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Sally in Our Alley (1931)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Musical  -  10 July 1931 (UK)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 31 users  
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A British soldier goes off to fight in World War I, with his girlfriend waiting and worried at home. He is soon wounded in battle and crippled. He comes to the conclusion that she would be ... See full summary »

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Title: Sally in Our Alley (1931)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Gracie Fields ...
Sally Winch
Ian Hunter ...
George Miles
Florence Desmond ...
Florrie Small
Ivor Barnard ...
Tod Small
Fred Groves ...
Alf Cope
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Jim Sears
Ben Field ...
Sam Bilson
Barbara Gott ...
Mrs. Pool
Renée Macready ...
Lady Daphne
Helen Ferrers ...
Duchess of Wexford
Florence Harwood
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Storyline

A British soldier goes off to fight in World War I, with his girlfriend waiting and worried at home. He is soon wounded in battle and crippled. He comes to the conclusion that she would be better off believing that he had been killed so she can get on with her life. She gets the news and is devastated. Several years later she is still grieving for him, but he has now been cured and goes looking for her. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Release Date:

10 July 1931 (UK)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Gracie Fields. See more »

Connections

Featured in Shepperton Babylon (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Fred Fannakapan
Performed by Gracie Fields
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User Reviews

Exceptional early English sound film.
27 October 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I'd always assumed this was run of the mill vehicle for a popular broadcasting star of the day, though I'd heard Maurice Elvey speak about it and it's star with enthusiasm.

Seeing it decades after his death is a strange experience because it is startlingly good. Production values are so so. The make-up shows and Norman Arnold's decors are clearly constructions but it is the most plausible and involving depiction of working class life the sound film would produce in Britain for years and, of it's day, only the more elegant DANCE PRETTY LADY compares as an achievement.

They really do invent an involving character for Fields, left alone after WW1 but still able to take an interest in (later radio star) Florence Desmond, as a movie struck girl beaten and twisted by her hard life. The scene of Desmond, dared into smashing Gracie's few pitiful possessions, is startling in such a film and lets you know what you're watching is not production line entertainment.

This is followed by the two more set piece scenes - Gracie doing her "Fred Fanacapan" song for the Toffs, which contains a wealth of comment of British society, jammed into it's story and comedy functions, and the final theme song which she performs in character, as the personal story winds down in front of her.

Gracie Fields became such a star on the strength of SALLY IN HER ALLEY that Maurice Elvey could only afford her for one more film, the less imposing LOVE LIFE AND LAUGHTER. Neither would continue into further important film careers and Elvey's already substantial achievement was neglected by commentators, leaving him to die in poverty. This film is a reproach to them as it is a surprise for determined vintage film viewers.


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