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Kipps (1941 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kipps FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byCarol Reed
Produced byEdward Black
Written byH. G. Wells (novel)
Sidney Gilliat
Frank Launder (uncredited)
StarringMichael Redgrave
Diana Wynyard
Phyllis Calvert
Music byCharles Williams
CinematographyArthur Crabtree
Edited byR. E. Dearing
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • 28 June 1941 (1941-06-28) (UK)
  • 24 May 1942 (1942-05-24) (USA)
Running time
111 minutes (UK)
82 minutes (USA)
CountryUnited Kingdom

Kipps (U.S. title The Remarkable Mr. Kipps) is a 1941 British comedy-drama film adaptation of H. G. Wells's 1905 novel of the same name, directed by Carol Reed.[1] Michael Redgrave stars as a draper's assistant who inherits a large fortune.[2] The film's costumes were designed by Cecil Beaton.[3]


The day before the fourteen-year-old Arthur "Artie" Kipps leaves to begin a seven-year apprenticeship, he asks his friend's sister, Ann Pornick, to be his girl. She gladly agrees. They split a silver sixpence and each keeps half.

Kipps goes to work for Mr. Shalford in a Folkestone drapery store. Years pass and Kipps grows up into an unremarkable young man. One day, he attends a free lecture on self-improvement presented by Chester Coote and decides to take a course. Coote steers the young man away from the literature class he would prefer to a woodworking class taught by Helen Walshingham, a member of the local gentry. Kipps is soon smitten with his lovely teacher, but she is mindful of his social inferiority and keeps her distance.

One night, actor and playwright Chitterlow rides his a bicycle into Kipps and tears his trousers. Taking Kipps back to his lodgings to repair his clothes, they get drunk together, while Chitterlow tells Kipps about his latest play. By coincidence, one of Chitterlow's characters is also called Kipps, a name the writer got from a newspaper advertisement.

When Kipps shows up for work late, he is sacked for breaking one of Mr. Shalford's strict rules for live-in employees. Chitterlow arrives while he is working out his notice to tell Kipps that the advertisement was about him. It turns out that Kipps has inherited a large house and a fortune (£26,000) from a grandfather he had never met.

Chitterlow talks Kipps into investing £300 in his new play for a half share. At the bank, they run into Mr. Coote. Coote suggests that Kipps employ new solicitor Ronnie Walshingham to look after his fortune. When Kipps finds out the man is Helen's brother, he becomes interested.

Soon, Coote and the Walshinghams have manoeuvred the naive Kipps into an engagement with Helen, though he is uncomfortable at her attempts at his self-improvement. Then Kipps meets Ann, now a parlour maid, on her day off. His feelings for her resurface and he kisses her. Later, when he and the Walshinghams attend a party, Kipps is mortified to find the front door opened by Ann. During the gathering, Ann overhears the news of his engagement to Helen and rushes away. Kipps finds her in the scullery and tells her he loves her. They sneak away to get married.

The newlyweds quarrel over Kipps' insistence on maintaining his social position. Then Kipps receives a request to go to Ronnie Walshingham's office and he suspects it is for a breach-of-promise suit. Instead Kipps is surprised to meet only Helen there. She has come to confess to him that Ronnie has speculated away all of Kipps' and her own family's money and fled. Kipps reassures Helen that he will not set the police on her brother and she reassures him that she is resourceful enough to get by herself.

Just when all seems blackest for Kipps, Chitterlow arrives from the theatre in the middle of the night and informs Kipps that his play is a great success. It will have a long run and Kipps will profit from his half-share in the profits. It is enough for Kipps to open a bookshop and live comfortably with Ann and their baby son.


Critical reception

Variety wrote "Any effort to give impetus or sharpness to this late Victorian yarn isn’t discernible. Sidney Gilliat’s screenplay [from H.G. Wells novel], while in excellent taste and character, remains sprawled writing. Impression sneaks through that Carol Reed wasn’t exactly comfortable in the director chore on this type of limp yarn...Michael Redgrave is believable as the hick; Phyllis Calvert as the peachy domestic; Diana Wynyard as the tony milady for whom the lower-case Kipps almost sells his heart";[4] while more recently, Allmovie noted "a delightful little film that doesn't attempt a great deal but succeeds admirably at what attempts it does make," concluding that "Kipps is ultimately too familiar to be a great film, but as "little" films go, it's remarkably satisfying."[5]


  1. ^ "The Remarkable Mr. Kipps (1941) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies.
  2. ^ "Kipps (1941) - Carol Reed | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related". AllMovie.
  3. ^ "Kipps (1941)". BFI.
  4. ^ "Kipps". Variety. 1 January 1941.
  5. ^ "Kipps (1941) - Carol Reed - Review". AllMovie.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 December 2020, at 12:05
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