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Adelphi Films

About Adelphi Films

Adelphi Films was a small British company run by Arthur Dent and his sons that produced more than thirty films in the 1940s and 1950s from crime pictures and musicals to colourful melodramas and slapstick comedies. Peter Sellers, Sid James, Diana Dors, Petula Clark, Ronnie Corbett, Rolf Harris, and Prunella Scales are just some of the many well-loved performers who appeared before Adelphi’s cameras early on in their careers.

A Ray of Sunshine: An Irresponsible Medley of Song and Dance (1950)

Comedy/Musical/Variety show/60 mins/black & white/HD

Director: Horace Shepherd

Cast: Ted Ray, Lucille Gaye, Anita, and Armand, Ivy Benson's All-Girl Band, Patrick Jordan, Eric Messiter

A nostalgic look at the lost days of British variety compered by the great Ted Ray featuring rare footage of routines from stars of the day, many of whom are still well known with niche followings.

Bless ‘Em All (1948)

Musical/Comedy/War/79 mins/black & white/SD

Director: Robert Jordan Hill

Cast: Hal Monty, Max Bygraves, Les Ritchie, Stan White, Patricia Linova, Jack Milroy, Sybil Amiel

The film is about three men who meet when they are called up for the Second World War and fight together in the Battle of France. A boisterous army comedy celebrating bygone days of wartime camaraderie - with a dozen rousing songs, a pie fight in a camp kitchen and an early appearance by Max Bygraves, in his screen debut. It also features distinctive burnt-in French and Dutch subtitles. It is currently the only film copy known to exist.

Comin’ thro’ the Rye' (1947)

Biopic/Drama/56 mins/black & white/HD

Director: Walter C. Mycroft

Cast: Terence Alexander, Patricia Burleigh, Beryl Bowen, Olivia Barley, Sylvia Abbott

A brisk and a rousing biopic of Robert Burns, punctuated by songs and poems based on his famous works. Robert Burns is the best-loved Scottish poet, admired not only for his verse and great love-songs but also for his character, his high spirits, hard-drinking and womanising. Burns is played by Terence Alexander (in his first film role), the prolific actor best known for his inclusion in The League of Gentlemen (1960).

Death Is a Number (1951)

Horror/ 50 mins/ black & white/ SD

Director: Robert Henryson

Cast: Terence Alexander, Denis Webb, Lesley Osmond, Ingeborg von Kusserow, Peter Gawthorne, Isabel George

The gothic and occult drama revolves around a numerologist relating the family history of his friend, racing driver John Bridgnorth, whose death may have been the final act of an ancient family curse.

Don’t Blame the Stork (1954)

Comedy/80 mins/black & white/SD

Director: Ákos Ráthonyi

Cast: Veronica Hurst, Ian Hunter, Reginald Beckwith, Patricia Laffan, Brenda de Banzie, Harry Fowler, Thora Hird, Mark Daly, Howard Marion-Crawford, Avril Angers

When Sir George Redway, a famous actor, makes the public boast that he loves babies, a baby is promptly abandoned on his doorstep, and he is forced to take it in. Katie O’Connor pretends to be the child's mother in order to be near the actor. Complications develop involving Lillian Angel, Redway's fiancée, her admirer Captain Fluffy Faversham, and Katie's father, who suspects the worst of Sir George and his daughter. Eventually, the real mother of the baby returns to collect her child, all is resolved, and romance blossoms between Katie and Sir George.

Father and Son: Twice Branded (1936)

Crime/Drama/ 72 mins/ black & white/ HD

Director: Maclean Rogers

Cast: Robert Rendel, Lucille Lisle, James Mason, Eve Gray, Mickey Brantford, Ethel Griffies, Isobel Scaife, Paul Blake

A bank clerk takes the blame for a theft which he believes was committed by his ex-convict father. A gripping and cutting-edge drama about the impact that a prison sentence has on a middle-class well-to-do family, the film stars a young James Mason in an early role.

