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Britannia of Billingsgate (1933)

The owner of a fish-and-chips shop in the Billingsgate area of London harbors a secret ambition: to become a movie star. It turns out that she has a beautiful singing voice, and when that ... See full summary »


Sinclair Hill


Christine Jope-Slade (play), H.F. Maltby (additional dialogue) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Violet Loraine Violet Loraine ... Bessie Bolton
Gordon Harker ... Bert Bolton
Kay Hammond ... Pearl Bolton
John Mills ... Fred Bolton
Drusilla Wills Drusilla Wills ... Mrs. Wigglesworth
Walter Sondes Walter Sondes ... Harold Hogarth
Glennis Lorimer Glennis Lorimer ... Maud
Anthony Holles Anthony Holles ... Guidobaldi (as Antony Holles)
Ernest Sefton Ernest Sefton ... Publicity Man
Joyce Kirby Joyce Kirby ... Joan
Gibb McLaughlin ... Westerbrook
Grethe Hansen Grethe Hansen ... Gwen
Ron Johnson Ron Johnson ... Dirt Track Rider
Wally Patch Wally Patch ... Harry
Colin Watson Colin Watson ... Dirt Track Rider


The owner of a fish-and-chips shop in the Billingsgate area of London harbors a secret ambition: to become a movie star. It turns out that she has a beautiful singing voice, and when that fact comes to the attention of a movie studio, it begins to turn her and her family's lives upside down. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Musical


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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic Film)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bert Bolton: This gives us all a chance to do something instead of muckin' abaht with fish.
Bessie Bolton: What's the matter with fish?
Bessie Bolton: Well, fish is all right in its place.
Bert Bolton: Oh, shut up!
Bessie Bolton: You don't want to spend your whole life with an 'addock, do you?
Bessie Bolton: You give me the sick!
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User Reviews

Rare film appearance of music hall star Violet Loraine.
23 November 2003 | by jemkatSee all my reviews

This musical comedy from the early years of British talkies is one of only two films to feature once popular music hall and recording star Violet Loraine. In it she plays Bessie Bolton, a fishmonger's wife who is "discovered" by a film studio when her singing is accidentally recorded while they are filming at Billingsgate Fish Market. The rest of the film concerns the effects this has on the rest of her family, husband Bert(well-played by familiar cockney character actor Gordon Harker), son Fred (a thankless part for John Mills) and daughter Pearl (a gross caricature of the working class by Kay Hammond).

Unfortunately plot-wise not much of this is very entertaining, and perhaps apart from Violet Loraine herself and Gordon Harker, Drusilla Wills as Mrs Wigglesworth comes off best. While the role of Italian film director Guidobaldi (Anthony Holles) may have been intended as humorous it falls flat from start to finish.

Miss Loraine and fellow music hall star George Robey were responsible for introducing one of the most popular songs of World War I, "If You Were the Only Girl in the World". While none of the musical numbers in this film approach that kind of success, one must admit that they are pleasant enough on the ear without being in any way memorable, and in fact the musical numbers are probably the best thing about the film. Which I guess in its own way is a tribute to an almost forgotten leading lady from the British music hall past.

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