Things Are Looking Up (June 9, 1935)

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Things Are Looking Up
 

Released on June 9, 1935: In England during the Great Depression the lady that owns a circus takes the place of her runaway twin sister who teaches at an all-girls school, with hilarious results.

Produced by Michael Balcon and Alexander Korda

Directed by Albert de Courville

The Actors: Cicely Courtneidge (Cicely Fytte, circus performer and Bertha Fytte, school teacher), Max Miller (Joey), William Gargan (Van Gaard), Vivien Leigh (schoolgirl), Mary Lawson (Mary Fytte), Mark Lester (chairman), Henrietta Watson (Miss McTavish, school headmistress), Cicely Oates (Miss Crabbe), Judy Kelly (Opal), Dick Henderson (Mr. Money), Dickie Henderson (Mr. Money's son), Charles Mortimer (Harry the ringmaster), Hay Plumb (Tennis Umpire), Danny Green (Big Black Fox), Suzanne Lenglen (Madame Bombard, tennis pro), Alma Taylor (schoolmistress), Wyn Weaver (Governor), Ian Wilson (drummer in the band)

 

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Things are Getting Better Every Day

When a hundred movie fans are asked about their memory of actress Vivien Leigh, all one hundred will mention her role as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind in 1939 . . . But four years earlier she was a young girl who got up at 5am every morning to get ready and travel to the Lime Grove motion picture studios to don the white school uniforms of a student in an all-girls school in this movie. Shooting began promptly at 6:30 am and she took her place among the other young ladies acting as students in the school. This was her first appearance on the big screen, and her first spoken words in a movie . . . and you are about to see them in this slapstick British comedy. You can see her in the group shots of the students if you have a sharp eye, but much later, as the circus performance has ended, you can watch Vivien Leigh in her distinctive black polka dot dress jump out of the crowd and exclaim, "If you are not made headmistress, I shan't come back next term." . . . The first appearance on screen and the first spoken words of the lady that would star in one of the top 5 motion pictures in the history of movies. Our slapstick comedy adventure takes place in Great Depression era England where we meet Cicely Fytte, played by British comedienne Cicely Courtneidge, who owns a struggling circus. Cicely has a twin sister Bertha who teaches at an all-girls school nearby and circumstances force the circus owner to pretend to be the school mistress for a while, leading to hilarious misadventures. There is a male music teacher at the school played by William Gargan . . . I'll tell you a bit about him later . . . and between the music teacher and the circus owner the school becomes a very unsophisticated place, albeit the madcap events are enjoyed by the young female students. Somehow Cicely is in the running to become the next headmistress . . . but how can the totally unschooled circus lady fool the aristocratic scholars . . . . Only with the help of the music teacher, played by William Gargan . . .In 1949 television was beginning to be popular in the larger cities, and in New York City a detective show was created that was broadcast live each week, like a live play, and the first Detective Martin Kane was none other than British actor William Gargan. You can watch a couple of those historic television shows here: http://free-classic-tv-shows.com/Cops-Detectives/Martin-Kane/ . . . But before you do that, pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy this show.

Charles Mortimer and Cicely Courtneidge
Charles Mortimer and Cicely Courtneidge
Cicely Courtneidge and Henrietta Watson
Cicely Courtneidge and Henrietta Watson
Cicely Courtneidge and Henrietta Watson
Cicely Courtneidge and Henrietta Watson
Cicely Courtneidge and William Gargan
Cicely Courtneidge and Henrietta Watson
Cicely Courtneidge
Cicely Courtneidge
Cecely Oates
Cecely Oates
Danny Green
Danny Green
Dick Henderson and Dickie Henderson
Dick Henderson and Dickie Henderson
Dick Henderson and Dickie Henderson
Dick Henderson and Dickie Henderson
Hay Plumb
Hay Plumb
Henrietta Watson and Cicely Oates
Henrietta Watson and Cicely Oates
Henrietta Watson and William Gargan
Henrietta Watson and William Gargan
Henrietta Watson
Henrietta Watson
Judy Kelly
Judy Kelly
Judy Kelly and Cicely Oates
Judy Kelly and Cicely Oates
Judy Kelly
Judy Kelly
Mary Lawson
Mary Lawson
Mary Lawson, Cicely Courtneidge and Max Miller
Mary Lawson, Cicely Courtneidge and Max Miller
Mary Lawson and Cicely Courtneidge
Mary Lawson and Cicely Courtneidge
Mary Lawson
Mary Lawson
Max Miller, Dick Henderson and Dickie Henderson
Max Miller, Dick Henderson and Dickie Henderson
Suzanne Lenglen and Cicely Courtneidge
Suzanne Lenglen and Cicely Courtneidge
Suzanne Lenglen
Suzanne Lenglen
Vivien Leigh in the polka dot dress and Cicely Courtneidge
Vivien Leigh in the polka dot dress and Cicely Courtneidge
William Gargan
William Gargan
William Gargan and Cicely Courtneidge
William Gargan and Cicely Courtneidge
William Gargan
William Gargan