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A Girl Must Live (1939)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 56 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

A run-away school-girl falls among chorus girls planning to marry into the nobility.

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(novel) (as Emery Bonnet) , , 2 more credits »
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Title: A Girl Must Live (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Lockwood ...
Renee Houston ...
Gloria Lind
...
Clytie Devine
George Robey ...
Horace Blount
Hugh Sinclair ...
Earl of Pangborough
Naunton Wayne ...
Hugo Smythe
Moore Marriott ...
Bretherton Hythe
Mary Clare ...
Mrs. Wallis
David Burns ...
Joe Gold
Kathleen Harrison ...
Penelope
Drusilla Wills ...
Miss Polkinghome
Wilson Coleman ...
Mr. Joliffe
Helen Haye ...
Aunt Primrose
Frederick Burtwell ...
Hodder
Muriel Aked ...
Mme. Dupont, headmistress
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Storyline

A girl runs away from her Swiss finishing-school to go on the stage under a false name just as a rich young rubber-planter returns to England to inherit a title... with her fellow lodgers and chorus-girls both determined to get their hooks into him. The honours are about even as Gloria and Clytie fight it out for the Earl's attentions, until the whole chorus line is unexpectedly invited to spend the weekend at the Pangborough mansion, along with their producer Joe Gold and the wallet-lifting Hugo... and the *real* Leslie James makes an appearance... Written by Igenlode Wordsmith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 January 1941 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A Girl Has to Live  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Who's Your Love
(uncredited)
Written by Eddie Pola
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User Reviews

 
A GIRL MUST LIVE {Edited Version} (Carol Reed, 1939) ***
4 January 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

When I know that multiple versions exist of a film I am on the point of acquiring, I obviously try to go for the longer edition or, at least, the one which most adheres to the director's original conception (I opted not to say vision here in view of the lighthearted nature of the movie under review – which, as it turned out, proved yet another blunder on my part…but more on this later!). Sometimes, however, I only learn after the fact that a film has been trimmed as, when I added it to my collection, I had no prior knowledge of such a variant being in circulation (often at the expense of the uncut release) to begin with! Needless to say, this film is one such case (running for a brief 68 minutes against the official 92!) – besides, I was under the impression that it was going to be a drama...but then realized the thing was actually a comedy!

Anyway, this is one of the better-regarded efforts in director Reed's early career – yet, being a showcase for catty females against a music- hall backdrop, a fairly atypical one when viewed in retrospect. The end result, while undeniably dated, is reasonably entertaining – serving pretty much as the British counterpart of the clearly superior STAGE DOOR (1937); despite a plethora of talent involved (including scriptwriter Frank Launder and cast members Lilli Palmer, Naunton Wayne and George Robey – the latter best-known nowadays for playing a dying Falstaff in Laurence Olivier's HENRY V {1944}), as with virtually all the British films of its era, this simply does not have the polish one associates with the contemporaneous Hollywood product – with the shrill sound recording, for one, effecting the viewer's intelligibility of the dialogue throughout!

The narrative is simple (read: wish-fulfillment – with heroine Margaret Lockwood, passing herself off as the offspring of a retired celebrity performer, obtaining both a part in a stage-show and an aristocratic husband without half-trying!) but not unengaging; frankly, the funniest line is the one where a dancer remarks that she does not mind if a man looked like (beloved British comedian) Will Hay as long as he had money…and, with this in mind, I should point out that Moore Marriott, Hay's frequent aged partner, is credited here but his entire role appears to have been among the casualties of the heavy streamlining involved!


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