Spring in Park Lane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Spring in Park Lane
Spring in Park Lane.jpg
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Produced by Herbert Wilcox
Written by Nicholas Phipps
Based on Come Out of the Kitchen
by Alice Duer Miller
Starring Anna Neagle
Michael Wilding
Tom Walls
Peter Graves
Cinematography Max Greene
Distributed by British Lion Film Corporation
Release date
17 March 1948
Running time
91 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office ₤358,788 (UK)[1]

Spring in Park Lane is a 1948 British romantic comedy film directed by Herbert Wilcox.


The film tells the story of a footman, Richard, played by Michael Wilding, who is employed by Joshua Howard (Tom Walls), an eccentric art collector. His niece and secretary, Judy (Anna Neagle), has her doubts that Richard is the footman he pretends to be. In reality he is Lord Brent, brother of one of Judy's suitors, the Marquis of Borechester (Nicholas Phipps).

He went to America to sell some old paintings to restore the family fortunes but on the way back receives a message that the cheque he was given for the paintings is invalid. He decides to hide until he can save enough money to return to America, and assumes the identity of a footman. He and Judy fall in love, and as he is about to return to America they discover that the purchaser's cheque is valid after all.


Released two years after the peak year for cinema attendances in the United Kingdom,[2] it nevertheless was substantially more successful than other contemporary releases, becoming the most successful film release of 1948 in the United Kingdom.[3] In a 2004 survey by the BFI it was rated 5th in the all-time attendance figures for the United Kingdom, with total attendance of 20.5 million, still the largest figure for a wholly British made film.[4][5][6]

Reviews were generally positive, Variety said, "incident upon incident carry merry laughter through the picture".[7] and The New York Times described it as "attractively witty".[8]

A follow up, Maytime in Mayfair, was released the following year.

One memorable scene presents a group of elders sitting around a garden table playing cards. One, with a droopy moustache and a slow, deep voice, announces "That reminds me of a story"...and proceeds to tell an endless joke about "two chaps", during which he cannot remember which chap says what, and keeps going around in circles saying "And um..um..." and laughing aloud at the joke he will never finish.


Robert Farnon provides the soundtrack, his light orchestral version of the folk tune Early One Morning proving particularly popular at the time.


  1. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000
  2. ^ BFI Releases list of the top 100 most-seen films Reel Classics, retrieved 28 May 2007
  3. ^ "THE STARRY WAY.". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 8 January 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Screenonline, Spring in Park Lane BFI Screenonline, retrieved 27 May 2007
  5. ^ Gone With The Wind tops the list of 100 most-watched films of all time Yorkshire Post, retrieved 28 May 2007
  6. ^ The Ultimate Film: Researching the Chart IFF, retrieved 28 May 2007
  7. ^ Variety review Variety, retrieved 28 May 2007
  8. ^ New York Times review The New York Times, retrieved 27 May 2007

External links[edit]