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South Riding (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 1 August 1938 (USA)
"Winifred Holtby realised that Local Government is not a dry affair of meetings and memoranda:- but 'the front-line defence thrown up by humanity against its common enemies of sickness, ... See full summary »


Victor Saville


Winifred Holtby (novel), Ian Dalrymple (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Edna Best ... Sarah Burton
Ralph Richardson ... Robert Carne
Edmund Gwenn ... Alfred Huggins
Ann Todd ... Madge Carne
Marie Lohr ... Mrs. Beddows
Milton Rosmer ... Alderman Snaith
John Clements John Clements ... Joe Astell
Edward Lexy ... Mr. Holly
Joan Ellum Joan Ellum ... Lydia Holly
Glynis Johns ... Midge Carne
Josephine Wilson Josephine Wilson ... Mrs. Holly
Gus McNaughton ... Tadman
Herbert Lomas Herbert Lomas ... Castle
Peggy Novak Peggy Novak ... Bessie Warbuckle
Lewis Casson Lewis Casson ... Lord Sedgmire


"Winifred Holtby realised that Local Government is not a dry affair of meetings and memoranda:- but 'the front-line defence thrown up by humanity against its common enemies of sickness, poverty and ignorance.' She built her story around six people working for a typical County Council:- Beneath the lives of the public servants runs the thread of their personal drama. Our story tells how a public life affects the private life; and how a man's personal sufferings make him what he is in public. " Corruption, intrigue and romance in a Yorkshire setting. A country squire whose wife is in a mental hospital becomes attracted to a crusading local schoolmistress. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Abnegação See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Theatrical movie debut of Glynis Johns (Midge Carne). See more »


Sarah Barton: England's future is in the hands of her children. Give them what they need.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Winifred Holtby died at the age of 37, one month after the publication of her greatest novel. In her story of the imaginary 'South Riding' of Yorkshire, she strove to preserve for us a part of the changing England that is typical of the whole. To her memory, this pictorial impression of her book is respectfully and gratefully dedicated." See more »


Version of South Riding (1974) See more »


Viennese Waltz
Music by Lionel Salter
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting Insight Into Local Government In The Thirties
13 March 2010 | by malcolmgswSee all my reviews

I thought that i would review this film as both the previous reviews come from the States.The first point i would make is that South Riding is that there is no such area as South Riding.East West and North yes,but South no.The most interesting aspect of the film for me was its insight into Local Government of that era.My late father was a councillor in London in the 50s and 60s and was fully aware of and fought against the corruption within local government as highlighted in this film.The backhanders and insider dealing were rampant.The Government finally had to act after the Poulson affair.To me the most interesting aspect of the film is the ambiguity in the characters.Richardson is clearly a Conservative with a capital C.Clements is clearly a Socialist.However in the end both act as if they belonged to the opposite party.I have not seen this film for well over 20years and i have to say i was surprised at just how good it was.I could not believe my eyes when is aw at the end that Richardsons daughter was played by none other than a very young Glynis Johns.

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