Isn't Life Wonderful! (1953 film)

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Isn't Life Wonderful!
Directed by Harold French
Produced by Warwick Ward
Starring Cecil Parker
Eileen Herlie
Donald Wolfit
Peter Asher
Music by Philip Green
Cinematography Erwin Hillier
Edited by Edward B. Jarvis
Distributed by Associated British-Pathé
Release dates
16 November 1953
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £97,710[1]

Isn't Life Wonderful! is a 1953 British comedy film directed by Harold French.

<From CTC Gazette October 1953, with permission> 'One of those pleasant English screen comedies that ripple along to their happy endings through a series of boisterous situations in which nobody really comes to any harm - the sort of thing you either like very much or not at all - has been built around the delights of bicycling in the early days of the [20th] century. The film is due for general release on 16 November 1953, appearing first in cinemas in North-West London. "Isn't Life Wonderful", which is the title of the film and of a hummable open-air song that it features, is based on the novel "Uncle Willie's Bicycle Shop" [sic] [Brock Williams, Harrap, London 1948]. It tells the story of an Edwardian family who are exasperated by their "grey sheep" Uncle Willie (Donald Wolfit) who spends his time idling, with a bottle and glass for company. Determined that he shall work for his living, they set him up in a cycle business, and he very soon has half the town - not to mention his "respectable" relatives - falling good and hard for the latest rage, bicycling. Even the stern sire of the family (played by Cecil Parker) is at length won over to the new pastime, and quite a bit of screen time is entertainingly occupied with his unrewarding efforts to de-crate the cycle his wife (Eileen Herlie) has given him as a birthday present. Peter Asher as The Boy ("If I could have a bicycle, I would be good for ever and ever"), and Dianne Foster as an American visitor who tandems with her English boy-friend, are among a gay cast who, in a number of picturesque outdoor cycling sequences, romp through a Technicolor countryside on black bicycles. The bicycles are Phillips's - specially made by the Birmingham firm, who stopped normal production for three days while they concentrated on the "old" machines, and who co-operated in the building and stocking of The Bicycle Shop on the set at Elstree. The cycles will be on view at dealers and cinema displays in several towns, and Phillips hopes to welcome the stars of the film on their stand at the Earls Court Show. HJW'



  1. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p502

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