A chronicle of a London family from 1919 to 1939. WW I veteran Frank Gibbons moves to a house in the suburbs with his wife Ethel, their three children, his sister-in-law and Ethel’s mother. The family goes through a series of small dramas and real tragedies. When it’s time to move again, another war looms … The film, which premiered in the last year of WW II, is an excellent example of the realistic use of Technicolor in British film. As production supervisor Anthony Havelock-Allan said, “otherwise it would seem a small, grey play about a small, grey family that would look like a small grey film”. He got help from cinematographer Ronald Neame who aimed “to take the glory out of Technicolor and use colour in a new way, making the colours seem drab rather than bright”. Despite his bright lighting (“lighting for Technicolor is rather like drawing with a piece of charcoal after having got used to a very fine pencil”), the colours appear dusky. Colour accents come from the splendid women’s hats, Christmas decorations, the flags in a military parade and the golden dome of a mock Indian temple at the British Empire Exhibition, which is the only bright spot in the existence of the Gibbons.
United Kingdom 1944, 111 min