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Traveller's Joy

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Traveller's Joy
Original trade ad by Eric Pulford
Directed byRalph Thomas
Screenplay byAllan McKinnon
Bernard Quayle
Based onplay Traveller's Joy by Arthur Macrae
Produced byAntony Darnborough
associate
Alfred Roome
StarringGoogie Withers
John McCallum
Maurice Denham
CinematographyJack Cox
Len Harris
Edited byJean Barker
Music byArthur Wilkinson
Production
company
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
26 December 1950 (Sweden)
28 March 1951 (London) (UK)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget£120,000[1]
Box office£68,000 (by 1953)[2]

Traveller's Joy is a 1949 British comedy film directed by Ralph Thomas and starring Googie Withers, John McCallum and Maurice Denham. Based on a West End play of the same name by Arthur Macrae, it was the last film released by the original Gainsborough Pictures.[3]

Premise

With extensive restrictions on how much foreign exchange British travellers can take outside the realm (then £5), a variety of English men and women are trapped in Stockholm in the very expensive country of Sweden. These include Bumble and her estranged husband Reggie.

As each struggle with their hotel bills they try to trick others into paying, but as the hardship is widespread the group begins to grow with no-one having the cash to resolve the issue.

The ladies try to trick various men into helping and vice versa.

The problem is ultimately resolved by a Swedish citizen offering accommodation in return for a reciprocal arrangement when he visits Britain. Meanwhile the various couples regroup.

Cast

Production

The film was based on a West End play by Andrew Macrae about Englishmen travelling in Europe and the problems experienced by them due to post-war currency restrictions.[4] It premiered at the Criterion on 2 June 1948 starring Yvonne Arnaud and produced by Hugh Beaumont; it was a smash hit, running for two years. Clement Attlee saw the play while he was Prime Minister.[5]

Sydney Box bought the film rights while head of Gainsborough Pictures. The film starred John McCallum and Googie Withers, who had recently married. "We think, it Is an excellent idea to work together," said John.[6] It was the first of a three-picture contract Withers signed with Sydney Box.[7] The job of directing was given to Ralph Thomas, who had just made two comedies for Box, Once Upon a Dream and Helter Skelter.

John McCallum came down with jaundice during filming and had to take a week off.[8] This caused filming to be suspended for a week, costing the production £12,000.[9] However the film was completed half a day under schedule.[10]

Release

Under the terms of the film right contracts, the movie of Traveller's Joy was not allowed to be released until the play finished running. This held up release for over two years.[1][11] By the time it came out, the topicality of the subject matter had passed and the film was a box office disappointment.[12]

Critical reception

Allmovie wrote, "one suspects that the stage play upon which Travellers Joy was based was slightly more subtle than the film version. Whatever the case, door-slamming farce was really not the forte of either McCallum or Withers, and before long they returned to the heavy drama they did best."[13]

References

  1. ^ a b "Invisible". Sunday Times (Perth) (2733). Western Australia. 16 July 1950. p. 20 (Sporting Section). Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ Andrew Spicer, Sydney Box Manchester Uni Press 2006 p 211
  3. ^ "Production of Travellers' Joy | Theatricalia".
  4. ^ "Mr. Menzies Abroad 3 Travelling Is Not All Joy". The Advertiser (Adelaide). 91 (28067). South Australia. 21 September 1948. p. 2. Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "Britain's Election May Be Bitterest In History". The Advertiser (Adelaide). 92 (28, 474). South Australia. 12 January 1950. p. 2. Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "FEMININE INTEREST". Warwick Daily News (9124). Queensland, Australia. 1 November 1948. p. 3. Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Talking of TALKIES". Truth (2543). Queensland, Australia. 19 December 1948. p. 24. Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "In Brief". The Newcastle Sun (9689). New South Wales, Australia. 20 January 1949. p. 6. Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Jaundice Holds Up Film Set". Brisbane Telegraph. Queensland, Australia. 25 January 1949. p. 5 (STUMPS). Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "FILM NEWS". Western Star (6302). Queensland, Australia. 25 March 1949. p. 3. Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "MISS DONLAN MAKES PROGRESS". The Australian Women's Weekly. 18 (7). Australia. 22 July 1950. p. 42. Retrieved 31 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ Spicer p 124
  13. ^ "Traveller's Joy (1951) - Ralph Thomas - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".
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