Forever and a Day


The 80-star cast of Forever and a Day would certainly not have been feasible had not most of the actors and production people turned over their salaries to British war relief -- a point driven home during the lengthy opening credits by an unseen narrator. The true star of the film is a stately old manor house in London, built in 1804 by a British admiral C. Aubrey Smith and blitzed in 1940 by one Adolf Hitler. Through the portals of this house pass a vast array of Britons, from high-born to low. The earliest ...
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The 80-star cast of Forever and a Day would certainly not have been feasible had not most of the actors and production people turned over their salaries to British war relief -- a point driven home during the lengthy opening credits by an unseen narrator. The true star of the film is a stately old manor house in London, built in 1804 by a British admiral C. Aubrey Smith and blitzed in 1940 by one Adolf Hitler. Through the portals of this house pass a vast array of Britons, from high-born to low. The earliest scenes involve gay blade Lt. William Trimble Ray Milland, wronged country-girl Susan Anna Neagle, and wicked landowner Ambrose Pomfret Claude Rains. We move on to a comic interlude involving dotty Mr. Simpson Reginald Owen, eternally drunken butler Bellamy Charles Laughton, and cockney plumbers Mr. Dabb Cedric Hardwicke and Wilkins Buster Keaton. Maidservant Jenny Ida Lupino takes over the plot during the Boer War era, while the World War I sequence finds the house converted into a way-station for soldiers including Robert Cummings and anxious families including Roland Young and Gladys Cooper. Finally we arrive in 1940, with American Gates Pomfret Kent Smith and lady-of-the-house Lesley Trimble Ruth Warrick surveying the bombed-out manor, and exulting over the fact that the portrait of the home's founder, Adm. Eustace Trimble Smith, has remained intact -- symbolic proof of England's durability in its darkest hours. The huge cast includes Dame May Whitty, Edward Everett Horton, Wendy Barrie, Merle Oberon, Nigel Bruce, Richard Haydn, Donald Crisp, and a host of others -- some appearing in sizeable roles, others like Arthur Treacher and Patric Knowles willingly accepting one-scene bits, simply to participate in the undertaking. Seven directors and 21 writers were also swept up in the project. Forever and a Day was supposed to have been withdrawn from circulation after the war and its prints destroyed so that no one could profit from what was supposed to have been an act of industry charity. Happily for future generations, prints have survived and are now safely preserved.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Forever and a Day is practically an embarrassment of riches, with a huge cast that ranges from the instantly famous to the "I-don't-know-his-name-but-he's-in-everything." Unlike later cameo-laden extravaganzas like Around the World in 80 Days or The Greatest Story Ever Told, the use of such recognizable faces is rarely distracting; these people are cast in parts that are appropriate for them, even when their roles are so brief (Edmund Gwenn, Arthur Treacher) as to be limited to two or three lines. With so many stars from which to choose, each individual viewer will likely have his or her own favorite performances, but there's a great deal to be said for Gladys Cooper proving, in a rare sympathetic role, that she was capable of much greater range than she was typically allowed to demonstrate onscreen; for Ida Lupino's feisty but indecisive Jenny; for Edward Everett Horton's typically bumbling father; and for Claude Rains' villainous Pomfret patriarch. The film's "more is more" approach applies to its startling roster of directors and writers; if this approach means that these artists don't make as individual a contribution as we've come to expect of them, they still manage to create a film that is surprisingly cohesive, given the many hands involved.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/6/2000
