3 user 1 critic

Father's Doing Fine (1952)

Lady Buckering, an English widow, has four daughters; Doreen, married to Dougall and about to give birth at home, and Gerda, Bicky and Catherine. The story revolves around the impending ... See full summary »


Henry Cass


Anne Burnaby (screenplay), Noel Langley (play)


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Cast overview:
Richard Attenborough ... Dougall
Heather Thatcher ... Lady Buckering
Noel Purcell ... Shaughnessy
George Thorpe George Thorpe ... Dr. Drew
Diane Hart ... Doreen
Susan Stephen ... Bicky
Mary Germaine Mary Germaine ... Gerda
Virginia McKenna ... Catherine
Jack Watling ... Clifford Magill
Peter Hammond ... Roly
Brian Worth Brian Worth ... Wilfred
Sidney James ... Taxi Driver


Lady Buckering, an English widow, has four daughters; Doreen, married to Dougall and about to give birth at home, and Gerda, Bicky and Catherine. The story revolves around the impending birth and the love affairs of the other three daughters; Bicky, with eccentric student Roly; Gerda, married to artist Wilfred; and Catherine, in love with the landlord's son, Clifford Magill. In addition, the impoverished Lady Buckering is being courted by Dr. Drew. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 April 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eine verrückte Familie See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Marble Arch Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Dougall and Roly recite lines from Henry Newbolt's poem, Vitaï Lampada, the most recognized line of which is "Play Up! Play Up! And play the game!" See more »

Crazy Credits

Sir Henry Newbolt's poem "Vitae Lampada" is used by permission of Captain Francis Newbolt. See more »


Widecombe Fair
Collected by Sabine Baring-Gould
Sung by Dougal and Roly
See more »

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User Reviews

The travails of Lady Buckering and her four daughters
22 March 2012 | by PaularocSee all my reviews

"Father's Doing Fine" Review

March 23, 2012

Lady Buckering, who has four daughters, is in bad financial straits but nonetheless lives very well – there's a butler, all the women have wonderful clothes, there's a private nurse and plenty of liquor handy. One of her daughters is about to have a baby (the father is the Attenborough character, Dougall), one is married to a pseudo-intellectual, one is rebounding from a love affair gone bad and the youngest daughter is an insufferable drama queen. Attenborough plays the stereotypically nervous father-to-be with gusto.

"Father's Doing Fine" is based on the play "Little Lambs Eat Ivy." I simply do not understand the significance of the title (yes, I know the song Mairzy Doats). The movie's title seems off kilter as well since it is the mother, Lady Buckering, around whom all the frenetic doings occur. Indeed, Lady Buckering (the delightful Heather Thatcher) has all the best lines in this farce.

For me, farce is always better as a stage production than as a movie. This movie is silly but Thatcher's and Attenborough's performances make it fun to watch.

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