6.8/10
69
5 user 1 critic

The Birthday Present (1957)

A top salesman with a U.K. toy firm foolishly brings an expensive watch back from a German trip for his wife's birthday. This is illegal in 1950's Britain and when Customs discover the ... See full summary »

Director:

Pat Jackson
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Britton Tony Britton ... Simon Scott
Sylvia Syms ... Jean Scott
Jack Watling ... Bill Thompson
Geoffrey Keen ... Colonel Wilson
Walter Fitzgerald ... Sir John Dell
Howard Marion-Crawford ... Bates (as Howard Marion Crawford)
David Hutcheson David Hutcheson ... Ex. R.A.F. Type
Richard Leech ... Hawkins
Lockwood West Lockwood West ... Mr. Barraclough
Cyril Luckham ... Magistrate
John Welsh ... Customs Officer
Ian Bannen ... Jr. Customs Officer
Ernest Clark ... Barrister
Thorley Walters Thorley Walters ... Photographer
Harry Fowler ... Charlie
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Storyline

A top salesman with a U.K. toy firm foolishly brings an expensive watch back from a German trip for his wife's birthday. This is illegal in 1950's Britain and when Customs discover the watch he is charged and, unusually, given a prison sentence. Not having the money to appeal he has to serve his time hoping the details don't get out and he won't lose his job. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1957 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Geburtstagsgeschenk See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

British Lion Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The opening credits run over an Alpine model railway scene. See more »

Soundtracks

Fireside Serenade
(uncredited)
Music by Trevor Duncan
Boosey & Hawkes Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent low-budget film
14 January 2017 | by MarlburianSee all my reviews

Another "find" on Talking Pictures TV channel, and one I greatly enjoyed. Early sightings of a few actors: Ian Bannen, an unlined Thorley Waters, Harry Fowler, a slim Geoffrey Keen, John Welsh with some hair and of course a young Sylvia Syms - 23 years old but in her ninth role.

Bannen's customs officer enthused a bit too much about the toys that Simon had brought back (no long queues in those days!), though it did build up the tension. Likewise the scene at the elderly solicitor's home, with the apparently unnecessary inclusion of the son on leave from National Service. (We only ever got to see the top of his head.) As another reviewer has noted, the court proceedings did seem a bit unusual, and surely in his subsequent job search he would have been required to produce references from his last employer? The depiction of Simon's time in prison had a documentary feel to it - this is not a criticism.

Acting honours must go to Geoffrey Keen as the compassionate managing director.

A very worthwhile film.


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