The Common Touch
The Common Touch is a 1941 British drama film directed by John Baxter and starring Geoffrey Hibbert, Harry Welchman, Greta Gynt, and Joyce Howard. The film is a remake by the director of his 1933 film Doss House.
|The Common Touch|
Original British trade ad
|Directed by||John Baxter|
|Produced by||John Baxter|
|Written by||Barbara K. Emary|
|Based on||a story by Herbert Ayres (as C.G.H. Ayres)|
|Music by||Kennedy Russell|
|Edited by||Jack Harris|
|Distributed by||Anglo-American Film Corporation (UK)|
Pianist Mark Hambourg appears in a small role.
At the age of 18, orphaned Peter Henderson leaves school in the middle of the term (after winning a cricket match) to take over the family firm, one of the most important in the City of London, as arranged by his late father. Cartwright, one of the company directors, tries to retain control of the decision-making, but Peter follows his father's explicit instructions to learn about the business.
One day, Peter asks an employee about what occupies a certain city block his firm wants to demolish. (Cartwright and his cronies are secretly trying to enrich themselves.) The man tells him about Charlie's, a dosshouse. Peter and a former schoolmate disguise themselves to look the place over. While they are there, Charlie notifies everyone that the establishment will be closing soon, as it and the neighbouring tenements will be demolished.
Inky, one of the residents, consults lawyer "Lincoln's Inn". He has kept away from his beautiful daughter, cabaret performer Sylvia Meadows, because of his forgery and blackmailing past. He thinks he is the reason Sylvia has not married noted cricketer Stuart Gordon; Lincoln agrees to see what he can do. Peter eavesdrops when Charlie consults with Lincoln, and learns that Cartwright is involved in the eviction and is coming to Charlie's tomorrow.
Inky sends a letter to his daughter via Peter, but she does not believe he can keep his word, as he has been unable to do so in the past. When Inky is told, he commits suicide for her sake; he leaves behind a letter which also reveals that he forged the signature of John Henderson on a document which he believes has something to do with the closing of Charlie's. However, Lincoln states they need to get their hands on some of Cartwright's papers as corroboration. They make Tich, a resident of Charlie's, look like a gentleman to use his nimble fingers. They go to Cartwright's suite, where Tich knocks out the butler, then opens the safe. With the information obtained, Peter informs Charlie's residents that his company will rebuild a new and better Charlie's.
- Geoffrey Hibbert as Peter Henderson
- Harry Welchman as "Lincoln's Inn"
- Greta Gynt as Sylvia Meadows
- Joyce Howard as Mary
- Edward Rigby as "Tich"
- Bransby Williams as Ben
- George Carney as Charlie
- Eliot Makeham as "Inky"
- Mark Hambourg as "Chopin"
- Paul Martin as Chris
- Raymond Lovell as Cartwright
- John Longden as Stuart Gordon
- Wally Patch as "Nobby"
- Edgar Driver as "Oily"
- Bernard Miles as Cricket Steward
- Scott Sanders as Pat
- Ian Maclaren as Harmonica Player (as Sydney Shaw)
- Jerry Verno as Office Messenger Sandy Macpherson as himself.
- Iris Vandeleur as Alice
Listed in opening, but not closing credits:
- Charles Carson as Haywood [Henderson's butler]
- Ben Williams as Workman watching cricket match
- John Slater as Joe
- Bill Fraser as Harris
- John Turnbull as Father at cricket match
- Marian Spencer as Mother at cricket match
- Grant Tyler as Son at cricket match
- Dennis Wyndham as Commissionaire
- Hector Abbas as Foreigner
There is also an appearance by Carroll Gibbons the bandleader.