A Day to Remember (1953 film)

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A Day to Remember
A Day to Remember poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ralph Thomas
Produced by Betty Box
Written by Robin Estridge
Based on The Hand and the Flower
by Jerrard Tickell
Starring Stanley Holloway
Donald Sinden
Joan Rice
James Hayter
Harry Fowler
Music by Clifton Parker
Cinematography Ernest Steward
Edited by Gerald Thomas
Distributed by United States:
General Film Distributors
Republic Pictures
Release date
United Kingdom:
10 November 1953
United States:
29 March 1955
Country United Kingdom
Language English

A Day to Remember is a 1953 British comedy drama film directed by Ralph Thomas and starring an ensemble cast including Stanley Holloway, Donald Sinden and Bill Owen. The darts team of a London public house go on a day trip to Boulogne-sur-Mer in France.


On the eve of their visit to France the members of the Hand & Flower pub darts team gather for a drink. The day trip is being organised by one of their regulars who is a travel agent. For some of the team it is their first ever trip abroad, while for others it is the first time they have returned to France since the war. One of the team has developed a plan to buy watches in France and smuggle them back into Britain to sell at a profit. Another, Jim Carver, is going through a rocky patch with his fiancee, who he suspects considers him to be boring and plain.

The following day the group meet at London Victoria and catch the boat train to Boulogne. Once they have landed in France, despite the insistence of their unofficial leader the pub's landlord that they stick together, Jim Carver departs to visit a farm where he had been involved in heavy fighting during 1944 when British troops had arrived to liberate France. He takes some flowers to the cemetery where his comrade is buried. He then meets a young woman, Martine, who he first met eight years before, who invites him to have lunch with her family on the farm. They immediately strike up a chemistry, which his relationship with his fiancee in England lacks. However his newfound friend is also engaged to a local lawyer.

Back in the town, the rest of the group enjoy lunch in a cafe and then break up into smaller groups to tour round the town. One goes to try to pick up his black market watches, another gets drunk and joins the foreign legion in spite of his friends' efforts to stop him. One of the group becomes violently homesick despite having left England only hours before. After attempting, and failing, to retrieve their friend from service in the foreign legion the group begins to drift towards the docks and the ship that will carry them on their voyage home – and wonder what has happened to Carver who has been missing all day.

Carver has fallen in love with Martine, and she has broken up with Henri. However, they argue and he heads for his ship without her. Unbeknownst to him, his fiancee in London has met and struck up a relationship with an American servicemen during a visit to Hampton Court. Carver seems to realise he is far better suited to Martine, and after he boards the ferry she drives hurriedly to the dockside and shouts her true feelings for him. They agree to meet again soon when he returns to France.



The film was based on The Hand and Flower, a 1952 novel by Jerrard Tickell, who had written Appointment with Venus, also filmed by Betty Box and Ralph Thomas.[1] It was partly filmed on location in Boulogne.[2]


  1. ^ RANDOM OBSERVATIONS ON PICTURES AND PEOPLE By HOWARD THOMPSON. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 20 Sep 1953: X5.
  2. ^ "Sinden again in naval role". The Mail (Adelaide). 43, (2,143). South Australia. 4 July 1953. p. 7 (SUNDAY MAGAZINE). Retrieved 24 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 

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