Green Grow the Rushes (film)

Green Grow the Rushes (1951) is a British comedy film and the first film to be released by ACT Films Ltd.[1][2] The film was produced by John Gossage and funded by the National Film Finance Corporation and the Co-operative Wholesale Society Bank.[3]

Green Grow the Rushes
Green Grow the Rushes (film).jpg
Directed byDerek N. Twist
Produced byJohn W. Gossage
Written byDerek N. Twist
Howard Clewes
StarringRoger Livesey
Richard Burton
Honor Blackman
Music byLambert Williamson
CinematographyHarry Waxman
Distributed byBritish Lion Films
Release date
November 1951
CountryUnited Kingdom


Three British government bureaucrats arrive in Kent to inquire as to why the coastal Anderida marsh is not being cultivated. The reason is that most of the local people know about or are involved in the liquor smuggling scheme operated by Captain Biddle and his accomplice Robert (Richard Burton), who is posing as a fisherman when he is seen by the newspaper editor and his journalist daughter Meg.

Robert persuades them not to report it in the newspaper, and tells Biddle about his encounter with them. Biddle does not like the idea of any local "Lily White" (woman) knowing about their illegal activity; he was once married to a Lily White. The smugglers’ next cargo gets caught in a violent storm, and their boat washes inland, settling in the meadow of a farmer whose wife Polly happens to be Biddle’s ex-wife.



Based on the 1949 novel Green Grow the Rushes by Howard Clewes. The title, at least, is inspired by the 18th-century folk song "Green Grow the Rushes, O", in which each of the 12 verses after the first has the penultimate line, "Two, two, the lily-white boys, clothed all in green O."


The film was filmed on the coastal Romney Marsh around the town of New Romney.[4]

The film recouped its cost. However the NFFC rejected ACT's next two proposed projects, films about Sir William Hastings and the Tolpuddle Martryrs. So the company made less politically active films from then on.[5]

Subsequent releaseEdit

The film was re-released in 1954 under the alternative title Brandy Ashore.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b The British Film Catalogue, 11606.
  2. ^ Monthly Film Bulletin, 1951 page 371.
  3. ^ Action! Fifty Years in the Life of a Union. Published: 1983 (UK). Publisher: ACTT. ISBN 0 9508993 0 5. ACT Films Limited - Ralph Bond p81 (producer listed as John Gossage) - "He welcomed the project and urged the recently established National Film Finance Corporation to help finance our first film...After some rather difficult negotiations , the NFFC agreed to put up approximately two-thirds of the budget and the Co-operative Wholesale Society Bank put up the remainder."
  4. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Green Grow the Rushes Article".
  5. ^ Harper, Sue; Porter, Vincent (2003). British Cinema of The 1950s The Decline of Deference. Oxford University Press USA. p. 14.

External linksEdit