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This Happy Breed

This Happy Breed

David Lean (1944)

U Certificate


Our Score
This second of David Lean's four collaborations with Noël Coward provides a fascinating picture of the way we were. The action is largely confined to an unremarkable but lovingly re-created Clapham home, but such is the ebb and flow of events (both domestic and historical) that the two hours it takes to cover the 20 inter-war years seem to fly by. Celia Johnson is superb as the eminently sensible suburban housewife, while Kay Walsh gives a spirited performance as her mouthy daughter. But the best scenes belong to neighbours Robert Newton and Stanley Holloway, as a couple of very British chroniclers of their times.


A working-class family moves into a new suburban home after the father returns from service in the First World War. However, the couple and their children struggle to adjust to life higher up the social ladder. David Lean's drama, adapted by Noel Coward from his play, starring Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, Robert Stanley Holloway and John Mills.

Cast & Crew

Frank Gibbons Robert Newton
Ethel Gibbons Celia Johnson
Billy Mitchell John Mills
Queenie Gibbons Kay Walsh
Bob Mitchell Stanley Holloway
Mrs Flint Amy Veness
Aunt Sylvia Alison Leggatt
Vi Eileen Erskine
Reg John Blythe
Sam Ledbetter Guy Verney
Edie Merle Tottenham
Phyllis Betty Fleetwood
Narrator Laurence Olivier
Director David Lean
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: General Film Dist Ltd Available on: Available on video, DVD and BluRay


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