  • UPC: 037429120538
  • Original Release: 1943
  • Rating:

  • Source: Homevision
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brian Aherne Jim Trimble
Merle Oberon Marjorie
Gladys Cooper Mrs. Henry Barringer
Ida Lupino Jenny Jones
C. Aubrey Smith Adm. Eustace Trimble
Robert Cummings Ned Trimble
Claude Rains Ambrose Pomfret
Anna Neagle Susan Trenchard Trimble
Roland Young Mr. Barringer
Ray Milland Lieut. William Trimble
Cedric Hardwicke Mr. Dabb, the Plumber
Dame May Whitty Mrs. Eustace (Lucy) Trimble
Charles Laughton Bellamy, Dexter Pomfret's Butler
Jessie Matthews Mildred Trimble-Pomfret
Herbert Marshall Curate
Ian Hunter Dexter Pomfret
Buster Keaton Plumber's Helper
Nigel Bruce Maj. Garrow
Arthur Treacher Sky Watcher (II)
Edmund Gwenn Stubbs
Halliwell Hobbes Doctor
Montagu Love Sir John Bunn
Patric Knowles The Son
Elsa Lanchester Mamie
Richard Haydn Mr. Butcher
Clyde Cook Cabby (II)
Kent Smith Gates Pomfret
Victor McLaglen Archibald Spavin
Ruth Warrick Lesley Trimble
Gene Lockhart Cobblewick
Reginald Owen Mr. Simpson
Edward Everett Horton Sir Anthony Trimble-Pomfret
Donald Crisp Capt. Martin
Connie Leon
Billy Bevan Cabby
Aubrey Mather
Barbara Everest
Ben Webster Vicar
Alan Edmiston Tripp
Alec Craig Ambrose, Pomfret's Butler
Daphne Moore Nurse
Cecil Kellaway Dinner Guest
Wendy Barrie Edith Trimble-Pomfret
Eric Blore Charles (Sir Anthony's Butler)
Walter Kingsford Estate Lawyer
Una O'Connor Mrs. Caroline Ismay
Ivan Simpson Elderly Bachelor
Doreen Monroe
Joy Harrington Bus Conductress
Ethel Griffies Wife
Stuart Robertson Lawyer/Air Raid Warden
Charles Irwin
Arthur Mulliner
May Beatty Cook
Harry Allen Cockney Watcher
June Lockhart Girl in Air Raid Shelter
Gerald Oliver Smith
Claud Allister Barstow
Helena Pickard Maid
Clifford Severn Nelson Trimble
Anna Lee Cornelia Trimble-Pomfret
June Duprez Julia Trimble-Pomfret
Odette Myrtil Madame Gaby
Emily Fitzroy Mrs. Fulcher
Anita Bolster Mrs. Garrow
Pax Walker
Jean Prescott ATS Girl
Philip Ahlm Card Player
Sara Allgood Cook in 1917
Vangie Beilby Woman Drunk
Lionel Belmore Bits
Evelyn Beresford
Lydia Bilbrook Mother
Bill Cartledge Telegraph Boy
Charles Coburn Sir William
Ernest Cossart Mr. Blinkinsep
Kay Deslys
Isobel Elsom Lady Trimble-Pomfret
Herbert Evans Bobby
Peter Godfrey Mr. Pepperdish
Mary Gordon
Edmund Goulding
Charlie Hall
Stuart Hall
Gerald Hamer
Doris Lloyd
Frank Lloyd
Moyna MacGill
Noel Madison Mr. Dunkinfield
Mickey Martin Boy
Barry Norton
Victor Saville
Ray Bolger Sentry
Gabriel Canzona Man with Monkey
Robert Coote Blind Officer
Reginald Gardiner Ass't. Hotel Manager
Lumsden Hare Fitch
Dennis Hoey Mover
Queenie Leonard Housemaid
Bernie Sell Naval Officer
Herbert Wilcox
Technical Credits
René Clair Director, Producer
Edmund Goulding Director, Producer
Cedric Hardwicke Director, Producer
Frank Lloyd Director, Producer
Victor Saville Director, Producer
Kent Smith Director
Robert Stevenson Director, Producer
Herbert Wilcox Director, Producer
Charles Bennett Screenwriter
Alan Campbell Screenwriter
Anthony Collins Musical Direction/Supervision
Norman Corwin Screenwriter
George Crone Editor
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Robert de Grasse Cinematographer
C.S. Forester Screenwriter
Lee Garmes Cinematographer
Peter Godfrey Screenwriter
Jack Hartfield Screenwriter
Lawrence Hazard Screenwriter
Sig Herzig Screenwriter
James Hilton Screenwriter
Michael Hogan Screenwriter
Christopher Isherwood Screenwriter
Emmett Lavery Screenwriter
W.P. Lipscomb Screenwriter
Gene Lockhart Screenwriter
Frederick Lonsdale Screenwriter
Russell Metty Cinematographer
Alice Duer Miller Screenwriter
Nick Musuraca Cinematographer
R.C. Sherriff Screenwriter
Donald Ogden Stewart Screenwriter
John van Druten Screenwriter
Vernon Walker Special Effects
Claudine West Screenwriter
Elmo Williams Editor
L.P. Williams Art Director
Lawrence P. Williams Art Director
Keith Winter Screenwriter
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