English Without Tears

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English Without Tears
Directed by Harold French
Produced by Anatole de Grunwald
Written by Terence Rattigan
Anatole de Grunwald
Music by Nicholas Brodszky
Cinematography Bernard Knowles
Edited by Alan Jaggs
Release dates
28 July 1944
Running time
89 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

English Without Tears is a 1944 British comedy film directed by Harold French and starring Michael Wilding, Penelope Dudley-Ward and Lilli Palmer.[1] It was also released under the title Her Man Gilbey.


Lady Christabel Beauclark (Margaret Rutherford), an english aristocrat, has become a fanatic bird fancier. She is a delegate of the British empire at the League of Nations in Geneva, where she is engaged in a crusade to secure the territorial rights for her beloved British birds, in both Britain and abroad. While she is occupied with this somewhat odd mission, her niece, Joan Heseltine (Penelope Dudley-Ward), has become more and more affectionate towards the family butler, Tom Gilbey (Michael Wilding), who accompanies the delegation in Geneva, to the point of falling head over heels for him. When the Great War starts, Lady Christabel has to give up her quest for the birds' rights, and instead focus on the war at home. The butler, who was quite indifferent to Joan's affections for him, finds himself falling in love with her. Lady Christabel gets her hands full sorting out this unwanted love affair, when the affections of the young woman is no longer unrequited.[2] Joan Heseltine, once a proud woman teaching english to a big class of men, becomes through her love to the butler's son, who during war becomes major a timid and submissive woman working in the army as a typist for him. As if the war not only changed the order of social classes but also reversed the order of sexes in a very rude way he shows all the power of his major job. At New Years Eve in the house of Lady Christabel Beauclark, where a big celebration with the United Nations is held finally Joan and Tom meet on the same level: he apologizing for his rudeness, she telling him he's out of reach, and the final kiss uniting them.



  1. ^ "English without Tears". BFI. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  2. ^ RitaRisque (22 December 1944). "Her Man Gilbey (1944)". IMDb. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 

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