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The Courtneys of Curzon Street
The Courtneys of Curzon Street“Covering 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.

“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
...”
Kate's 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.

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).

* Part 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."