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This Happy Breed

Released Apr 12, 1947 1h 55m Drama List
100% Tomatometer 13 Reviews 78% Audience Score 500+ Ratings
In 1919, Frank Gibbons (Robert Newton) returns home from army duty and moves into a middle-class row house, bringing with him wife Ethel (Celia Johnson), carping mother-in-law Mrs. Flint (Amy Veness), sister-in-law Sylvia (Alison Leggatt) and three children. Years pass, with the daily routine of family infighting and reconciliation occasionally broken by a strike or a festival. By the time the children have grown into adults, another war is looming. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (13) Critics Reviews
David Parkinson Empire Magazine While not exacty up to contemporary standards of social realism this domestic saga was ground-breaking in its day and still captivates. Rated: 4/5 May 1, 2013 Full Review James Agee TIME Magazine This Happy Breed is Noel Coward's proud and loving tribute to the unbreakable British backbone. May 1, 2013 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Film's excellence comes mainly in the performances. Feb 23, 2012 Full Review Roger Moore Movie Nation It’s not Lean’s showiest picture or particularly impressive in any cinematic regard, at least partially owning to the limitations of Technicolor and Lean’s status as a newish director unfamiliar with color. Rated: 2.5/4 Jul 18, 2023 Full Review Mattie Lucas From the Front Row A powerful piece that hammers its message home without any kind of overt propagandizing. Rated: 3.5/4 Aug 6, 2019 Full Review MFB Critics Monthly Film Bulletin From the brilliant opening shot to the end, director Lean and photographer Ronald Neame have worked together, with originality and imagination, to produce some fine examples of camera angles and timing. Feb 17, 2016 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (56) audience reviews
david f This film tells the story of a humble British family from the years 1919 to 1939, situates them in the context of British national life at the time and relives their joys, heartbreaks and sorrows through the two decades with vignettes of striking and everyday events. It's a masterpiece, kind of an English "Our Town" and never fails to be of interest. The characters are richly drawn in the segments and you truly feel the passage of time going by. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member This is a very good film. However, it's a bit like watching EastEnders, and it took me an hour just to workout who was who. But for its time it's a wonderful look on life between the two world wars. It's very well made, excellently scripted, and well acted. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member (1944) Adequate if inauspicious debut of director David Lean, tracing the ups and downs of a British family between the first and second World Wars. Stagey in parts, given its base of a Coward play, with the stiff upper lip of the English amidst even the most dour clearly its most-endearing quality. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/31/23 Full Review Audience Member A wonderful, perfect film that just makes you feel so alive. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Audience Member Beautifully shot film by Ronald Neame in Technicolor, but lacking a cohesive plot. There are some really fine moments at the end, but a lot of the family's chemistry was hardly fleshed out, and I didn't see a lot of interesting dynamics that could've been there. There are a lot of manufactured conflicts and outbursts that come out of nowhere. Still worth watching though, for Robert Newton and Celia Johnson's performance as the parents. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review spencer p A dramatic masterpiece with stark honesty and beautiful depth to spare, this is a sweeping trip through time both in a country and in family. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
This Happy Breed

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis In 1919, Frank Gibbons (Robert Newton) returns home from army duty and moves into a middle-class row house, bringing with him wife Ethel (Celia Johnson), carping mother-in-law Mrs. Flint (Amy Veness), sister-in-law Sylvia (Alison Leggatt) and three children. Years pass, with the daily routine of family infighting and reconciliation occasionally broken by a strike or a festival. By the time the children have grown into adults, another war is looming.
Director
David Lean
Producer
Noël Coward
Screenwriter
Noël Coward, Anthony Havelock-Allan, David Lean, Ronald Neame
Distributor
Universal Pictures
Production Co
Two Cities Films Ltd., Prestige Productions, Noel Coward-Cineguild
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Apr 12, 1947, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Mar 11, 2017
Runtime
1h 55m
Sound Mix
Mono
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