of Curzon Street
four generations of an upper
class family through two world wars,
success, tragedies and the repercussion
of the Wall Street crash, The Courtneys
of Curzon Street is a wonderful period
drama with an intriguing glimpse at the
past which begins with a young couple
trying to bridge the class barrier...
NEW YEAR'S EVE 1899 and the youthful, down-to-earth and happy go lucky Sir
Edward Courtney (Michael Wilding: In Which We Serve; Stage Fright), a
baronet's son, has hopes that the new century will bring with it a better tolerance
between the classes as he enjoys the traditional Servants' Ball and a flirtation
with the woman he loves.
Edward intends to marry his mother's Irish ladies' maid Kate O'Halloran (Anna
Neagle: Sunny; Victoria The Great), much to the disappointment of his
sister Mary (Helen Cherry) and his mother Lady Courtney (Gladys Young). Both
Edward's father, Sir Edward Courtney Sr (G H Mulcaster) and Kate's father are
away fighting in the Boer War.
mother (Ethel O'Shea) is also in service with the Courtneys, and because they
like the beautiful Kate she is accepted into the family, although Lady Courtney
warns her son that his social standing will be "impossible". Kate believes bad
luck has come with the new moon and is suddenly afraid, then soon after learns
that her father has been killed.
Poignant, uplifting and
The Courtneys of
is a slice of history that
is still enjoyable
many decades after its
original release in
Trying desperately to gain acceptance from the Courtney's upper-class peers
once she and Edward are married, Kate accompanies him to an orchestral concert
in the presence of Queen Victoria. The marriage has caused a scandal and she
realises there is widespread disapproval. Among the whispers she overhears an
old flame of Edward's, Valerie Lindsay (Coral Browne), talking about her and
is so distressed she insists Edward takes her home.
Following an unwelcome visit while she is alone from Valerie, who is going to
India with her new man, Kate begins to feel that she is holding Edward back
and that he would be better off without her, no matter how much she loves him.
She and her mother pack up and leave with nothing; but she capitalises on her
beautiful voice which takes her on the road to stardom. Her success and popularity
as she sings on the stage enables her to make a new life for herself; but while
singing in a French village during the First World War, Edward
who has been sent to France to fight discovers her again.
Is it too late for Edward and Kate to rekindle their love and will Edward survive
the hostilities? Tragedy lies ahead, but the stalwart Courtneys continue their
line well into the 20th Century, through another world war and changing times
that have repercussions on everybody, no matter what their class.
Exploring the changing fortunes of four generations of an aristocratic family,
The Courtneys of Curzon Street was a phenomenal box office success on
its release. Poignant, uplifting and skilfully directed, The Courtneys of
Curzon Street is a piece of history that is still enjoyable many decades
after its original release in 1947.
Beginning at the turn of the 19th Century when Victorian society is scandalised
by Edward's marriage to his mother's maid, the film ends with the final days
of the Second World War a wonderful story of a family suffering
the prejudices of class distinction and affected by three wars.
The Courtneys of Curzon Street also features: Daphne Slater as Cynthia
Carmody; Jack Watling as Teddy Courtney; Michael Medwin as Edward Courtney;
Coral Browne as Valerie; and Alice Gachet as Louise.
Musical Score by Anthony Collins; Dress Design by Sophie Horns; Director of
Photography is Max Greene; Screenplay by Nicholas Phipps; and Produced and Directed
by Herbert Wilcox (Forever And A Day; Nurse Edith Cavell).
of A British Film Collection, The Courtneys of Curzon Street is a Network
Distributing title released on DVD on 9 September 2013. Running Time: 76 Minutes
Approximately | Catalogue Number: 7953856 | RRP: £9.99.
"Poignant, uplifting and skilfully directed, The Courtneys of Curzon Street
is a slice of history that is still enjoyable many decades after its original
release in 1947" Maggie Woods
Quote From The Film: "I don't mind you reading Oscar Wilde but there's no need
to ape him."