie and Scotch broth.
Sir Reginald Carey "Rex" Harrison was an English actor. Harrison began his career on the stage in 1924. He made his West End debut in 1936 appearing in the Terence Rattigan play French Without Tears, in what was his breakthrough role. He won his first Tony Award for his performance as Henry VIII in the play Anne of the Thousand Days in 1949. He won his second Tony for the role of Professor Henry Higgins in the stage production of My Fair Lady in 1957.
Sir Alexander Korda was a Hungarian-British film director, producer and screenwriter, who founded his own film production studios and film distribution company.
The year 1938 in film involved some significant events.
The year 1937 in film involved some significant events, including the Walt Disney production of the first American full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Bruno Frank was a German author, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and humanist.
Cecil Parker was an English actor with a distinctively husky voice, who usually played supporting roles, often characters with a supercilious demeanour, in his 91 films made between 1928 and 1969.
St Martin's Lane is a street in the City of Westminster, which runs from the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, after which it is named, near Trafalgar Square northwards to Long Acre. At its northern end, it becomes Monmouth Street. St Martin's Lane and Monmouth Street together form the B404.
British actress Vivien Leigh (1913–1967) was born in Darjeeling, India; her family returned to England when she was six years old. In addition to her British schooling, she was also educated in France, Italy and Germany, and became multilingual. Classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, her film debut was in an uncredited role in the 1935 comedy Things Are Looking Up.
A Yank at Oxford (1938) is a comedy-drama film directed by Jack Conway and starring Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan, Vivien Leigh and Edmund Gwenn. The screenplay was written by John Monk Saunders and Leon Gordon. The film was produced by MGM-British at Denham Studios.
The Citadel is a 1938 British drama film based on the 1937 novel of the same name by A. J. Cronin. The film was directed by King Vidor and produced by Victor Saville for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British at Denham Studios. It stars Robert Donat and Rosalind Russell.
The Big Broadcast of 1937 is a 1936 Paramount Pictures production directed by Mitchell Leisen, and is the third in the series of Big Broadcast movies. The musical comedy stars Jack Benny, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Bob Burns, Martha Raye, Shirley Ross, Ray Milland, Benny Fields, Frank Forest and the orchestra of Benny Goodman. It was in this film that Leopold Stokowski made his movie debut conducting two of his Bach transcriptions. Uncredited roles include Jack Mulhall.
Sarah Ellen Allgood, known as Sara Allgood, was an Irish-American actress. She first studied drama with the Irish nationalist Daughters of Ireland and was at the opening of the Irish National Theatre Society.
Brother Rat is a 1938 American comedy drama film about cadets at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, directed by William Keighley, and starring Ronald Reagan, Priscilla Lane, Eddie Albert, Jane Wyman, and Wayne Morris.
Gus McNaughton, also known as Augustus Le Clerq and Augustus Howard, was an English film actor. He appeared in 70 films between 1930 and 1947. He was born in London and died in Castor, Cambridgeshire. He is sometimes credited as Gus MacNaughton. He appeared on stage from 1899, as a juvenile comedian with the Fred Karno company, the influential British music hall troupe. In films, McNaughton was often cast as the "fast-talking sidekick", and he appeared in several popular George Formby comedies of the 1930s and 1940s. He also appeared twice for director Alfred Hitchcock in both Murder! (1930) and The 39 Steps (1935).
Sidewalks of London, also known as St Martin's Lane, London After Dark, and Partners of the Night, is a 1938 British black-and-white comedy drama starring Charles Laughton as a busker or street entertainer who teams up with a talented pickpocket, played by Vivien Leigh. The film co-stars Rex Harrison and Tyrone Guthrie in a rare acting appearance. It also features Ronald Shiner as the barman (uncredited). It was produced by Mayflower Pictures Corporation.
Cyril Edward Bruce-Smith was a Scottish actor who began his career as a child in 1900 and went on to appear in numerous stage plays as well as over 100 films between 1914 and his death almost 50 years later. The son of Frederick and Elsa Smith; his mother travelled with him on his engagements during his boyhood.
It's Love Again is a 1936 British musical film directed by Victor Saville and starring Jessie Matthews, Robert Young and Sonnie Hale. In the film, a chorus girl masquerades as a big game hunter to try to boost her showbiz career.
Meet Mr. Penny is a 1938 British comedy film directed by David MacDonald and starring Richard Goolden, Vic Oliver and Fabia Drake. It was made at Welwyn Studios by British National Films.