This Happy Breed Reviews
Despite its dramatic sweep, film is best appreciated as a comedy. But critics have to take it more seriously!
Reflects the conventional attitudes of the English lower middle class. At the General Strike Reg, the Left-leaning son, is soon straightened out by his insufferable father while his Socialist friend also sees the error of his ways and settles down to a humdrum middle-class existence that is seen as the ultimate goal.
Almost a soap opera. Pity it skirts over the real inter-war issues. It doesn't challenge the conventions. It could have shown the effects of the War on this generation but obviously just wants to paint a superficial picture. A cuppa solves everything. This sort of thing would eventually be the fodder of TV.
Coronation Street for the pre-TV generation (though not as good).
John Mills, Celia Johnson and the ever-reliable Stanley Holloway stand out.
Writing in his diary just before he died, Richard Burton characterised Noel Coward (on whose 1939 play the film is based) as a lovely man who sadly had a "slight mind". That helps me understand the lost opportunity here to put the inter-war years in some sort of real perspective. But it also makes me wonder how the same team a couple of years later produced the masterpiece that is