Fun at St Fanny's (1955)

Comedy/ 80 mins/ black & white/ HD

Director: Maurice Elvey

Cast: Fred Emney, Cardew Robinson, Miriam Karlin, Gabrielle Brune, Vera Day, Aud Johansen, Claude Hulbert, Freddie Mills, Davy Kaye, Johnny Brandon, Ronnie Corbett, Roger Avon, Paul Daneman, Kynaston Reeves, Gerald Campion, Dino Galvani, Peter Butterworth, Francis Langford’s Singing Scholars

The vintage classroom comedy caper, starring radio favourite Cardew ‘The Cad’ Robinson and a host of familiar British film and television faces, revolves around the teachers and students of St Fanny's private school, particularly 25 year old Cardew the Cad who is still kept at the school for many years after he should have graduated so that the dishonest headmaster can claim his inheritance that comes from Cardew’s uncle will. Of course, the headmaster and the matron don’t let Cardew leave school.

Hands of Destiny (1954)

Drama/Documentary 61 mins/black & white/HD

Director: Anthony Young

Cast: Josef Ranald Ph. D., Terence Alexander, Hilda Fennimore, Asta Bredigand, Richard Burrell, Benedicta Leigh, Wendy Danielli, Bill Nagy,

Fascinating drama-documentary about the work of Dr. Josef Ranald, the World's master palm reader. He helps a woman in sorrow who searched her long-lost son. It includes true stories and studies of leading Nazi's hands – Hitler, Himmler, and Goering.

Intimate Relations (1953)

The film was known in the U.S. as Disobedient.

Drama/Romance 86 mins/black & white/SD

Director: Charles Frank

Cast: Harold Warrender, Marian Spencer, Ruth Dunning, William Russell, Elsie Albiin

Based on Jean Cocteau’s play Les Parents Terribles and considered outrageous on its release in 1953, the film explores the emotional upheavals in a middle-class French family caused by the son's falling in love with a girl, who has been his father's mistress. Family ties are stretched to breaking point, and the mother fears she'll lose her son as well as her husband.

Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary? (1953)

Comedy/80 mins/black & white/HD

Director: Maurice Elvey

Cast: Bonar Colleano, Diana Decker, David Tomlinson, Diana Dors, Sidney James, Audrey Freeman, Lou Jacobi, Warren Stanhope, Peter Butterworth, Charles Stanley

The film was based on Vivian Tidmarsh's 1944 West End hit play by the same name. Wonderful romantic bedroom farce sees US Navy airman Commander Laurie Vining hankering after a little rest and recreation with his new bride Gillian when his gorgeous ex-wife Candy Markham arrives insisting, they're still man and wife. Faithful confidant Hank Hanlon continually stirs things up and tries to keep order. Other lives that are changed forever by the intervention include lawyer Frank Betterton. The real gem of a film that was very successful on release and remains very popular today.

Law and Disorder (1940)

Crime/War/Melodrama 59 mins/black & white/SD

Director: David MacDonald

Cast: Alastair Sim, Barry K. Barnes, Diana Churchill, Edward Chapman, Ruby Miller, Austin Trevor, Leo Genn, Geoffrey Summer, Glen Alyn, Torin Thatcher, Carl Jaffe, Cathleen Nesbitt, Cyril Smith

On the eve of WWII, a young defense solicitor Larry, assisted by his high-spirited wife Janet, inveigles his way into a gang of petty criminals accused of sabotage.

Let’s Go Crazy (1951)

Comedy/Musical/Short/33 mins/black & white/HD

Director: Alan Cullimore

Cast: Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Wallas Eaton, Tommy Manley, Florence Austin, Keith Warwick, Jean Cavall, Pat Kaye, Betty Ankers, Maxin and Johnson, Freddie Mirfield, and his Garbage Men,

Let’s Go Crazy was shot in Brighton over the course of one week. This short musical featurette set in a sophisticated restaurant, combining variety of acts with linking comedy sketches. The strange diversity of various musicians, singers, dancers, and variety acts provide an interesting snapshot of club entertainment at the time.

