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Josephine and Men

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Josephine and Men
British 1-sheet poster
Directed byRoy Boulting
Written byNigel Balchin
Frank Harvey
Roy Boulting
Produced byJohn Boulting
StarringGlynis Johns
Jack Buchanan
Donald Sinden
Peter Finch
CinematographyGilbert Taylor
Edited byMax Benedict
Music byJohn Addison
Charter Film Productions
Distributed byBritish Lion Films
Release date
  • 9 November 1955 (1955-11-09)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Josephine and Men is a 1955 British comedy film directed by Roy Boulting and starring Glynis Johns, Jack Buchanan, Donald Sinden and Peter Finch.[2] Produced by the Boulting Brothers it was shot at Shepperton Studios and distributed by British Lion Films.

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  • Joe's So Mean to Josephine (1996)



At the Parasites Club, the porter reminds club resident Charles Luton that his subscription is overdue. Charles asks to be reminded again later. He goes to the bar, where he tells the barman he is feeling besieged by all his lady friends. The barman suggests he should marry, but Charles says women are too hard to understand, giving as an example his niece, Josephine. Charles depicts her as overly soft-hearted, with a lifelong desire to rescue lame ducks. As an adult, this has translated into falling for weak, shiftless men and trying to "save" them.

Charles is relieved, therefore, when Josephine becomes engaged to a successful businessman, financier Alan Hartley. But then Alan introduces her to his old school chum David Hewer, a would-be playwright living in a squalid garret, seemingly unable to finish a play. For Josephine, David presents the perfect project. Within weeks, she breaks off her engagement to Alan, telling him she has decided to marry David instead, although David doesn't know it yet.

David and Josephine (whom he calls Jo) marry. Under Jo's over-zealous care, David begins to write successful plays. They now live in a remote country cottage. Uncle Charlie arrives and asks to stay for a few days.

One night, Alan Hartley appears on their doorstep seeking refuge. He explains that his business partner has perpetrated a fraud. Although Alan says he was not involved, his signature appears on relevant documents and he cannot prove his innocence. He says he has no choice but to flee abroad, and asks if he can hide out for a few days until his contact rings to let him know the necessary arrangements have been put in place. He tells David, Jo and Charles the coded message he has agreed with the contact, in case one of them answers the call.

As it is now Alan who needs "saving", Jo swings into action, giving him David's dressing gown, slippers, clothes and shaving kit (without asking David) and fussing over him. She frets over the idea of him having to leave his home country and live alone and destitute in a foreign land. Alan admits he has already secured ample funds for his new life, but agrees it will be lonely.

David panics that Alan will be discovered and they will all be arrested. He is also jealous of Jo's re-awakened devotion to Alan. Eventually, while Jo is out taking a stray dog to the vet, they have a huge row. David tells Alan to leave, and storms off to the pub. Uncle Charles goes after him.

Jo returns from the vet to find Alan considering leaving. As she tries to persuade him to stay, the phone rings.....

Charles finds David at the pub, but when David hears he's left Alan alone with Jo, he insists they go home and rushes out. The barmaid asks Charles to pay for a phone call David had made before Charles arrived. Returning to the cottage, they find nobody home. Uncle Charles finds a farewell note from Jo, but hides it from David. Nevertheless, David assumes Jo has run off with Alan and becomes very drunk. He says repeatedly that Jo will never forgive him, but does not explain why. He talks about how smothering and controlling he found her, but insists he still loves her. He also talks about how Alan was well-known, at school, for hatching dubious schemes.

While making their escape in Jo's car, Jo and Alan are stopped at a police roadblock, and Alan readily admits his true identity to the police. They are taken to a police station, where they are told that Alan's partner has been found dead in a Paris hotel room, having apparently committed suicide and left a note admitting full blame for the fraud. Alan again insists to Jo that he is completely ignorant of the fraud and urges Jo to go ahead with their plan to go away together. Jo now realises Alan does not need her and that she must return to David.

Back at home, Uncle Charlie gets Jo to alter her note to say only that she has given Alan a lift and will return. She wakes David and shows him the note. They make up and head upstairs to bed, reconciled.


Critical reception

The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote: "Nigel Balchin's script is decidedly limp, and Josephine and Men contains most of the traditional jokes of British screen comedy. Bohemians, foreigners and elderly housekeepers are among the targets. Roy Boulting's direction has little sparkle, and performances are dogged."[3]

Britmovie wrote, "the lightweight and stagey story is framed in flashback by the debonair Jack Buchanan’s narration but fails to exude any humour or convincing romance."[4]

The Radio Times said: "not as funny as it could have been, but the cast is likeable."[5]


  1. ^ Chapman, J. (2022). The Money Behind the Screen: A History of British Film Finance, 1945-1985. Edinburgh University Press p 359
  2. ^ "Josephine and Men". British Film Institute Collections Search. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  3. ^ "Josephine and Men". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 22 (252): 180. 1 January 1955 – via ProQuest.
  4. ^ "Josephine and Men". Archived from the original on 20 September 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  5. ^ Ronald Bergan. "Josephine and Men". RadioTimes.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 May 2024, at 19:13
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