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Return to Yesterday (1940)

 -  Drama  -  9 March 1940 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 9 users  
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Wartime dilema: Robert Maine is torn between returning to the glamour of Hollywood and working with a small theatre company in England. When she falls in love with Maine, Carol has the same... See full summary »


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Title: Return to Yesterday (1940)

Return to Yesterday (1940) on IMDb 6/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Maine / Manning
Carol Sands
Mrs Emily Truscott
Hartley Power ...
Milton Rosmer ...
Fred Sambourne
David Tree ...
Peter Thropp
Olga Lindo ...
Grace Sambourne
Garry Marsh ...
Charlie Miller
Arthur Margetson ...
Elliott Mason ...
Mrs Priskin
O.B. Clarence ...
David Horne ...
Frank Pettingell ...
Ludwig Stössel ...
Capt. Angst
Wally Patch ...
Night Watchman


Wartime dilema: Robert Maine is torn between returning to the glamour of Hollywood and working with a small theatre company in England. When she falls in love with Maine, Carol has the same dilemma. Could this be symbolic of those actors who had to decide whether to stay in Hollywood or come to help the old country ? Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ealing | based on play







Release Date:

9 March 1940 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Maine fra Hollywood  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Barbara Allen
Arranged by Ernest Irving
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User Reviews

Early Ealing at its best.
4 February 2014 | by (Oxford, UK) – See all my reviews

One of the most charming light comedies to come out of Ealing, and Robert Stevenson's last British film before his flight to Hollywood, 'Return to Yesterday'is a veritable treasure trove of British character actors of the period (including Frank Pettingell, Dame May Witty, O.B. Clarence and Garry Marsh) all ably led by Clive Brook in one of his most sensitive screen performances, and one well up to the heights of his later triumph in 'On Approval'. The film also benefits, however, from a clever script (based on a play by Robert Morley), some nostalgic location shooting at Paddington station and on the GWR main line near Dawlish, and a delightful evocation of British seaside life in the last summer before war took hold. Stevenson's direction is characteristically deft and lends the movie a welcome air of spontaneity. Note, for instance, the last shot of O.B. Clarence and his reaction to being tickled from behind - with many directors, this would have ended up on the cutting room floor. Not so with Stevenson, and this film throughout is imbued with the same sense of fun which he brought to his better-known movies for Disney. Though its story of thwarted love is common enough, 'Return to Yesterday' simmers with a love of film and theatre - and the world which was about to be lost forever in the years of war and the privation which followed it. Call it sentimental if you will - but, once watched, this is a film you'll return to again and again.

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