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Green Grow the Rushes (1951)

After their vessel runs aground during a storm and is impounded by the British authorities, local smugglers must find a way of disposing of their contraband brandy cargo before it's discovered by the Customs Officers.


Derek N. Twist (as Derek Twist)


Howard Clewes (novel), Howard Clewes (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Livesey ... Capt. Cedric Biddle
Honor Blackman ... Meg Cuffley
Richard Burton ... Robert 'Bob' Hammond
Frederick Leister ... Col. Gill
John Salew John Salew ... Herbert Finch
Colin Gordon ... Roderick Fisherwick
Geoffrey Keen ... Spencer Prudhoe
Cyril Smith Cyril Smith ... Hubert Hewitt
Eliot Makeham ... James Urquhart
Jack McNaughton Jack McNaughton ... Bailiff Sgt. Edgar Rigby
Vida Hope Vida Hope ... Polly Bainbridge
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... Joseph Bainbridge (farmer)
Archie Duncan ... Constable Pettigrew
Arnold Ridley ... Tom Cuffley
Gilbert Davis Gilbert Davis ... Whitley


A group of enterprising smugglers make use of an ancient charter to smuggle brandy into the southern coast of England. When their ship is seized, it looks like they are in trouble until the Customs Officers try and find out where the brandy went. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An intriguing tale of romance and deception.


Comedy | Thriller


Did You Know?


This was the first film of A.C.T, Films Ltd. (Trade union Cooperative ser up by director Derek Twist, producer John Gossage and ex producer Phil Samuel) backed financially by the National Film Finance Corp. The Romney Marsh area was checked for locations and while New Romney was perfect for the town of Portenoy the snag was that the marshes were too well drained to use for the duck hunting scenes so these were shot on and around Hickling Broad in Norfolk. By drastic pruning and reducing the schedule by a week the budget was accepted. Fred Pusey was brought in as art director and the cast was picked on ability to give the right performance not on 'name'. A deal was made to use A.B.P.C. Studios at Elstree. Filming started 6th June 1950 in the High Street , New Romney. During the period at Romney there were only 3 days when exteriors couldn't be shot but these weren't wasted as due to Harry Waxman (cinematographer) and 'Dickie' Bird (sound) they were able to film in the local pub, the historic court and the town hall. The unit then moved to Hickling Broad and St Bennett's Abbey in Norfolk for the 'duck shooting' sequence then to Elstree Studios on July 1st for 4 weeks filming on a full sized set of a trawler and a farmer's cottage. It was just as well that 'time was no object' as the camera couldn't be on the studio floor. Instead each change of set up meant building rostrums for the camera, lining up the crane and moving the backing, etc. Shooting went one day over schedule with an average daily screen time of 2 minutes. Next to shoot was the storm sequences. During the 4th week Pinewood's travelling matte process with a 'split beam' camera was used for 5 major sequences and 2 small sections. The film was completed 2 days over schedule but under budget. See more »

Crazy Credits

Any resemblance to any living person or actual events would be more than a coincidence it would be a miracle. See more »


Frühlingslied (Spring Song)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
[played on piano by Roger Livesey]
See more »

User Reviews

A movie about Little England?
23 May 2006 | by skinner_douglasSee all my reviews

I believe it was G. K. Chesterton who described himself as a "Little Englander." To those of us born after WWII, it is hard to fully grasp what he had in mind; which is the reason why I like Green Grow the Rushes, because I think it gives some idea of what Chesterton meant. It is ostensibly about a boat that became stranded with a load of brandy. But the subtext involves the conflict between officials of the British national government and the locals and their local officials who attempt to thwart the government by invoking laws and immunities dating back to feudal times. In this sense it is a libertarian classic which reminds us that so-called feudal Europe was in fact a complex tapestry of autonomous localities, fiefdoms, principalities, etc., under a relatively weak (by today's standards) central state. The movie manages to convey a sense of nostalgia for a type of little England with its absurdly dressed officials and independent-minded locals who stand in contrast to and are suspicious of the suited technocrats who descend upon them to change their customs and plan their lives.

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Release Date:

6 November 1951 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Brandy Ashore See more »

Filming Locations:

New Romney, Kent, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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