The History of Mr Polly

  • U
  • Anthony Pelissier (1948)
  • UK
  • 91 min
The History of Mr Polly
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

This splendid adaptation of HG Wells's charming comic novel by writer/director Anthony Pelissier is pleasingly faithful to its source and enormously entertaining. John Mills gives one of the finest performances of his career as the draper whose search for contentment involves him in an unhappy marriage and a feud at a country inn. The supporting cast is impeccable, with Betty Ann Davies neatly switching from giggling cousin to grousing wife, and Moore Marriott inch-perfect as wizened Uncle Pentstemon. The scenes with Christabel (Sally Ann Howes) on the wall don't quite come off, but the encounters with Polly's ghastly family and the duel with Finlay Currie are well staged.

Plot Summary

Period drama adapted from the novel by HG Wells, starring John Mills and Sally Ann Howes. Reflecting on a life of missed opportunities, draper Alfred Polly hits upon a drastic solution to his seemingly insurmountable problems.

Cast and crew


Alfred Polly
John Mills
Sally Ann Howes
Plump woman
Megs Jenkins
Uncle Jim
Finlay Currie
Diana Churchill
Betty Ann Davies
Mr Johnson
Edward Chapman
Shelagh Fraser
Uncle Pentstemon
Moore Marriott
Mrs Larkins
Gladys Henson
Mr Rusper
Wylie Watson
Old gentleman
Miles Malleson


Anthony Pelissier

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
General Film Dist Ltd
Available on video and DVD
Certificate U