Miss Tulip Stays the Night (1955)

Comedy/Crime/Thriller/ 68 mins/ black & white/HD

Director: Leslie Arliss

Cast: Diana Dors, Patrick Holt, Jack Hulbert, Cicely Courtneidge, A.E. Matthews, Joss Amber, Ida Patlanski, George Roderick, Brian Oulton, Ian Wilson, Archie Terry-Thomas

A crime writer and his wife stay at their new country holiday cottage, when a mysterious older lady arrives, to be shot by someone during the night of her stay. A novelist is accused of the crime and is forced to turn detective to defend himself. The Comedy-Thriller features the stunning Diana Dors as the amateur detective who beats the police to solve the murder in her country holiday cottage.

My Death is a Mockery (1952)

Crime/Drama/75 mins/black & white/SD

Director: Anthony Young

Cast: Donald Houston, Kathleen Byron, Bill Kerr, Eddie Leslie, Liam Gaffney, Kenneth Henry, Felix Felton, Sheila McCormack, Christopher Quest, Michael Voysey, Vincent Holman, Meadows White, Christmas Grose.

After being condemned to death, a man recounts the events that have brought him there. A struggling Brixham fisherman, he was persuaded by an Australian chancer to switch to smuggling brandy from the French coast. However, the murder of a policeman rapidly leads to things falling apart.

My Wife’s Lodger (1952)

Comedy/ 80 mins/ black & white/ HD

Director: Maurice Elvey

Cast: Dominic Roche, Olive Sloane, Leslie Dwyer, Diana Dors, Alan Sedgwick, Vincent Dowling, Vi Kaley, Martin Wyldeck, David Hannaford, Ilena Sylva, Ronald Adam, Wally Patch, Derek Tansley, Alastair Hunter, Toke Townley

A soldier comes home from the war expecting a warm welcome, but he finds that his wife had taken in a lodger during his absence, and now she and his somewhat dingy daughter seem to be paying much more attention to the lodger than to him.

Penny Points to Paradise (1951)

Comedy/Crime 77 mins/ black & white/ HD

Director: Anthony Young

Cast: Harry Secombe, Alfred Marks, Peter Sellers, Vicky Page, Paddy O'Neil, Spike Milligan, Bill Kerr, Freddie Frinton, Joe Linnane, Sam Kydd, Hazel Jennings, Patience Rentoul, Diana Leslie, Bob Bradfield, Felix Mendelssohn’s Hawaiian Serenaders

A madcap comedy about a pool winner on holiday at the seaside, who is targeted by a forger. The film was the feature film debut of the stars of The Goon Show, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, and Peter Sellers.

Song of Paris (1952)

(The film is known in the U.S. as Bachelor in Paris)

Comedy/ 80 mins/ black & white/ HD

Director: John Guillermin

Cast: Dennis Price Anne Vernon, Mischa Auer, Hermione Baddeley, Brian Worth, Joan Kenny

A fluffy farce about a famous French cabaret star who is rescued from embarrassment by a passing Englishman and sets out to marry him. The film flits between London and Paris whilst saucy humor and romantic tangles amongst the supporting cast beef up the action.

The Crowded Day (1954)

Comedy/Drama/ 82 mins/ black & white/ HD

Director: John Guillermin

Cast: Rachel Roberts, Sid James, Joan Rice, John Gregson, Dora Bryan, Prunella Scales, Thora Hird

The loves laugh, and tears of a group of salesgirls and their boyfriends in a big department store, Bunting and Hobbs, on one day during Christmas week. The bitter-sweet drama looks at the position of women in the 1950s, their dreams, and aspirations and the struggles they face in daily life.

