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In 1939 Gracie Fields, the 'Queen of Hearts', is at the height of her success as a singer and actress and the whole nation seems to wish her a speedy recovery from cervical cancer. When World War Two breaks out, Gracie sings for the troops despite poor health, to the dismay of her fussy husband, film director Monty Banks, an Italian, born Mario Bianchi. With Italy's entry into the war Monty is in danger of being interned so Gracie consents to his moving to America whilst she tours Canada, fund-raising for the war effort. She is accused of deserting the country which made her famous and booed offstage, though she later tours battlefields as a singer. With the war over she regains popularity, performing 'Take Me To Your Heart Again' at the London Palladium. Banks dies in 1950 and, though still a successful singer, Gracie never regains her pre-war iconic status. Written by
don @ minifie-1
Directed by Brian Percival,Gracie tells the true story of beloved singer Gracie Fields.It looks at her rise in popularity during the Second World War as she entertained British troops in war torn areas.
It begins in the late 1930's with Gracie Fields(Jane Horrocks)at the height of her fame as a music hall legend.She meets famous Hollywood director Monty Banks(Tom Hollander)who wants her to star in some of his films.
As they work together the two become friends until Gracie is taken into hospital suffering from cervical cancer.As he sits at her bedside Monty realises he has fallen in love with this bright and bubbly woman.
When war is declared in 1939 Gracie(although still quite ill after massive surgery)informs her manager Basil Dean(Alistair Petrie)that she will sing to the troops.Monty goes with her to keep her safe and remind her to relax between shows.
They marry and all is well until Italy enters the war as an ally of Germany.Monty is now Britains enemy and must go to America.He accompanies Gracie on tour to Canada,where she refuses to come with him to California because she needs to do the shows.He goes without her and she is subjected to a terrible public backlash accusing he of being a traitor because she married Monty.Gracie continues touring though with her faithful piano player Harry Parr Davis(David Dawson).
After the war she returns to Monty and has a successful run of shows at the London Palladium.However her happiness with Monty was not to last as he suffered a heart attack and died on board the Orient Express in 1950,leaving her devastated.
Moving,funny and inspiring Gracie is filled with great acting with Tom and Jane giving career best performances in my opinion.I just wish this could have been longer than it is as it was so good.And of course there are all of Gracies hits including Sing As We Go,Walter and of course Sally.
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