29 March 2010 | howardmorley
Vive la difference entre les Francais et les Anglais
I voted this film a very creditable 7/10 and was thoroughly entertained and amused by the good hearted and competing French vs English culture as it related to international fishing rights.The star of this film for me was Francoise Rosay who played a redoubtable Breton widow who has a son Yan, (played by that stalwart of British post war films which required a romantic French hero - Paul Dupuis).Francoise was born in 1891 and appeared in many French & English films and was perfectly cast as Lanec.She has some amusing battles with feisty Nat Pomeroy (Tom Walls) who is the local harbour master (and life boat volunteer) of a Cornish fishing town who has to keep an eye out for poaching French fishermen inside the English 3 mile fishing limit off the coast.
Nat, (a presumed widower), has an attractive daughter, Sue Pomeroy, played by the equally attractive Patricia Roc.Tom and Patricia had previously appeared together in "Love Story" (1944) with Margaret Lockwood and Stewart Granger which was also set in Cornwall.In the latter film Tom had an avuncular relationship with Patricia so these two actors very easily relaxed into their part of father and daughter in "Johnny Frenchman".Although Sue has been friends since childhood with Bob Tremayne (Ralph Michael) she is undecided whether she wants to marry him despite Bob's urging.
The action of "Johnny Frenchman" opens in March 1939 and leads up to June 1940.There is a scene in a Breton port where the French play host to "les Rosbifs" together with a wrestling match amongst the Cornish and Gallic fishermen where Yan breaks a bone whilst wrestling Bob, his love rival.Of course Sue has fallen for Yan and after a talk between Yan & Bob, (who has by now been called up into the navy), this is OK with Bob.All good natured stuff and I wondered whether Lanec and Nat would marry also as they seemed a perfect foil for each other.