The Lady with a Lamp

The Lady with a Lamp is a 1951 British historical film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Michael Wilding and Felix Aylmer.[2] The film depicts the life of Florence Nightingale and her work with wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War.

The Lady with a Lamp
"The Lady with the Lamp".jpg
Australian daybill poster
Directed byHerbert Wilcox
Produced byHerbert Wilcox
Written byWarren Chetham Strode
Based onplay by Reginald Berkeley
StarringAnna Neagle
Music byAnthony Collins
CinematographyMutz Greenbaum (as Max Greene)
Edited byBill Lewthwaite
Distributed byBritish Lion Films
Release date
  • 29 October 1951 (1951-10-29)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£151,091 (UK)[1]


Illustrating the political complexities the hard-headed nurse had to battle in order to achieve sanitary medical conditions during the Crimean War. Opposed in the uppermost circles of British government because she is "merely" a woman, Florence Nightingale is championed by the Hon. Sidney Herbert (Michael Wilding), minister of war. Herbert pulls strings to allow Nightingale and her nursing staff access to battlefield hospitals, and in so doing changes the course of medical history.[3]

Partial castEdit

Box officeEdit

The film was popular at the British box office.[4]

Critical receptionEdit

TV Guide gave the film three out of four stars, and noted, "the contrast in settings--between stately British homes and the squalor of the hospital--focuses the viewer's attentions on what the real battles were. Honorable mention should be given to Lewthwaite's editing of the war sequences.";[5] while Leonard Maltin also gave the film three out of four stars, noting a "Methodical recreation of 19th- century nurse-crusader Florence Nightingale, tastefully enacted by Neagle.";[6] while Variety observed, "Anna Neagle adds another portrait to her screen gallery of famous women. Her characterization of Florence Nightingale is a sincerely moving study...Michael Wilding is not too happily cast as Sidney Herbert, War Minister. Within limitations, he makes the best of this part. The strong feature cast includes Felix Aylmer, with an exceptionally good study of Lord Palmerston. Herbert Wilcox, as always, directs in a plain, straightforward manner."[7]


  1. ^ Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p495
  2. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | The LADY WITH THE LAMP (1951)". 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  3. ^ "The Lady with a Lamp (1951) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast". AllMovie. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  4. ^ Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 258.
  5. ^ "The Lady With A Lamp Review". Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Lady with a Lamp, The (1951) - Overview". Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  7. ^ "The Lady with the Lamp". Variety. 31 December 1950. Retrieved 21 June 2014.

External linksEdit