The Loves of Joanna Godden

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The Loves of Joanna Godden
UK release poster by John Minton [1]
Directed by Charles Frend
Written by
Based onthe novel Joanna Godden by Sheila Kaye-Smith
Produced by Michael Balcon
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Edited by Michael Truman
Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Distributed by Ealing Studios
Release date
  • 9 June 1947 (1947-06-09)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Loves of Joanna Godden is a 1947 British historical drama film directed by Charles Frend and produced by Michael Balcon. [2] The screenplay was written by H. E. Bates and Angus MacPhail from the novel Joanna Godden (1921) by Sheila Kaye-Smith.


It stars Googie Withers, Jean Kent, John McCallum, Derek Bond, Chips Rafferty and Sonia Holm. [3] Some scenes were shot by director Robert Hamer when Frend was ill, though he was uncredited. The music was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. [4]


In Edwardian Britain, a young woman has three suitors who seek her hand in marriage.

When Joanna Godden's father died, he bequeathed her a farm in Romney Marsh in Kent. Joanna is determined to run the farm herself. Her neighbour Arthur Alce (John McCallum), laughs at her ambitions, but loves her. Choosing a new shepherd, she allows physical attraction to a man to overcome her judgment as a farmer, and her scheme for cross-breeding sheep is unsuccessful. Her wealth gone, she turns to Arthur Alce for help - but not love. That she accepts from Martin Trevor (Derek Bond), a visitor from the world beyond the Marsh. But on the eve of their marriage, Martin dies. [4] [5]


and the people of Romney Marsh.


The film was based on Joanna Godden, a novel by Sheila Kaye-Smith originally published in 1921. [6] [7] The book was popular enough for Kaye-Smith to write a sequel, Joanna Godden Married, published in 1926. [8]

After World War Two, Ealing Studios decided to film the novel, with a screenplay written by H. E. Bates and Angus MacPhail. The film had an ending different from the novel.

The studio cast Googie Withers to star; she had been a hit in Pink String and Sealing Wax . Lead roles were given to Australians John McCallum, who had been put under long-term contract to Rank, and Chips Rafferty, who had just starred in The Overlanders for Ealing. [9]

The casting of Withers and Kent was announced in July 1946. [10] Filming took place in August and September 1946, with location filming in Kent. [11]

Withers and McCallum fell in love during filming and later married. They named their first child "Joanna" in honour of the film. [12]

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  1. "Instant Shop".
  2. "The Loves of Joanna Godden (1947)". Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  3. "The Loves of Joanna Godden (1947)".
  4. 1 2 1948 Daily Mail Film Award Annual
  5. "The Loves of Joanna Godden". The Australian Women's Weekly . Vol. 15, no. 14. Australia. 13 September 1947. p. 38. Retrieved 17 December 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  6. "JOANNA GODDEN". The Daily Telegraph . No. 13257. New South Wales, Australia. 5 November 1921. p. 7. Retrieved 17 December 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  7. "FICTION OF THE DAY". The Argus (Melbourne) . No. 23, 486. Victoria, Australia. 11 November 1921. p. 5. Retrieved 17 December 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  8. "LITERARY JOTTINGS". The Labor Daily . No. 910. New South Wales, Australia. 1 January 1927. p. 10. Retrieved 17 December 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  9. ""Chips" Rafferty to work with Australian". The Australian Women's Weekly . Vol. 14, no. 4. Australia. 6 July 1946. p. 28. Retrieved 17 December 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  10. DISNEY DROPS 459 OF 1,073 EMPLOYES: New York Times 30 July 1946: 31.
  11. "BRITAIN'S FILM NEWS". The Daily Telegraph . Vol. VII, no. 45. New South Wales, Australia. 22 September 1946. p. 41. Retrieved 17 December 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  12. "JOHN McCALLUM AND GOOGIE WITHERS". The Grenfell Record and Lachlan District Advertiser . Vol. 84, no. 121. New South Wales, Australia. 21 June 1951. p. 6. Retrieved 17 December 2018 via National Library of Australia.