Ladies Who Do
|Ladies Who Do|
|Directed by||C.M. Pennington-Richards|
|Written by||Michael Pertwee (script)|
Harry H. Corbett
|Music by||Ron Goodwin|
Mrs. Cragg (Peggy Mount) works as a charwoman (part-time domestic servant) for retired Colonel Whitforth (Robert Morley) and as a cleaner at an office block in London. It is whilst doing her office cleaning that she retrieves a cigar discarded by financier James Ryder (Harry H. Corbett) as a gift for the Colonel, wrapping it in a scrap of paper. The Colonel discovers that the scrap of paper is actually a telegram containing details about a City takeover bid that has fallen through. He unscrupulously uses this insider information to make £5000 on the stock exchange, which he offers to share equally with Mrs. Cragg.
Though she does not understand what happened, she is convinced that he has done something wrong, so she goes to inform Ryder. However, before she can, she hears him on the telephone talking about his plan to demolish Pitt Street, evicting her and all her friends, so he can erect an office building. She argues with him, to no avail. He tells her, "If you want anything, you've got to go out and get it ... so long as it's legal." She takes his advice to heart.
Determined to foil Ryder's plan, she recruits three of her friends and neighbours in Pitt Street, fellow 'chars' who clean the offices of other noted financiers, to gather information. They form the company 'Ladezudu' ("Ladies Who Do"), a speculation syndicate headed by Whitforth. All goes well until they invest all of their capital, now £60,000, in an Irish pig producer, only to lose everything when an outbreak of swine fever kills the stock.
Meanwhile, Ryder and his partner Sydney Tait offer the residents of Pitt Street £100 each if they agree to move within a month. with very little success. Ryder desperately needs the office building project to succeed, otherwise he will be wiped out. Aware of Ryder's precarious finances, Tait dissolves their partnership. However, having lost everything, the ladies are unable to put up a fight when Ryder brings his demolition crew in. Then the Colonel brings news: when the pigs were buried, valuable "deposits" were discovered, meaning Ladezudu will recoup much more than their investment. Heartened, Mrs. Cragg organises stiff resistance, which convinces Ryder's investor Strang to withdraw from the project. The Colonel invites Ryder to his office to discuss selling out. There he meets the board of directors, the four charwomen, and realises how they obtained their information. The Colonel invites him to lunch to discuss Ryder joining the board. (After they all leave, an unknown man enters the room and starts going through their waste paper.)
- Peggy Mount as Mrs. Cragg
- Robert Morley as The Colonel
- Harry H. Corbett as James Ryder
- Miriam Karlin as Mrs. Higgins
- Avril Elgar as Emily Parish
- Dandy Nichols as Mrs. Merryweather
- Jon Pertwee as Sydney Tait
- Joan Benham as Miss Pinsent
- Ron Moody as Police Inspector (though character’s uniform is a Chief Superintendent)
- Cardew Robinson as Police Driver
- Nigel Davenport as Mr. Strang
- Arthur Howard as Chauffeur
- Ernest Clark as Stockbroker
- Tristram Jellinek as 2nd Stockbroker
- John Laurie as Dr. MacGregor
- Graham Stark as Foreman
- Brian Rawlinson as Shop Steward
- Harry Fowler as Drill Operator
- Bruce Wightman as Bulldozer Driver
- Arthur Mullard as Mr. Merryweather
- Ed Devereaux as Mr. Gubbins
- Marianne Stone as Mrs. Gubbins
- Raymond Smith as Hydraulic Shovel Driver
- Carol White as Sandra
- Barbara Mitchell as Rose
Ladies Who Do was released on DVD in the UK on 24 March 2008.
- Petrie, Duncan James (2017). "Bryanston Films : An Experiment in Cooperative Independent Production and Distribution" (PDF). Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television: 7. ISSN 1465-3451.