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Other than using the same title this film has no connection to nor is there any film credit linking it to the poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. In this film, Kenneth Hale, a pampered, ... See full summary »
Marcia Mae Jones,
Frank Burdon is a new reporter on a small-town Scottish paper. He's told to interview local politician William Gow, then left in charge of the paper overnight. He sees Gow being high-handed to a woman who can't afford to license her dog, and decides to run that story instead of the expected puff piece. Both are decent men, but a little too proud to back down, and the battle escalates into a criminal case... but at the same time, Burdon and Gow's daughter Victoria are falling in love. Written by
I agree with the previous reviewer that this British film is an attempt by them to produce a Frank Capra like populist comedy. Certainly Cecil Parker as the town provost could easily have fit into a Capra film, a Mr. Potter from Scotland. Rex Harrison could easily be James Stewart, standing up for good.
Cecil Parker is the provost (Mayor?) of a small Scottish town called Baikie way in the rural north. Parker's an efficient manager who's come to the attention of party bigwigs who want to run him in a bi-election for an open seat in Parliament.
Parker is also a fatuous, arrogant oaf with the public relations sense of an ostrich. While being interviewed by reporter Rex Harrison, Sara Allgood who's a poor widow who can't afford the money for a dog license has her dog taken by Parker's police to be put to death as a stray. As she's begging, he throws her into the street.
Harrison who was going to do a puff piece as we would now call it, is outraged enough to write what occurred.
Complicating things is the fact that Harrison's fallen big time for Parker's daughter, Vivien Leigh. This was an early film for both and the megastardom that was destined for both is apparent.
Of course being the oaf he is with his ego out of joint, Parker keeps escalating this storm in a teacup until it's a nationwide issue. But the ending couldn't have been better done by Frank Capra himself.
Lots of laughs in this one and check out the scene where the dogs invade Parker's house. Could have been done as a short subject in and of itself.
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