6.6/10
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Chance of a Lifetime (1950)

Approved | | Drama | 14 March 1951 (USA)
The workers in a small plough factory take over the firm, but when a large order falls through, the old management come back to help out.

Director:

Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Basil Radford ...
Dickinson
Niall MacGinnis ...
Baxter
...
Stevens
Julien Mitchell ...
Morris
...
Adam
Geoffrey Keen ...
Bolger
Josephine Wilson ...
Miss Cooper
John Harvey ...
Bland
Russell Waters ...
Palmer
...
Kettle
Hattie Jacques ...
Alice
Peter Jones ...
Xenobian
Bernard Rebel ...
Xenobian
...
Xenobian
Amy Veness ...
Lady Davis
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Storyline

Story centers around the difficulties and conflicts between labor and management on a farm-implement factory in post-WWII England. Dickens, after being bombarded again by, Baxter, the leading grouser in the worker ranks, blurts out the wish that some of them had his job in order to realize how hard it is. Taking the remark as a challenge, the workers elect Stevens and Morris to assume the management role. For a short while, everything runs smoothly but the mistakes made by the new "management" team leads to the workers once again becoming disgruntled with management. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elämän tilaisuus  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hattie Jacques was able to do her own welding, as she had done the job during the war. See more »

Connections

Featured in Carry on Forever: Episode #1.2 (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting summary of post-war labour relations
15 December 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Jack of all trades Bernard Miles manages to write, direct, and produce this movie while taking one of the lead roles. Basil Radford is ideal casting as the slightly pompous, yet kind hearted boss who decides to let this employees run his agricultural implement company when they express disapproval at his employee relations.

The film shows the point trade unionism and the co-operative movement had reached in 1950, a few years after the reforming Labour government got in and just before they were replaced by Winston Churchill, showing that the country was oscillating between socialism and conservatism. Miles's intelligent script is even-handed in its approach to these issued and also gives insights into the class system of the time.

This is also worth watching for early performances from Patrick Troughton, Hattie Jacques, and Peter Jones. The direction is slightly flat at times, but Miles must have had his hands full. There are few scenes outside the well-made factory set, and this is all for the better as it gives us more of a feel of the lives of the people who work there.


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