Don't Ever Leave Me

Don't Ever Leave Me is a 1949 British comedy film directed by Arthur Crabtree and starring Petula Clark, Jimmy Hanley, Hugh Sinclair, Edward Rigby, and Anthony Newley. Produced by Betty Box during her stint at Gainsborough Pictures, it was written by Robert Westerby.

Don't Ever Leave Me
Original poster
Directed byArthur Crabtree
Written byAnthony Armstrong
Produced byBetty Box
StarringPetula Clark
Jimmy Hanley
Hugh Sinclair
CinematographyStephen Dade
Edited byA. Charles Knott
Music byLambert Williamson
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
19 July 1949
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


The plot, a variation on The Ransom of Red Chief, revolves around Sheila Farlaine (Clark), the teenaged daughter of Shakespearean tragedian Michael Farlaine (Sinclair), who is kidnapped by elderly crook Harry Denton (Rigby) when it's suggested he no longer has what it takes to be a master criminal.

When Harry starts having second thoughts about the caper, Sheila - tired of playing second fiddle to her egotistical father's career - becomes the mastermind of the plot and resists every effort made by Harry's grandson Jack (Hanley) to return her home before things get serious. However, in this strange scenario Sheila wants to be kidnapped, as it gives her the opportunity to act grown up and she thinks her father will at last take some interest. He meanwhile embraces the role of worried parent for whom "the show must go on" and thrives on the newspaper publicity. Sheila begins to take a romantic interest in Jack, and despite her only being 15 (and three-quarters), she blackmails him into taking her out to clubs and casinos, wining, dining and dancing. Jack's girlfriend is less than happy when she discovers this.

Then Sheila's friend Jimmy (Newley) decides that he too wants to be "kidnapped" and becomes a general nuisance to one and all.


Taking advantage of Clark's vocal abilities, screenwriter Westerby included two scenes in which she sang the tune "It's Not for the Want of Trying" by songwriters Jack Fishman and Peter Hart. The film, Clark's twelfth, allowed her to play a more mature role than in previous outings, and was both a critical and commercial success.

Anthony Steel has one of his earliest screen appearances.[1]



  1. ^ Vagg, Stephen (23 September 2020). "The Emasculation of Anthony Steel: A Cold Streak Saga". Filmink.

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