Good-Time Girl

Good-Time Girl is a 1948 British film-noir crime, drama film directed by David MacDonald. The film was based on Arthur La Bern's novel Night Darkens the Street.[2]

Good-Time Girl
Good-Time Girl FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byDavid MacDonald
Produced bySydney Box
Written byArthur La Bern (novel)
Muriel Box
Sydney Box
Ted Willis
StarringJean Kent
Dennis Price
Herbert Lom
Bonar Colleano
Peter Glenville
Flora Robson
Griffith Jones
Music byLambert Williamson
Clifton Parker
CinematographyStephen Dade
Edited byVladimir Sagovsky
Sydney Box Productions (as Triton)
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Eagle-Lion Classics
Victory Films
Release date
  • 28 April 1948 (1948-04-28)
Running time
81 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£177,000 (by 1953)[1]


The film opens with Miss Thorpe, the chairman of the Juvenile court, giving advice to troubled teenager Lyla Lawrence. Miss Thorpe tells Lyla that her life has a similar beginning to that of Gwen Rawlings.

Gwen Rawlings was a teenage girl who continually fell into the wrong crowd. Gwen's first troubles began with her employer who caught her "borrowing" a brooch from his pawnshop. Though Gwen had only borrowed it to use for a dance and had every intention of returning it, she was fired. When she arrived home and informed her father, he beat her. The next day Gwen packed her things and moved into a boarding house. There, she met Jimmy, a sharp-dressed man who immediately took a liking to her.

Jimmy found her a job at the Blue Angel Nightclub where she was employed as a hat-check girl. While working, she met Red, a bandmember for the club who felt the need to look after her well-being. Jimmy attempted to pursue Gwen but was rejected. He grew extremely angry towards the growing relationship between Red and Gwen and later beat her. Max Vine, his employer at the club, discovered Jimmy's crime and fired him. Angry at Gwen, who he felt had lost him his job, Jimmy began to plot to set her up. He stole their landlady's jewellery and told Gwen to pawn it for him. Believing that the jewelry belonged to his mother, Gwen followed his instructions. Later, after learning that Max had been attacked by a gang, Gwen implored Red to allow her to stay the night at his place. Red permitted her a night's stay but insisted that she leave the following day as it was unsuitable for a young girl to live with him.

However, the police soon found Gwen and she was sent to court where she was accused of having stolen jewellery. Miss Thorpe presided over the hearing and decided to sentence her to a reform school for three years. During a school fight, Gwen runs away and finds Max who has opened another club. Max is reluctant to take her back but due to her desperation, he gives her a job. Gwen soon becomes close to Danny Martin, a regular at the club. One drunken night both are out for a drive when they accidentally hit and kill a police officer. Danny Martin forbids anyone from speaking to the police. However, once Danny is questioned, Gwen flees.

Danny later finds Gwen and beats her. Gwen is found and helped by two American soldiers who are AWOL. They decide to band together and become robbers in London. After becoming too well known in London for their crimes, they decide to head to Manchester. As they flag down a car to steal, Gwen realizes that the driver of the car is Red. When her companions realize the two recognize each other, they shoot Red dead. All three are eventually caught for their crimes and Gwen is currently serving fifteen years in prison.

At the end of the film, Lyla thanks Miss Thorpe and decides to head home.



The film was originally known as Bad Girl.[3]


The film was originally banned by the British censor for its dialogue.[4]

Trade papers called the film a "notable box office attraction" in British cinemas in 1948.[5]

Critical receptionEdit

The New York Times concluded that "even the commendable acting in "Good Time Girl" does not bring it out of the minor melodrama class";[6] whereas The Monthly Film Bulletin found the film "Tensely gripping in its seamiest situations, it holds the interest to the end and makes the heart beat faster...Apart from perfect direction, fine photography, and good acting, the story makes one think and argue";[7] and in The Spectator, Virginia Graham wrote "Good Time Girl makes a shot at dealing seriously and honestly with the problem of juvenile delinquency, and it does not fall too short of the mark."[8] 

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Spicer, Andrew (5 September 2006). "Sydney Box". Manchester University Press – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Good-Time Girl (1948)".
  3. ^ FILM NOTES FROM LONDON: Epic of Resistance Busy Mr. Box Safari By C.A. LEJEUNE. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 29 Sep 1946: 68.
  4. ^ "Variety (July 1947)". New York, NY: Variety Publishing Company. 17 March 1947 – via Internet Archive.
  5. ^ Murphy, Robert (2 September 2003). "Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939-48". Routledge – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; 'Good Time Girl,' British-Made Case History of a Delinquent, Starring Jean Kent, Opens at Globe The Cast". 25 September 1950 – via
  7. ^ "Monthly Film Bulletin review".
  8. ^ "THE CINEMA » 7 May 1948 » The Spectator Archive". The Spectator Archive.

External linksEdit