User Reviews (3)

Add a Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    Anna Neagle plays Peg an Irish singer who is persuaded by her friend Michael(Jack Hawkins) to travel from Dublin to travel to London ,in 1733,to find their fortunes and marry.However Michael is quite feckless and finds other rich women to make love to.Peg manages to get into the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane and gets to meet the producer Mr Rich(Hay Petrie)who casts her in a small part in a show.The main star is David Garrick(Cedric Hardwicke) who champions her cause.eventually she becomes one of the top stars.Michael sees her on stage and tries to force his affections on her,which she rejects.In a pub later on,for some reason Neagle is dressed like a man.She sees Michael making love to another woman and snorts her derision.As a result a duel ensues.Neagle is not hurt in the sword fight but faints.Thinking her wounded Garrick takes her to a doctor who diagnoses a serious heart condition.He warns her that she must not act again.however she ignores the advice and dies on stage.This film,scripted by Miles Malleson is clearly trying to trade on the success of Nell Gwynn but fails miserably to do so.There is no great chemistry between Neagle and Hardwicke which of course is a highlight of Nell Gwynn.The film is padded out with extracts from plays and Shakespeare.Neagle yet again uses that excruciating excuse for an Irish accent.In all sad to say it is rather a yawn.
  • Anyone who claims that anything directed by an 'auteur' is automatically more worthy of your time than a film by a mere 'metteur en scene' should be forced to spend all eternity watching 'A Song is Born' and 'Donovan's Reef' at least three times a day.

    Having endured so many dreary films directed by Herbert Wilcox, I am prepared to concede him at least two decent films: this and 'Laughing Anne' (1953). I saw 'Nell Gwynn' (1934) about twenty-five years ago and was very unimpressed with it; and and have always been more interested in seeing this. Today I finally got my wish and it proved a double-whammy: a sequel better than the original and an enjoyable film by Mr Wilcox. It can happen!
  • Herbert Wilcox assembled a pretty strong cast for this historical romance. Anna Neagle is the eponymous "Peg" who comes to London from Ireland with her beau "Michael" (Jack Hawkins). He promptly dumps her and she decides to make a career on the stage. With the assistance of impresario David Garrick (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) she is an huge success wowing crowds at the famous "Theatre Royal" in Drury Lane - and enticing Garrick to fall for her... Her success brings back the now unwanted attentions of her erstwhile beau and also some serious health issues at which point the story becomes a touch too melodramatic. It is fortunate that much of this is set in/around the theatre as the performances are very much in that mould - intentionally or not. Small sets, narrow-focus photography and jauntily composed music keep this jolly drama rolling along well enough, though the dialogue meanders at times. There are some quite decent visual effects here, for 1935, too.