In 1938 England a bank holiday was an early weekend and a chance to get out of town and enjoy a fun holiday. When this movie was shown in the U.S., the name was changed, because here in the States in 1938, so soon after the 1929 Stock Market Crash and the beginning of the Great Depression, a bank holiday was anything but fun. In the States when a bank closed for a ‘bank holiday,’ it meant that the bank had lost all of its money . . . . Or should I say YOUR money . . . . . and would possibly never open again.
But today our time-travel adventure in motion pictures takes us back to pre-World War Two England when a six day work week was the norm. On this bank holiday, all of the business in London comes to a halt at noon on Saturday, with half the work day off to get away for some weekend fun.
We will follow three sets of characters as they jam onto the trains headed for the seashore. Doreen and Milly are two young girls from a small town who are heading for the seashore with a purpose. Doreen is entered in the Daily Post newspaper beauty pageant and she desperately wants to win the fifteen hundred pound prize and be crowned Miss England.
Art, May, and their three young children are on their way out of the humdrum of family life for a bit of adventure and fun at the seashore. Then we meet Catherine ‘Cat’ Lawrence, played by matinée star Margaret Lockwood, and Geoffrey, played by Hugh Williams.
Cat is a nurse at a local hospital and Geoffrey works in an office somewhere in London. They are desperately in love, and would love to get married, but they cannot afford to get hitched. They both support their families and their money just doesn’t stretch far enough to permit starting a new life and family together.
As a result, they have decided to go to the seashore on this long holiday weekend and pretend to be man and wife, staying together at the luxurious Grand Hotel, consummating their love for each other. This sounds like the makings for a fine romantic weekend at the seashore, so you are possibly wondering about the teaser title for this review, eh? The ominous words were written by the poet Shelly, and you will see them again in the story at the proper time. Until then, pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Director: Carol Reed
Stars: John Lodge, Margaret Lockwood, Hugh Williams