Piccadilly Incident is a 1946 British drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Michael Wilding, Coral Browne, Edward Rigby and Leslie Dwyer. Wilcox teamed his wife Anna Neagle with Michael Wilding for the first time, establishing them as top box-office stars in five more films, ending with The Lady with a Lamp in 1951. Wilding was third choice for leading man after Rex Harrison and John Mills.
|Directed by||Herbert Wilcox|
|Produced by||Herbert Wilcox|
|Written by||Nicholas Phipps|
|Based on||an original story by Florence Tranter|
|Music by||Anthony Collins|
|Edited by||Flora Newton|
|Distributed by||Pathé Pictures Ltd (UK)|
|30 September 1946 (UK)|
|Box office||£258,057 (UK)|
During an air-raid on Piccadilly, Chief Officer Diana Fraser, who is on active duty with the Women's Royal Naval Service meets Captain Alan Pearson, a Royal Marines officer on sick leave after the evacuation from Dunkirk. He invites her for a drink at his house - they dance and fall in love. Impulsively, he proposes to her and they marry.
Alan is posted to North Africa and Diana to Singapore. As Singapore falls to the Japanese, she is evacuated, but the ship in which she is travelling is attacked and she is presumed drowned. However, she and four other passengers survive, including Bill Weston, a Canadian sailor who loves her.
Two years later, they are rescued after their boat is spotted by an American aeroplane. Fraser returns home to find that her husband has remarried to an American Red Cross nurse, Joan, and they have a son. She is devastated and flees the house after meeting the wife.
Angrily, Diana confronts Alan backstage at a Navy show. The theatre is bombed; Alan is wounded but Diana dies in hospital. Later, a judge decides that Alan and Joan must remarry, but the son will be unable to inherit the family title.
- Anna Neagle as Diana Fraser
- Michael Wilding as Captain Alan Pearson
- Frances Mercer as Joan Draper
- Michael Laurence as Bill Weston
- Coral Browne as Virginia Pearson
- A. E. Matthews as Sir Charles Pearson
- Edward Rigby as Judd
- Brenda Bruce as Sally Benton
- Leslie Dwyer as Sam
- Maire O'Neill as Mrs. Millgan
- Reginald Owen as Judge
- Michael Medwin as Radio Operator
- Roger Moore as Guest Sitting at Pearson's Table (uncredited)
Herbert Wilcox made the film as a follow up to I Live in Grosvenor Square (1945). He hoped to use the same leads, Anna Neagle and Rex Harrison, but the success of Grosvenor Square saw Harrison offered a contract with 20th Century Fox. Wilcox offered the role to John Mills, who turned it down. He accepted Michael Wilding reluctantly at the suggestion of Wilding's agent, but once he saw Wilding and Neagle play their first scene together, he put Wilding under a personal long-term contract.
Though The New York Times thought the film demonstrated "the British are quite as capable as the Americans of unconvincing direction, ill-considered writing and tedious acting", critic Godfrey Winn wrote "In Piccadilly Incident is born the greatest team in British Films"; Leonard Maltin wrote "good British cast gives life to oft-filmed plot"; Allmovie called the film "a weeper deluxe"; and the Radio Times concluded that the film "effectively opens the tear ducts".
- Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p483
- "Piccadilly Incident". 4 August 1948 – via IMDb.
- "Piccadilly Incident - Film from RadioTimes".
- "Piccadilly Incident (1948) - Herbert Wilcox - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".
- Wilcox, Herbert (1967). Twenty Five Thousand Sunsets. South Brunswick. p. 144.
- "Personality Parade". The Mail. Adelaide. 25 January 1947. p. 9 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Robert Murphy, Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939-48 2003 p. 209
- "BRITAIN'S FAVORITE STARS FOR 1946". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 14 April 1947. p. 3. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "ANNA NEAGLE GETS A TROPHY". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 5 September 1947. p. 25. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "BFI Screenonline: Piccadilly Incident (1946)".
- "Piccadilly Incident (1946) - Overview - TCM.com".