This Week of Grace

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This Week of Grace
This Week of Grace (1933 film).jpg
Directed by Maurice Elvey
Written by H. Fowler Mear
Jack Marks
Story by Nell Emerald
Maurice Braddell
Produced by Julius Hagen
Starring Gracie Fields
Henry Kendall
John Stuart
Cinematography Sydney Blythe
Edited by Jack Harris
Music by Percival Mackey
Production
company
Distributed by Radio Pictures (UK)
Release date
  • July 1933 (1933-07)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

This Week of Grace is a 1933 British comedy film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Gracie Fields, Henry Kendall and John Stuart. [1] The screenplay concerns a poor, unemployed woman who is made housekeeper at the estate of a wealthy duchess. It was promoted with the tagline "Cinderella in modern dress". [2] It includes songs written by Harry Parr-Davies, including "My Lucky Day" and "Happy Ending". [3]

Contents

Plot

Grace Milroy loses her job working at a factory. However, through a strange set of circumstances, she is taken on as housekeeper at the nearby Swinford Castle the home of the eccentric Duchess of Swinford. She is initially coldly received by the other staff but she soon wins them over with her personality and hard work. While working there she falls in love with the Duchess' nephew, Viscount Swinford and eventually marries him. Later when she wrongly believes him to have married her under the mistaken impression she is rich she leaves him and goes to take a job on the stage working in the chorus line. Eventually the misunderstanding is cleared up and the couple reconcile.

Cast

Production

The film was made by Twickenham Studios following a dispute between Radio Pictures, who owned the rights to Fields, and Associated Talking Pictures (ATP) who had previously made her films. [4] It was part of an attempt by Twickenham to move away from making Quota quickies towards higher budgeted quality productions a strategy that continued until the bankruptcy of its owner Julius Hagen. As the sound stage at Twickenham was already booked, the film was shot at Ealing Studios.

Reception

The film is one of the least well-known of Fields' work. It has been noted for its promotion of a national consensus between classes - the first time this had been featured in a Fields film. It was theme which was to become a cornerstone of her work during her years of mainstream popularity. [5] It was well-received on its release with Kine Weekly observing that the film consolidated Field's as "England's premier entertainer". [6]

Preservation status

Thought to have been lost, it was loaned to the British Film Institute as a result of its 2010 search for missing films, and a copy was made for the National Archive. [7]

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References

  1. "This Week of Grace". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009.
  2. Shafer p.53
  3. Shafer p.199
  4. Richards. The Unknown 1930s p.44
  5. Richards The Age of the Dream Palace p.180
  6. Richards. The Age of the Dream Palace p.181
  7. Josephine Botting (29 November 2012). "BFI Most Wanted: our discoveries so far". British Film Institute. Retrieved 22 February 2013.

Bibliography