The Great Game (1953)

Comedy Drama / 80 mins/ black & white/ HD

Director: Maurice Elvey

Cast: James Hayter, Thora Hird, Diana Dors, Sheila Shand Gibbs, John Laurie, Glyn Houston, Geoffrey Toone, Jack Lambert, Meredith Edwards, Alexander Gauge, Frank Pettingell, Glenn Melvyn

The sports comedy-drama looks at football and its politics in the 1950s. The wealthy chairman of First Division Football Club, Burnsville United, makes an unethical approach to a star player of another club, and the ensuing scandal costs him his job. Several professional football players made appearances in the film including Tommy Lawton.

The Happiness of Three Women (1954)

Comedy/Drama/78 mins/black & white/HD

Director: Maurice Elvey

Cast: Brenda De Banzie, Eynon Evans, Petula Clark, Donald Houston, Patricia Burke, Patricia Cutts, Bill O’Connor, Gladys Hay, Glyn Houston, Emrys Leyshon, Hugh Pryse, Jessie Evans, John Lewis, Mary Jones, Julie Milton, Eira Griffiths, Ronnie Harries

Petula Clarke stars in this charming romance directed by British stalwart Maurice Elvey. The Wishing Well Inn in rural Wales becomes the centre of love and intrigue when three troubled guests arrive and become subject to the manipulations of a conniving postman, who only has eyes for the landlady.

The Kilties are Coming (1951)

Documentary Musical/52 mins/black & white/SD

Director: Robert Jordan Hill

Cast: Peter Sinclair, The Royal Kiltie Juniors, Rosalie Lowe, Glenys Horton, Janet Burgess, McDonald Hobley,

This is an unusual film mixing song, dance, and documentary featuring The Royal Kiltie Juniors performing a variety show, and being interviewed by Peter Sinclair, while McDonald Hobley (well-known radio and TV presenter) speaks to their parents.

The Tell-Tale Heart (1953)

Horror/ 20 mins/ black & white/ HD

Director: J.B. Williams

Star: Stanley Baker

Based on the Edgar Allen Poe story first published in 1843 and featuring only one actor, the great Stanley Baker, this is the story of a murderer who buries a body of an old man under the floorboards and betrays himself by his obsession with the noise of the dead man's heartbeat.

Torment (also known as The Paper Gallows) (1953)

Thriller/ 68 mins/ black & white/ SD

Director: John Guillermin

Cast: Dermot Walsh, Rona Anderson, John Bentley, Michael Martin Harvey, Valentine Dunn, Dilys Laye

A story of two brothers, both writers of crime novels, one a fine, upstanding gentleman and the other a moody, neurotic, psychopath. One brother takes it upon himself to commit murders to give himself a feeling of reality. The other is determined to create a 'faked' version of a perfect crime he intends to commit when an ex-convict visits them. They are both in love with their shared-stenographer-secretary.

What Every Woman Wants (1955)

Drama/86 mins/black & white/HD

Director; Maurice Elvey

Cast: William Sylvester, Elsie Albiin, Brenda de Banzie, Patric Doonan, Dominic Roche, Joan Hickson, Brian Rix, Joan Sims, Beckett Bould, Prunella Scales, Douglas Ives, Edwin Richfield

A newly married couple has to live with the wife's parents and extended family in a small overcrowded house in the English Midlands. Complicating matters is the arrival of returning wounded soldier Jim whom the husband regards as a romantic rival.

You Lucky People! (1955)

Comedy/79 mins/black & white/HD

Director: Maurice Elvey

Cast: Tommy Trinder, Mary Parker, Dora Bryan, R.S.M. Brittain, James Copeland, Michael Kelly, Mark Singleton, Charles Rolfe, Rolf Harris, Rufus Cruickshank, Michael Trubshawe, Harold Goodwin, Mignon O’Doherty, Derek Prentice, Marcia Ashton

You Lucky People! pokes fun at the rigors of army life as it chronicles the exploits of an army surplus salesman who must serve two weeks in the reserve. There he must contend with a tough old sergeant-major whom he despises. The first-ever widescreen production in Britain.

  • Genre:
    Feature Films
  • Producer:
    Adelphi Films
  • Duration:
  • Format: