Good-Time Girl (April 28, 1948)
Released on April 28, 1948: A young girl in England runs away from an abusive home into a downward spiral of bad luck and crime.
Produced by Sidney Box
Directed by David MacDonald
Written by Muriel Box, Sydney Box, Arthur La Bern and Ted Willis.
The Actors: Jean Kent (Gwen Rawlings), Dennis Price (Michael 'Red' Farrell), Herbert Lom (Max Vine), Bonar Colleano (Micky Malone), Peter Glenville (Jimmy Rosso), Flora Robson (Miss Thorpe), George Carney (Mr. Rawlings), Beatrice Varley (Mrs. Rawlings), Hugh McDermott (Al Schwartz), Griffith Jones (Danny Martin), Amy Veness (Mrs. Chalk), Elwyn Brook-Jones (Mr. Pottinger), Orlando Martins (Kolly), Renee Gadd (Mrs. Parsons), Jill Balcon (Roberta), Joan Young (Mrs. Bond), Margaret Barton (Agnes), Jack Raine (Detective Inspector Girton), Nora Swinburne (Miss Mills), Diana Dors (Lyla Lawrence), George Merritt (Police Sergeant), Michael Hordern (Seddon), Garry Marsh (Mr. Hawkins), Harry Ross (Fruity Lee), Dorothy Vernon (Mrs. Chudd), Vera Frances (Edie Rawlings), June Byford (Joan Rawlings), John Blythe (Art Moody), Edward Lexy (Mr. Morgan), Phyl French (Sonia), Danny Green (smiling Billy), Noel Howlett (clerk), Mollie Palmer (reform school girl), Zena Marshall (Annie Farrell), Ilena Sylva (Ida), Betty Nelson (Connie), Rosalind Atkinson (doctor), Iris Vandeleur (lodger), Jane Hylton (Doris), Lionel Grose (Silver Slipper doorman), Arthur Hambling (Policeman at park gates), Tommy Duggan (military policeman), Dennis Harkin (pug), Jim O'Brady (Max's attacker), Wally Patch (bookie), Phyllis Stanley (Ida).
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The day before my 18th birthday I loaded all of my clothes and personal things into the old 1961 Plymouth and shook hands with my Dad. He put a bill in my hands that was a huge amount of money in my eyes, and was probably a very large amount of money to him as well. He wished me luck and said good-by. I was off to Bible College to become a preacher, and that was the last time I ever lived at home, returning only to visit occasionally. I had worked the final two years of high school at the Howard Johnson's restaurant on the Pennsylvania Turnpike at exit 10 in Somerset as a night shift cook on Fridays and Saturday nights. I had been able to save enough money to pay for my first year of college and a bit left over to start my own life. I needed to find full time work to support myself with, and always managed to find enough work to keep myself out of the gutter. Over the years few people would describe my life as 'easy,' but by the same token I always had 'enough,' and was always happy. After I decided that I wasn't going to be a preacher, and when my first wife and I got a divorce a few years later I officially became the 'black sheep' of the family. I'm confident that a couple of my sisters still believe that I'm headed for Hell in a hand basket, but there is nothing that I can do about that. I can only change and evolve who I am. I have no power to change what other people think of me, and what other people think of me is none of my business anyway. The same way that I cannot change anyone else, they have no power over me, either. I am the only one responsible for what I am today, and what I will be tomorrow. But I have felt several times over my life that the prayers of my Mother have followed me and protected me somehow when I was facing what could have been life-changing crises. Supposedly in the 1500's a British preacher named John Bradford said when looking at condemned criminals, "There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford." I have thought of this most of my life, and have always been grateful and happy for the path that I was on, and the ability to stay on the right side of the law. I feel very much like one of the writers of the New Testament who said something like, "By the grace of God I am what I am. I have worked harder than anyone else, but it wasn't my hard work that brought me to this place as much as it was His grace." (not an exact quote)
What happens to 16 year old Gwen Rawlings in this British movie about the rough side of life in 1948 shouldn't happen to a dog. Unfortunately, while this movie is undoubtedly fiction, there are young girls and boys around the globe that find themselves in a similar vortex of 'bad luck' and a downward spiral that seems to be out of their ability to control. I'm not sure yet where I stand on the plight of people that seem to be at the bottom of society through no fault of their own. I believe that we are all responsible for our choices, and just like one little bad choice can lead to a bigger bad choice, one better choice can lead to better choices and better days. But does everyone have the knowledge that they can choose something different? I watch Gwen make all of the wrong choices in this movie and I can clearly see the danger ahead at each turn, but at the same time I recognize that Gwen sees those same choices as the right thing to do. She isn't determined to create a life of crime, but each choice that takes her farther away from the straight and narrow seems to be her only choice.
Here's the question that I cannot yet answer - if you can, please contact me and enlighten me. I sincerely think about this and do not yet have the answer. Is there something that I can do, that any of us can do, to help someone change their destructive downward spiral before it consumes their life? I can only change me, but there should be something that I could do to positively effect someone who is on a destructive downward spiral . . . or is it none of my business. I don't know . . . do you?
Dennnis Price and Jean Kent
Flora Robson in 1948
Flora Robson and Diana Dors
George Carney and Jean Kent
Griffith Jones, Harry Ross and Jean Kent
Griffith Jones and Jean Kent
Herbert Lom and Jean Kent
Herbert Lom in 1948
Jean Kent and Beatrice Varley
Peter Glenville and Jean Kent
Peter Glenville in 1948