Here Come the Huggetts
Directed byKen Annakin
Written byMuriel Box
Sydney Box
Peter Rogers
Denis Constanduros
Mabel Constanduros
Produced byBetty E. Box
StarringJack Warner
Kathleen Harrison
Jane Hylton
Susan Shaw
Petula Clark
CinematographyReginald H. Wyer
Edited byGordon Hales
Music byAntony Hopkins
Production
company
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
24 November 1948
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget£100,000[1]
Box office£127,000[1]

Here Come the Huggetts is a 1948 British comedy film, the first of the Huggetts series, about a working class English family. All three films in the series were directed by Ken Annakin and released by Gainsborough Pictures.[2]

Jack Warner and Kathleen Harrison head the cast as factory worker Joe Huggett and his wife Ethel, with Petula Clark, Jane Hylton and Susan Shaw as their young daughters (all with the same first names as the actresses portraying them) and Amy Veness as their opinionated grandmother. Diana Dors had an early role.[3]

Joe and Ethel had been introduced a year earlier in the film Holiday Camp and there would be two sequels, Vote for Huggett and The Huggetts Abroad (both 1949).

Plot

Factory worker Joe Huggett has a first-time telephone installed at home, for work purposes, but his daughters quickly find a lot more use for it. Diana, a flighty cousin of Ethel's (played by a 16-year-old Diana Dors), arrives for a not-very-welcome visit and causes problems at home and at Joe's workplace when Ethel persuades Joe to get her a job there. Eldest daughter Jane must choose between her fiancé who has been away in the forces and a new local admirer. Meanwhile, the family is planning to go to London to see the royal wedding, and Grandma Huggett joins them in camping out overnight near Buckingham Palace.

Clark, who began her career as a child vocalist on BBC Radio, sings the song "Walking Backwards".

Cast

Production

Ken Annakin had directed three films for Sydney Box, then head of Gainsbrough Pictures. He was ambitious to do other work but Box offered him Here Come the Huggetts, featuring characters who were in the popular Holiday Camp, directed by Annakin. "I had to delay my dreams and ideas for ‘great films’, and churn out the Huggett series, because Sydney needed them," wrote Annakin later. "I owed him a debt and had to earn cash as quickly as possible to pay off the mortgage." There would be three Hugget films in all. Annakin added, "The Huggett years were not really such a bind. Jack Warner and Kathleen Harrison were a joy to work with. Jack would always come in with a new joke, and amuse us with his Maurice Chevalier imitations. Kathleen seemed to adore me and performed, marvellously and amusingly, everything I asked of her. Dinah Sheridan, Jane Hilton, Susan Shaw, Petula Clark and Diana Dors were a great team and fun to work with as well. However, the challenge was no longer there."[4]

Filming took place in June 1948. The working title was Wedding Bells.[5] Annakin said he had "a little affair with Susan Shaw" while making the films, although he did not specify which ones.[6]

Reception

Film reviewer Stephen Vagg described the film as a breakthrough role for Diana Dors, who played Ma Huggett's niece.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b Andrew Spicer, Sydney Box Manchester Uni Press 2006 p 210
  2. ^ HERE COME THE HUGGETTS Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 16, Iss. 181, (Jan 1, 1949): 2.
  3. ^ "Star from a charm school". Trove. 25 (6): 12. 5 August 1950. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  4. ^ Annakin p 40
  5. ^ Sonia Dresdel opens the large Tory Rally Date: Friday, June 18, 1948 Publication: Essex Newsman (Chelmsford, England) Issue: 4325 page 2
  6. ^ Annakin p 41
  7. ^ Vagg, Stephen (7 September 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.

Citations