Cardboard Cavalier

Cardboard Cavalier is a 1949 British historical comedy film directed by Walter Forde and starring Sid Field, Margaret Lockwood and Jerry Desmonde.[1]

Cardboard Cavalier
Cardboard Cavalier (1949 film).jpg
Directed byWalter Forde
Written byNoel Langley
Produced byWalter Forde
Culley Forde
StarringSid Field
Margaret Lockwood
Jerry Desmonde
CinematographyJack Hildyard
Edited byAlan Jaggs
Music byLambert Williamson
Production
company
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
29 March 1949
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

It was the last film for Forde and Field. Field died of a heart attack shortly after the film was released.[2]

PlotEdit

In an England under the rule of Oliver Cromwell, London barrow boy Sidcup Buttermeadow is unwittingly used as a spy for the exiled Charles II to deliver messages to his royalist supporters, and is aided by the object of his affection, Nell Gwynn.[3]

Dressed as a Cavalier, Sidcup is pursued by Roundhead troops, but evades them with the help of a variety of people and a ghost.

When Charles is eventually restored as king, Sid is knighted and gets to kiss Nell Gwynn.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

The film was part of an ambitious production programme from J. Arthur Rank to meet an increased quota for British films. His intent was to make 60 over 12 months.[4]

Sid Field's casting was announced in June 1948.[5] He made the movie after a six month tour of the US. Field's first film, London Town, had been a big flop but his popularity on stage encouraged Rank to try him again in films.[6]

Pat Roc was meant to play the role of Nell Gwynn but reportedly turned it down and was replaced by Margaret Lockwood, who was keen to play comedy again after making a number of dramas.[7][8] Field's son was born during filming on 5 August.[9]

Filming started in June 1948. It was made at Denham Studios. Production of the film was interrupted by a strike from crew members in protest over recent sackings of film workers.[10] Cast member Alfie Dean died as the result of an off-set accident during the period of filming.[11]

Filming ended in January 1949.[12] Lockwood wrote in her memoirs that "we had a romp of a time with Sid Field."[13]

ReceptionEdit

The film was a critical and box-office disappointment.

"I was terribly distressed when I read the press notices of the film", wrote Lockwood.[14]

Filmink stated the film "sounded like the sort of fun romp Bob Hope made so successfully...But those Hope vehicles were made by people who knew what they were doing...the makers of Cardboard Cavalier seem hopelessly out of their depth, including (it must be admitted) Lockwood who isn’t very good, mostly because she tries to be funny – forgetting that in her earlier comedies she was more the straight person."[15]

Some reviews have been much more positive. The critic Derek Winnert noted that the film was "well timed, sprightly and funny, and exuberantly played by a welcome vintage cast, as well as amusingly written by Noel Langley and nicely directed by the comedy expert Forde."[16] Variety spoke of Langley's script "blend[ing] comedy, bathos and sheer slapstick with skill and ingenuity" and also highlighted Lockwood as playing her role with "great gusto...verve and vivacity".[17]

The film was banned in Syria in 1953.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ BFI.org
  2. ^ "Comedian Sid Field Dies Suddenly". The Advertiser. 92 (28, 494). Adelaide. 4 February 1950. p. 2. Retrieved 26 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ "CARDBOARD CAVALIER". The Australian Women's Weekly. 17 (31). 7 January 1950. p. 34. Retrieved 26 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "SIXTY NEW BRITISH FILMS: Programme for Year Beginning October". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, Scotland. 10 June 1948. p. 5.
  5. ^ "Of Local Origin". New York Times. 23 June 1948. p. 32.
  6. ^ "Sid Field to make new film". The Sun (2350). Sydney. 25 April 1948. p. 27. Retrieved 26 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Landis Film Shown On Suicide Day". The Mail. 37 (1, 885). Adelaide. 17 July 1948. p. 3 (Sunday Magazine). Retrieved 26 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Talking of TALKIES". Truth (2515). Queensland, Australia. 6 June 1948. p. 20. Retrieved 30 April 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Rank studios close for holidays". The Mail. 37 (1, 892). Adelaide. 4 September 1948. p. 3 (SUNDAY MAGAZINE). Retrieved 30 April 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "FILM STRIKE". The Sunday Times. Perth. 31 October 1948. p. 12 Section: The Sunday Times Sporting Section. Retrieved 4 March 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ Aaron Neathery, "Who are Collinson and Dean?", The Third Banana, 8 November 2005. Retrieved 22 February 2021
  12. ^ "SCREEN AND ITS STARS". Warwick Daily News (9177). Queensland, Australia. 3 January 1949. p. 3. Retrieved 30 April 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ Lockwood, Margaret (1955). Lucky Star: The Autobiography of Margaret Lockwood. Odhams Press Limited. p. 143.
  14. ^ Margaret Lockwood, "Was I Difficult?", Picturegoer, 22 April 1950 p 15
  15. ^ Vagg, Stephen (29 January 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: Margaret Lockwood". Filmink.
  16. ^ http://www.derekwinnert.com/cardboard-cavalier-1949-sid-field-margaret-lockwood-mary-clare-jerry-desmonde-claude-hulbert-irene-handl-classic-movie-review-8599/. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  17. ^ https://archive.org/details/variety174-1949-04/page/n6/mode/1up?view=theater, Variety, April 1949. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Syria Bans British Film". The Mercury. CLXXIII (25, 606). Tasmania. 15 January 1953. p. 2. Retrieved 30 April 2016 – via National Library of Australia.

External linksEdit