English Without Tears

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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 date
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 Beauclerk (Margaret Rutherford), an English aristocrat, has become a fanatical 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 territorial rights for her beloved British birds in both Great 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 to Geneva, to the point of falling head over heels in love with him.

When World War Two breaks out, Lady Christabel has to give up her quest for the birds' rights and instead focus on the war at home. The butler, who was previously indifferent to Joan's affections for him, now finds himself falling in love with her. Lady Christabel has her hands full sorting out this unwanted love affair, when the affections of the young woman are no longer unrequited. Joan Heseltine, once a proud woman teaching English to a big class of men, becomes, as a result of her love for the butler's son - who during war becomes a Major in the British Army - a timid and submissive woman working in the army as a typist for him.[clarification needed] 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. On New Year's Eve, a big party is held in the house of Lady Christabel Beauclerk, where Joan and Tom meet up once again: he apologises for his former rudeness, she tells him he's out of reach, and the film ends with them kissing.



  1. ^ "English without Tears". BFI. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 

External links[edit]