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Courageous Mr. Penn (1942)
"Penn of Pennsylvania" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  26 January 1942 (UK)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 64 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

William Penn's heroic deeds, on the European and American continents, are told in this portrait of the founding father of both the Quakers and the Pennsylvania colony. Based on C.E. Vulliamy's biography "William Penn."

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clifford Evans ...
William Penn
...
Gulielma Maria Springett
Dennis Arundell ...
Aubrey Mallalieu ...
Chaplain
D.J. Williams ...
Lord Arlington
O.B. Clarence ...
James Harcourt ...
George Fox
Charles Carson ...
Adm. Penn
Henry Oscar ...
Max Adrian ...
Elton
John Stuart ...
Bindle
Maire O'Neill ...
Cook
Edward Rigby ...
Bushell
Joss Ambler ...
Lord Mayor
J.H. Roberts ...
Ford
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Storyline

William Penn's heroic deeds, on the European and American continents, are told in this portrait of the founding father of both the Quakers and the Pennsylvania colony. Based on C.E. Vulliamy's biography "William Penn."

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Drama

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Release Date:

26 January 1942 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Courageous Mr. Penn  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
William Penn 1643-1718
23 November 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Penn Of Pennsylvania was one of those films that was made to encourage Anglo-American relations and had the misfortune of not being released before Pearl Harbor when America was given no option but to join the Allied cause. It's purpose was clearly to butter up the Americans to show we had a lot more that united us across the pond than what divided us. William Penn however was a great deal more complex than the saintly man you see here.

What was shown is true enough about Penn and his first wife played by Clifford Evans and Deborah Kerr. After the action of this film is concluded Penn did marry again and between the two wives had enough children to populate Pennsylvania all by himself. The guy you see however is someone you can't imagine doing any propagating.

William Penn was a lot of things, but definitely not a saint. Why Evans played him and the writers wrote him as a Francis of Assissi like character boggles the mind. Historians will scorn this film and the general public will find Evans as Penn totally unrealistic.

As was pointed out in another review, having the one Indian character made up like a 19th century plains Indian as opposed to someone who might have been in one of the Iroquois was also an example of horrible research. But to a British public who saw American westerns these were the Indians you had to give them.

The saintly Penn and the dutiful wife made for some dull viewing as well. Clifford Arundell playing Charles II who no one ever accused of saintly behavior provides some interesting moments. I doubt though that the Merry Monarch was as farsighted as all that. In his own way Charles was far more tolerant than Penn was in real life.

Penn Of Pennsylvania is a ponderous film about a saint that never existed.


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