7.0/10
169
7 user 3 critic

The Good Companions (1933)

Musical taken from J.B. Priestley's novel about three musicians joining together to save a failing concert party, the Dinky Doos.

Director:

Victor Saville
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

It is pouring with rain at one minute to midnight on Friday the thirteenth, and the driver of a London bus is peering through his blurred windshield as his vehicle sails down an empty road.... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Muriel Aked
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A touring variety troupe, the "Dinky Doos" are in financial trouble. An encounter with three strangers - Inigo Jollifant (a romantic, song-writing ex-schoolmaster), Miss Trant (a ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Eric Portman, Celia Johnson, Hugh Griffith
Gangway (1937)
Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Newspaper reporter becomes involved with gang of crooks who take her for a tough American gangster.

Director: Sonnie Hale
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Barry MacKay, Nat Pendleton
Climbing High (1938)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Wealthy young man Nicky (Sir Michael Redgrave) pretends to be poor to be close to model Diana (Jesse Matthews) though he's nearly engaged to aristocrat Lady Constance (Margaret Vyner).

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Michael Redgrave, Noel Madison
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During World War II, an American travels to Britain to sell an old house near London that belongs to his family. However, he meets Leslie Trimble who lives in the house and who is ... See full summary »

Directors: Edmund Goulding, Cedric Hardwicke, and 5 more credits »
Stars: George Kirby, Doreen Munroe, May Beatty
Evergreen (1934)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Harriet Green, a beloved and radiant music hall star of the Edwardian era, has a guilty secret: She has a baby daughter, born out of wedlock. Harriet leaves her public and flees to South ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Betty Balfour
Sailing Along (1938)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Kay, who works on a Thames River barge, and Steve are secretly in love with each other but do their best to hide it. Kay wants desperately to be a music-hall star and Steve wants to be a ... See full summary »

Director: Sonnie Hale
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Barry MacKay, Jack Whiting
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The rich widow Leila disguises herself as a maid and falls in love with her employer Fergus who is a rich Canadian bachelor. Their wealth depends on each getting married within the next year. Whose fooling who in this comedy love affair?

Director: Sinclair Hill
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Ian Hunter, Frederick Kerr
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A businessman's daughter runs away from an arranged marriage, only to find herself penniless and suspected of theft after she becomes the victim of a bag thief in the train. When she ... See full summary »

Director: Albert de Courville
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Owen Nares, Carol Goodner
Black Friday (1940)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dr. Sovac transplants the brain of a gangster into his professor friend's body to save his life, but there is a side effect that causes a dangerous split personality.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Stanley Ridges
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Elaine Bradford is a young singer and dancer, looking for her big break. Peter Carlton is a gossip columnist facing a deadline and a blank page. So, Peter invents "Mrs. Smythe-Smythe", a ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Robert Young, Sonnie Hale
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Cafe entertainer has ambition, but teams with a disloyal partner, throwing her career and her love life into disarray.

Director: Sonnie Hale
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Louis Borel, Robert Flemyng
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessie Matthews ... Susie Dean
Edmund Gwenn ... Jess Oakroyd
John Gielgud ... Inigo Jollifant
Mary Glynne ... Miss Elizabeth Trant
Percy Parsons Percy Parsons ... Morton Mitcham
A.W. Baskcomb ... Jimmy Nunn
Florence Gregson Florence Gregson ... Mrs. Oakroyd
Frank Pettingell ... Sam Oglethorpe
Lawrence Hanray Lawrence Hanray ... Mr. James Tarvin (as Laurence Hanray)
Annie Esmond Annie Esmond ... Mrs. James Tarvin
George Zucco ... Fauntley
Harold Meade Harold Meade ... Solicitor
J. Fisher White J. Fisher White ... Vicar
Muriel Aked Muriel Aked ... Vicar's Wife
Arnold Riches Arnold Riches ... Hilary
Edit

Storyline

Musical taken from J.B. Priestley's novel about three musicians joining together to save a failing concert party, the Dinky Doos.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1935 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

The Good Companions See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of Max Miller (Millbrau). Although he had been a major star of music-hall variety since the mid 1920s, his material was judged too blue for broadcast, and his machine-gun delivery unsuited to early sound. See more »

Connections

Featured in Heroes of Comedy: Max Miller (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Me Give My Happiness to You
(uncredited)
Music by George Posford
Lyrics by Douglas Furber
Sung by Jessie Matthews
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
magical film
3 March 2001 | by bensonjSee all my reviews

Jessie Matthews made a number of very charming British musicals during the thirties. (One of the better ones, FIRST A GIRL, an early version of VICTOR/VICTORIA, has just been released on video.) But THE GOOD COMPANIONS is not a musical, although it has musical sequences, nor is it really a Matthews vehicle, though she's prominently featured and outstanding.

It's a marvellous adaptation of J. B. Priestly's story of three individuals who are prodded by events into taking to the open road and who subsequently meet up with each other and a small troupe of entertainers called the Dinky Doos. The introductory sequence for each of the characters is delightful and meticulously detailed. Perhaps the best is Edmund Gwenn's; after a lifetime with the company he is sacked and decides to leave his shrewish wife. Gwenn has a wonderful great thick Midlands accent here; when checking a car that won't start, he finds the problem to be "mooky ploogs" (mucky spark plugs). This short sequence is so detailed, with characters so fully drawn (including a young Jack Hawkins) it could have made up a whole film. John Gielgud (in his first film) is a master at a threadbare school run by a tight-lipped puritanical battle-ax, who catches him mimicking her husband. Mary Glynne has spent her life nursing her invalid father; when he dies she decides to spend her small inheritance on the road before accepting a life of drudgery. Each of the three have amusing adventures on the road (some delightful plot construction here) before all winding up in the same tea room with the stranded Dinky Doos. They all decide, over a shared evening meal, to join together and form a new group called "The Good Companions." As they travel around England, Jessie Matthews (one of the Doos) gets larger and larger billing. (At first, one thinks she'll be a minor player in this early film, since she's not "featured" in the early group scenes, but it seems to have been a creative decision to have the most important character gradually insinuate herself into the film.) Finally, Gielgud gets music publisher-impresario Finlay Currie ("Me, in person, not a moving picture") to see the show, and, after further complications, Matthews and Gielgud are headed for the big time.

In so many of her films, Matthews plays an ingenue waiting to be discovered, and never for a moment does one feel that this is a writer's convention as is so often the case (think Joan Crawford's "dancing" being discovered in DANCING LADY). Jessie Matthews' ability and magnetism are so evident there's just no question that when the right person finally sees her perform her star quality will be instantly recognized. This was never more true than in THE GOOD COMPANIONS, where Matthews' vitality, youth, sex appeal and talent absolutely light up the film! Like every aspect of this film, the romance between Gielgud and Matthews is remarkable to behold.

She's so strong willed, so incandescent, Gielgud seems almost afraid to burn his fingers, yet dares to hold his own.

As with only the finest fairy tale fantasies, this is absolutely grounded in the real world, filled with sharp, rich characterizations and the details of its time and place. The episodic plot is sentimental yet honest, romantic yet realistic. The performances, from major to minor players, are uniformly excellent. But it's Priestly's story and Victor Saville's superb direction that make this a special experience. The film has a miraculous quality about it, a mysterious perfection that's like no other film I can think of. Of the thousands of films I've seen in the last fifty years this one of my very favorites. I've seen it twice theatrically and am eagerly looking forward to the video release so I can watch it again and again.


32 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed