The Love Lottery
The Love Lottery – 1954 | 89 mins | Comedy, Romance | Colour
Charles Crichton directed The Love Lottery, released in 1954, again photographed by Douglas Slocombe in TechniColour. The object of attack this time was the intemperate fan worship of film stars – not an obvious Ealing target. David Niven played the celebrity, Peggy Cummins the girl who wins him in a lottery, with Anne Vernon and Gordon Jackson in supporting roles. The lucky lady who “wins” Niven will be able to spend a week in his company. Sensing the silliness of the whole enterprise, Niven promises publicly to marry the winner – and thatís where starry-eyed fan (Peggy Cummins) enters the proceedings. Herbert Lom is the filmís fly in the ointment playing a suavely self-confident head of the world syndicate which makes its money from gambling, he follows Nivenís trail to Italy to make certain that he keeps his promise.
The film is a depressing indication that Ealing usually floundered when it tried to make a film with a feminine viewpoint. The notion of star worship put across in the film must have seemed fairly dated in the Fifties, and viewed today it is ludicrous. A number of feeble dream sequences were inserted to pad out the action, giving the impression that The Love Lottery was about to turn into a pastiche of a Hollywood musical, but unfortunately such happy possibilities were ignored and the film is an uneasy failure. The only point of interest is the appearance of Humphrey Bogart – in an uncredited walk-on at the end to provide a closing gag.
Extract© George Perry: Forever Ealing.
Charles Crichton: Director
Jim Morahan: Art Direction
Douglas Slocombe: Cinematography
Seth Holt: Editing
Benjamin Frankel: Music
Monja Danischewsky: Producer
Harry Kurnitz: Script
Zelma Bramley-Moore: Script
scenes by Monja Danischewsky: Script