7.1/10
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34 user 2 critic

The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | June 1944 (USA)
London based American nurse, Lady Susan Ashwood (Irene Dunne), is at a hospital awaiting the imminent arrival of wounded soldiers. She is hoping that her enlisted son, Sir John Ashwood II (... See full summary »

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Alice Duer Miller (poem), Claudine West (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Irene Dunne ... Susan Ashwood
Alan Marshal ... Sir John Ashwood
Roddy McDowall ... John Ashwood II as a Boy
Frank Morgan ... Hiram Porter Dunn
Van Johnson ... Sam Bennett
C. Aubrey Smith ... Colonel Walter Forsythe
May Whitty ... Nanny (as Dame May Whitty)
Gladys Cooper ... Lady Jean Ashwood
Peter Lawford ... John Ashwood II as a Young Man
John Warburton ... Reggie Ashwood
Jill Esmond ... Rosamund
Brenda Forbes ... Gwennie
Norma Varden ... Mrs. Bland
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Storyline

London based American nurse, Lady Susan Ashwood (Irene Dunne), is at a hospital awaiting the imminent arrival of wounded soldiers. She is hoping that her enlisted son, Sir John Ashwood II (Peter Lawford), who resembles his father in appearance and temperament, is not amongst those wounded. As she waits, she remembers back to World War I when her husband, the former Sir John Ashwood (Alan Marshal), was enlisted, and the waiting she endured on any news from and about him while he was away in battle. From a humble background, Sue almost didn't meet Sir John, let alone marry him, as she and her father, Hiram Porter Dunn (Frank Morgan), the publisher of a small daily newspaper, were only in London in April 1914 on a two week vacation - her first trip - that was not going very well when by happenstance she got invited on her last day in London to the King's ball, where Sir John was awaiting the arrival of another young woman with whom he was supposed to keep company for the evening. Despite... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The greatest love story of our time! It will live forever in your heart! MGM's greatest triumph! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Irene Dunne reads a telegram from her Anglophobe father to a group of English people. Her father begs her not to marry an Englishman she is in love with and tells her "You're a Yankee through and through! Think of Paul Revere! Think of the Old North steeple! Remember the Alabama!" The viewer may become confused at this point. "Remember the Alabama"? Shouldn't it be "Remember the Alamo"? However, since the context of the telegram is anti-British any mention of the Alamo would be irrelevant. What Irene Dunne's father is apparently taking about is the C.S.S. Alabama, one of several Confederate warships that were built in British shipyards over United States protest during the Civil War. These ships attacked U.S. shipping in the Atlantic Ocean. Since Irene Dunne arrives in England in April of 1914 and married just before August 4, 1914 when Great Britain declared war on Germany, the telegram was probably sent close to the 50th Anniversary of the sinking of the Alabama by the U.S.S. Kearsarge on June 19, 1864 in the English Channel. The United States sued Great Britain in 1869 over the building of the Confederate warships and was awarded fifteen million five hundred thousand dollars. See more »

Quotes

John Ashwood II as a Young Man: [On his deathbed] You know, Mother, I wasn't afraid.
Susan Dunn's landlady: [Comforting] I know.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Elizabeth Taylor's scenes are often deleted in older TV prints. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Déjà Vu (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

There's a Long, Long Trail
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Zo Elliott
Lyrics by Stoddard King
Played by a band as Sam Bennett boards a ship
Reprised in the score for the armistice
See more »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful film with a strong performance by Irene Dunne.
2 January 2005 | by kip_9See all my reviews

This film is both tender and powerful-with a very moving score. If, like me, you enjoy lying down at night just listening to the voices and music coming from an old classic film-this is the one for you. At the beginning when Ms. Dunne is telling her story and reflecting on her life in England-the music fits perfectly, the mood is wonderful, and her voice just makes you want to melt. Then, before you know it, even though you thought you just might want to "half" watch this film on a lazy night-you find yourself caught up in it all. The English/American bickering becomes quite funny, the romance, the war, the drama, the sadness, the next war... Irene Dunne at her best-and beautiful as ever-with that strange, knowing almost mischievous look in her eyes. I truly believe that films like these are healthy for us(sort of like watching fish in an aquarium-or shopping for antiques, petting a dog, etc.) Do yourself a favor and watch/listen to this lovely movie. If you're an Anglophile then you are really denying yourself a great pleasure by not seeing it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

June 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Evocación See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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