The Constant Husband

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The Constant Husband
The Constant Husband DVD cover 2010.jpg
DVD cover based on the original UK film poster
Directed by Sidney Gilliat
Written bySidney Gilliat
Val Valentine
Produced bySidney Gilliat
Frank Launder
Starring Rex Harrison
Margaret Leighton
Kay Kendall
Cecil Parker
Cinematography Edward Scaife
Music by Malcolm Arnold
Individual Pictures Ltd
Distributed by British Lion Films (UK)
Release date
  • 21 April 1955 (1955-04-21)(UK [1] )
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£162,649 (UK) [2]

The Constant Husband is a 1955 British comedy film, directed by Sidney Gilliat and starring Rex Harrison, Margaret Leighton, Kay Kendall, Cecil Parker, George Cole and Raymond Huntley. The story was written by Gilliat together with Val Valentine, and the film was produced by Individual Pictures, Gilliat's and Frank Launder's joint production company. Because the film got caught up in the 1954 bankruptcy of British Lion Film Corporation, it was not released until more than seven months after it had been finished and reviewed by the British Board of Film Censors.



A man (Rex Harrison) wakes up in a hotel room in Wales, suffering from amnesia. He has no recollection of who he is, why he is there, or where he comes from. With the help of psychologist Doctor Llewellyn (Cecil Parker), they trace a wife and home in London, but they go on to discover that she is just one of many women whom he has bigamously married.

Main cast


The film was made in Shepperton Studios, with shooting finished in early June 1954, [3] just a week after the studio's owner and the film's intended distributor, British Lion Film Corporation, went into receivership on 1 June 1954. [4] The opening scenes were filmed on location at New Quay and Aberaeron, Ceredigion, Mid Wales, and others at Kensington, Millbank, Wormwood Scrubs, Holborn, and St. Paul's, London. [5] When the film was screened by the censors at BBFC on 10 September 1954, it was submitted by Frank Launder's company Launder Productions, as it did not yet have a new distributor. [6] In January 1955, Launder, Gilliat and the Boulting brothers formed a new company, British Lion Films Ltd., which took over the running of Shepperton as well as British Lion's distribution business, and the film finally received its world premiere at the London Pavilion on 21 April 1955. [1]

Gilliat says the film was plagued by problems with the color stock. [7]


According to the National Film Finance Corporation, the film made a comfortable profit. [8]

According to Kinematograph Weekly it was a "money maker" at the British box office in 1955. [9]

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  1. 1 2 The Times, 21 April 1955, page 2: World premiere of "The Constant Husband" at the London Pavilion – found in The Times Digital Archive (subscription required) 2014-07-25
  2. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p506
  3. The Times, 3 June 1954, page 2: Film production at Shepperton – found in The Times Digital Archive (subscription required) 2014-07-25
  4. The Times, 2 June 1954, page 6: Receiver for British Lion Film Corporation – found in The Times Digital Archive (subscription required) 2014-07-25
  5. The Constant Husband Archived 1 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine at
  6. BBFC: The Constant Husband (1954) Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine Linked 2014-07-25
  7. Fowler, Roy; Haines, Taffy (15 May 1990). "Interview with Sidney Gilliat" (PDF). British Entertainment History Project. p. 149. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 April 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  8. U.S. MONEY BEHIND 30% OF BRITISH FILMS: Problems for the Board of Trade The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959) [Manchester (UK)] 4 May 1956: 7
  9. "Other Money Makers of 1955". Kinematograph Weekly. 15 December 1955. p. 5.