The Chiltern Hundreds 1950

Interesting film from the stage play by William Douglas Home


Young viscount Pym – played by a young David Tomlinson – manages to to get  army leave on the grounds that he is running for the Conservative Party in the next local election. However his real aim in fact is to marry June ,a rich American heiress, before she returns to America.   Due to unexpected circumstances he is driven to take part in the election campaign but loses.    Humiliated, Tony must win June back, so why not stand again, – for the Labour Party !!

William Douglas-Home wrote around 50 plays, most of them comedies in an upper class setting.

He wrote two plays which were successful in London in 1947. The first Now Barabbas was based on his experience in prison and in the latter some of the characters were drawn from his family.Although Douglas-Home was a prolific playwright, his works have neither the depth nor the durability of such near contemporaries as Rattigan or Coward. However, his play The Reluctant Debutante has been adapted twice into film. The first film, called The Reluctant Debutante, made in 1958, featured Rex Harrison and Sandra Dee with a screenplay by the playwright himself. The second was released in 2003, under the title What a Girl Wants, starring Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth and Kelly Preston.

The remake features a hereditary peer in the House of Lords who disclaims his title in order to stand for election to the House of Commons, which Sir Alec Douglas-Home did in 1963 to become Prime Minister.

John Paddy Carstairs – Director – On the set with Helen Backlin  and  Marjorie Fielding.

I can’t find out any information on Helen Backlin who has a leading role in this film but was not in much else. Does anyone know anything about this actress ?

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