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This Happy Breed (1944)

Cast: Robert Newton, Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, more...
Director: David Lean, David Lean
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Drama, Foreign, British Drama, Dysfunctional Families, UK
Running Time: 115 min.
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

Synopsis
With This Happy Breed, playwright Noel Coward hoped to glorify the British working class in the same manner that he'd celebrated the "higher orders" in Cavalcade. The film begins just after World War I. Middle-class Londoner Robert Newton hopes to improve his family's lot by moving them into a comparatively posh house in the suburbs. The house is large enough for each family member to claim a corner or room as his or her own, allowing Coward to spotlight the characters' highly individual strengths, shortcomings and emotions. Twenty years go by, filled with the sorts of triumphs and tragedies with which British audiences of the 1940s could readily identify. Finally, left alone after their children and relatives have moved on, Newton and his wife (Celia Johnson) leave the house behind for a smaller, more practical apartment. This was the second of four collaborations between author Noel Coward and director David Lean. While Coward can't completely disguise his patronizing attitude towards "regular folks," Lean is successful in conveying the essential warmth, humanity and value of the film's characters. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide



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