The Kinsman (1919)

A Cockney poses as his drowned double, who is saved and poses as a chauffeur.

Director:

Henry Edwards

Writer:

Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick (as Mrs. Alfred Sedgwick)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Henry Edwards ... Undetermined role
James Carew James Carew ... Col. Blois
Chrissie White Chrissie White ... Pamela Blois
Christine Rayner Christine Rayner ... Julie
Gwynne Herbert Gwynne Herbert ... Mrs. Blois
Victor Prout Victor Prout ... Col. Lorraine
John MacAndrews John MacAndrews ... Dobbs
Judd Green Judd Green ... Dr. Sprott
Marie Wright Marie Wright ... Duchess
Bob Russell Bob Russell ... Footman
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Storyline

A Cockney poses as his drowned double, who is saved and poses as a chauffeur.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1919 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hepworth See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

....to say nothing of the kangaroo
5 December 2017 | by kekseksaSee all my reviews

Not too easy to find good information about the author of the book this film is based on although she was a prolific and popular novelist. Cecily Wilhemine Ullmann was born in Islington in 1854 of German Jewish parentage (many of her books are concerned with both German and, although a Christian convert, Jewish life). She wrote first under the name Mrs Andrew Dean and then latterly as Mrs Alfred Sidgwick (not Sedgwick), having married a philosopher of that name in 1883. Her books include Lesser's Daughter (1894), Cynthia's Way (1901), Scenes of Jewish Life (1904, short stories), The Kinsman (1907), Home Life in Germany (non-fiction, 1908),Below Stairs (1913), In Other Days (1915), Mr. Broom and his Brother (1915), Salt of the Earth (1917), Karen (1918), London Mixture (1924), Storms and Teacups (1931) and Refugee (1934). She wrote over forty books altogether and died in Cornwall on 10 August 1934.

Curious that IMDb should list Henry Edwards as "undetermined" when he is the star (in a double role) as well as the director. He had begun his film career in 1916 with the company of Florence Turner during her stay in England, playing the male lead in East is East. Thereafter he continued to both direct and star in a large number of light comedies and dramas first for Hepworth then for British and Dominion until 1937. He and hos actress wife Chrissie White (who co-stars here) became something of a celebrity couple but Edwards stuck mainly to the type of cockney character, whether plucky hero or, as here, no good boyo, that he first played in East is East.

Here plays the cockney clerk Herbert ("Bert") Gammage who is the distant cousin of a gentry family by the name of Blois, represented in the next generation by the colonel's only daughter Pamela played by Chrissie White. Herbert, although he already has a girlfriend in Putney called (at least in the Spanish version) Florrie Black, is deeply indebt and goes to spend the Whitsun holiday (Pentecost in Continental style in the Spanish version of the film that I saw) to visit a prospective bride Julie on holiday with her mother in what looks to be Cornwall ("Travella" in the Spanish, seemingly Trevella, a fairly working-class holiday resort in Crantock near Newquay), not far from the magnificent Blois estate of Greymarsh (in Devon?) and where the ruins of the old Blois family house are situated. That estate is entailed so that the heir is another distant relative who lives in Australia by the name of Roger Blois. Evidently the colonel hopes that his daughter and Roger will hit it off and marry so that the estate can remain the home of Pamela but she is not overly keen on the idea. Roger Blois, who has been invited to come and visit, is as it happens, the spitting image of Herbert Gammage (both parts payed by Edwards).

Herbert arrives in Crantock (banjo-playing minstrel and pilchard-stalls), he and Julie get engaged and he is on his way back to Putney buthe misses his train. Next day's mail puts him in a lot of trouble. Not only are the debts in London becoming ever more pressing but Julie has been invited to London by Florrie. Bert, on the Crantock cliffs, contemplates suicide. At this point Roger Blois arrives in England and decides to visit the old ruined house. So Edwards (Hebert) find himself face to face with Edwards (Blois) on the beach at Crantock. The two second cousins introduce themselves and arrange to meet later.

When Bert turns up at the beach as arranged, there is no sign of Roger except for his clothes and effects, including his wallet. Has he gone swimming and been carried off by the notorious Crantock tides (they are quite genuinely notorious), drowned and lost in the quicksand? The Australian's wallet contains forty pounds and the temptation is too strong fro Bert who decides to assume his cousin's identity. Julie and her mother naturally assume that it is Bert who has been drowned.

Well, I shall leave viewers to find out if the Aussie heir is really dead and to discover how Bert manages to negotiate his way around the three women, the Putney girlfriend Florrie, the Crantock fiancée Julie and the Devon heiress Pamela. It's a very silly story but quite fun but the real star of the film is the West Country setting whose photogenic cinematic appeal has been a constant of British cinema.

As for the kangaroo.....


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