They Knew Mr. Knight (1946) Poster

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8/10
Unexpectedly Engrossing Domestic Drama from Popular Whipple Novel
JohnHowardReid26 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Aside from its cop-out sweetness-and-light conclusion, this domestic drama is a borderline noir that holds the attention rather well, thanks to extremely realistic writing (full of fascinating yet telling details), extremely ingratiating acting (the characters of course were both interesting and well-rounded to begin with), an unstinting budget and skillful technical credits. Only in the last few minutes when the principals visit the local cathedral and reflect on what life has taught them, does this film's grip on its audience lessen.

As usual, Mervyn Johns manages to overcome his somewhat unprepossessing screen presence to give an appealing performance of the ambitious family man who fails to make the right decisions in his dealings with charming but unscrupulous businessman, Alfred Drayton. Joyce Howard is also most winning as the daughter with similar ambitions to better herself. Joan Greenwood has a very small role as the other daughter, being completely overshadowed by Miss Howard and other members of the cast. One of the most ingratiating portrayals is expertly provided by Frederick Cooper who gets every inch of dramatic sympathy out of an extremely difficult role.
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8/10
White Knight?
bnwfilmbuff18 April 2017
Mervyn Johns has a chance encounter with famous high-power financier Alfred Drayton, who takes a liking to him and eventually his entire family, much to their delight. The financier and his wife, Olive Sloane, assume an almost paternalistic role with the Blake family helping to facilitate the family's escalation in class as Drayton makes a loan to revive Johns' business. However, Johns' business struggles even though he puts heart and soul into it and he realizes that he can't make it and satisfy the family's desires of bigger and better things without moving out on the risk curve. Johns in this role is truly an endearing character that many of us can relate. The direction is excellent as it has the right balance of being a heartwarming tale without losing sight of the seriousness of the reality of what is taking place. The cast is excellent as well. This is storytelling at its best with enough complexity delivered at a reasonable pace to hold your interest. Recommended.
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5/10
Doleful tale Is Almost A Polemic
malcolmgsw18 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Clearly a treatise on t6he evils of money.Mervyn Johns is a businessman whose family always yearn for a better lifestyle which is clearly beyond him.He meets the unscrupulous Alfred Drayton who seems to specialise in insider trading and manipulating the market.At a speech at Peter Hammonds school Drayton having given a gold cup then extols the virtues of money.A rather heavy handed allusion to the Golden calf.For a time Johns acquires a lifestyle which he can neither afford or sustain.It all comes crashing down around his ears.He is like a lamb to the slaughter,whilst Drayton commits suicide.Johns goes to prison and on his release he and his wife go back to their original unfullfilling lifestyle.He and his wife pause for thought in Lincoln Cathedral.The biggest laugh must be reserved for Peter Hammond.At 23 years old he was expected to play a young schoolboy and wear short trousers.What actors have to do for their art!
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