6.5/10
165
8 user 2 critic

Great Day (1945)

An impending V.I.P. visit causes bustle in an English village, while the Ellis family struggles with private problems.

Director:

Lance Comfort

Writers:

Lesley Storm (from the play by), John Davenport (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Portman ... Capt. John Ellis
Flora Robson ... Mrs. Liz Ellis
Sheila Sim ... Margaret Ellis
Isabel Jeans ... Lady Mott
Walter Fitzgerald ... Bob Tyndale
Philip Friend ... Geoffrey Winthrop
Marjorie Rhodes Marjorie Rhodes ... Mrs. Nora Mumford
Maire O'Neill Maire O'Neill ... Mrs. Bridget Walsh
John Laurie ... Scottish officer in pub
Kathleen Harrison ... Pub Customer
Leslie Dwyer Leslie Dwyer ... Pub Customer
Margaret Withers Margaret Withers ... Miss Jane Tyndale
Beatrice Varley Beatrice Varley ... Miss Tracy
Irene Handl ... Lady serving Tea in Tea Stall.
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Mrs. Beadle
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Storyline

In the English village of Denley, the Women's Institute (a wartime program channeling village products to the troops) is electrified to hear that they'll be visited by Eleanor Roosevelt. As the women struggle to get ready while bursting with the great secret, we glimpse their home lives in subplots, notably the problematic love life of young Margaret Ellis and the travails of her proud but impoverished father. How will their lives change before the Great Day? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You've seen such girls in this town

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1946 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was not successful at the box office, resulting in a loss to RKO of $232,000 ($3.2M in 2018) according to studio records. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end when Flora Robson is talking Eric Portman into seeing Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to the village, she places her hand on his right shoulder, then her hand is on the top of his arm and then back on his shoulder again. See more »

Quotes

Capt. John Ellis: I WILL not be bullied in my own house.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This picture is dedicated to the members of the Women's Institutes who throughout this war have revived the ancient crafts of the villages in the service of the community, who have given freely of their time and knowledge and by the work of their hands and without gain to themselves have greatly increased their country's resources. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not what you might think
18 April 2013 | by DWellECONSee all my reviews

From the title, and from the brief plot summary, you might expect this to be another wartime morale booster. If it is, it is a strange one indeed.

The story is set in an English village preparing for a visit from Eleanor Roosevelt. So you might expect a celebratory story about a hard pressed but noble people. If so, you would be wrong.

Far from being noble, some of the village women are petty, gossipy, and borderline vicious. Many of course are not, but they are portrayed as normal, not noble. The story centers on the Ellis family, who have apparently moved to the village after failing elsewhere. The father, John Ellis (quite effectively portrayed by Eric Portman) is a failure in life, hanging on to his one moment of glory as an Army Captain in World War I. His wife, Flora Robson in another great performance, is long-suffering and supportive, and our hearts go out to her. Their daughter, Shelia Sim, must choose between two men: one an exciting young man her age and an older but settled man. What makes the decision difficult for her is that she has had too much of going without or just barely getting by so that she is strongly drawn security offered by the older man.

I find the remark of another viewer about obvious sets odd. Though there are some scenes like this, I found the black and white outdoor scenes quite impressive and striking. Even some scenes, such as two men talking in a field, that could have been filmed on a set were actually filmed outdoors. I was especially struck by the scenes where the father wanders the country at night, emotionally if not physically lost, while his daughter searches for him.

The movie does end on a triumphant note with Mrs. Roosevelt's visit, but if you want to see this as propaganda I guess the message would be that even these flawed people are worthwhile. For me this film was a well made, well written, well acted, interesting and moving character study.


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