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Aunt Clara (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aunt Clara
UK theatrical poster
Directed byAnthony Kimmins
Written byKenneth Horne
Based onAunt Clara
by Noel Streatfeild
Produced byColin Lesslie
Anthony Kimmins
StarringRonald Shiner
Margaret Rutherford
A. E. Matthews
Fay Compton
CinematographyC.M. Pennington-Richards
Edited byGerald Turney Smith
Music byBenjamin Frankel
Distributed byBritish Lion Films
Release date
22 November 1954
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Aunt Clara is a 1954 British comedy film starring Margaret Rutherford as a woman who inherits a number of shady businesses from a relative. Ronald Shiner, A. E. Matthews, and Fay Compton are also featured. The film was based on the 1952 novel of the same name by author Noel Streatfeild, and directed by Anthony Kimmins for London Films.[1] It was shot at Shepperton Studios near London. The film's sets were designed by the art director Paul Sheriff.

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Clara Hilton is a shrewd, but kindly old lady mostly ignored by the rest of her family. When her cantankerous uncle Simon dies, he unexpectedly leaves her the bulk of his considerable estate - his house, six racing greyhounds, a crooked game, a pub and a brothel - because she alone would see to the well-being of those dependent on him. Clara keeps Simon's valet Henry Martin on to assist her.

Henry and Cyril and Maggie Mason, who run the pub, try to keep her from seeing what kind of business they are running, but she quickly finds out. She also discovers that Simon's "natural daughter" Julie Mason, to whom he left £20 a month for life, has disappeared. Clara decides to have her solicitor Charles Willis try to find her, only to discover he met Julie at the funeral and is dining with her that very evening.

Then she learns that Fosdick, the man operating the crooked Gambler's Luck wheel of fortune, will be at Epsom Downs, so she goes to meet him. With the police closing in, Fosdick hastily departs, leaving Clara in charge of the game. She and Henry are taken into custody. Charles clears up the matter.

Next, Alfie and Lily Pearce deceive Clara into believing that the greyhounds they are training for her are champions, the furthest thing from the truth.

When Charles finds out the Masons have not given Julie her monthly allowance, they all go to give the Masons the opportunity to explain themselves. In private, Cyril Mason tells Charles that they kept the money because Julie has no morals. Charles punches him. Later, he and Julie marry.

Clara puts on a fundraiser for a children's holiday fund, but the donations are meagre. Henry unexpectedly presents the patrons the opportunity to play Gambler's Luck. Afterward, Clara gives the game to Fosdick, on the understanding that he send half the winnings to her charity.

At the greyhound races, Alfie substitutes a champion for his perennial loser, but Clara feeds the animal hot dogs beforehand, causing him to fade, and costing Alfie and Henry £25 each, plus a £20 cup. Clara, on the other hand, wins her bet. Later, she reimburses the pair for their losses, and anticipates that Alfie will play fair from now on.

Finally, Clara goes to see brothel-owner Gladys Smith. She and her girls are getting on in years and will not be able to ply their trade for very much longer. Clara reveals that she does not have much longer to live, and they are the last responsibility Uncle Simon left her. After Clara dies, her will leaves the women the house and funds to support them, and the pub goes to Henry.



'Britmovie' wrote that the film "fails to catch fire despite its undoubted charm. Margaret Rutherford plays the eponymous lead but for once her dotty spinster persona is understated and the film contains a suffocating melancholic tone that only resolves itself at the films moving closure";[2] while TV Guide observed "a charming film dotted with cameos by noted British comics."[3]


  1. ^ "Aunt Clara (1954) - film review". Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Aunt Clara 1954". Britmovie | Home of British Films. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Aunt Clara Review". Retrieved 23 June 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 3 September 2022, at 17:54
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