August 23, 2014

Films

The Winslow Boy – 1948 | 112mins | Drama | B&W

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Plot Synopsis

The Winslow Boy

‘It could happen only in England,’ foreigners said of the case on which this story is based, for it aroused the nation on behalf or an obscure small boy. Ronnie Winslow (Neil North) is fourteen, a cadet at the Royal Naval College, Osborne, from which he is expelled for the alleged theft of a five-shilling postal order. Mrs Winslow (Marie Lohr) and her sister Catherine (Margaret Leighton) put him to bed and break the news to his father, a quick tempered but kindly man whose health is failing. Arthur Winslow (Cedric Hardwicke) begins a long struggle against autocratic Authority to clear his son’s name.

He has to tell his elder son Dickie that he can no longer afford to keep him at Oxford. Moreover. the marriage settlement for Catherine must be withdrawn. Catherine is prejudiced against Sir Robert Morton (Robert Donat) , the eminent K.C. whose aid her father hopes to enlist. She thinks of him as cold and inhuman, ‘a supercilious sneering fish’. His incisive examination of Ronnie, in the privacy of the Winslow home in Wimbledon, provokes her to indignation.

‘I suggest your whole testimony is a lie,’ he raps out at the distressed boy. She is not the only one to be astonished when he declares himself satisfied that the boy is innocent, and undertakes the case. In the House of Commons, Sir Robert makes the speech of his life. He is successful, and a civil trial is ordered. Meanwhile, the Winslow difficulties have increased. Arthur’s health is getting worse because he cannot afford special medical treatment. He is even thinking of dismissing Violet, who has served the family for twenty-four years. And Catherine’s marriage to John Watherstone (Frank Lawton) will not take place unless the young man’s father receives an assurance that the case will be dropped.

At last the trial is held. Curry, the solicitor in love with Catherine, tells her that Sir Robert has refused the appointment of Lord Chief Justice to continue the Winslow case. When Sir Robert triumphs, and the case collapses, the boy whose honour is vindicated has gone to the pictures – the least concerned of them all.

Production Team

Anthony Asquith: Director
André Andrejew: Art Direction
Teddy Baird: Associate Producer
Pat Jenkins: Asst Director
Frederick Young: Cinematography
William Chappell: Costume Designer
Gerald Turney Smith: Editing
John O’Gorman: Make-Up Artist
London Symphony Orchestra: Music
William Alwyn: Music Composition
Dr Hubert Clifford: Music Direction
Anatole de Grunwald: Producer
Anatole de Grunwald: Script
Terence Rattigan: Script
Ben Hipkins: Sound/Sound Designer
W Percy Day: Special Effects

Cast

Robert Donat: Sir Robert Morton
Margaret Leighton: Catherine Winslow
Cedric Hardwicke: Arthur Winslow
Marie Lohr: Grace Winslow
Neil North: Ronnie Winslow
Jack Watling: Dickie Winslow
Frank Lawton: John Watherstone
Nicholas Hannen: Colonel Watherstone
Kathleen Harrison: Violet
Evelyn Roberts: Hamilton MP
Walter Fitzgerald: First Lord
Francis L Sullivan: Attorney General
Mona Washbourne: Miss Barnes
Bill Shine: Fred
Ernest Thesiger: Mr Ridgeley Pierce
Stanley Holloway: Comedian
Wilfrid Hyde-White: Watkinson



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