|The Love Lottery|
|Directed by||Charles Crichton|
|Written by||Harry Kurnitz|
|Story by||Charles Neilson Gattey |
Zelma Bramley Moore
|Produced by||Monja Danischewsky|
|Edited by||Seth Holt|
|Music by||Benjamin Frankel|
|Distributed by||General Film Distributors|
The Love Lottery is a 1954 Ealing Studios comedy film, directed by Charles Crichton and starring David Niven. The film examines celebrity and fan worship with an international setting including Lake Como, ambitious dream sequences, and an uncredited cameo appearance at the end by Humphrey Bogart as himself.
A celluloid heart-throb, who is haunted by dreams and hounded by fans, is manipulated by a gambling syndicate into being the prize in a lottery to find him a wife. But things get complicated when he falls in love before the lottery is drawn.
The film was first shown at the Regent Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand on 21 January 1954, as a royal performance during the New Zealand visit by Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. The UK premiere was at the Gaumont Haymarket in London on 28 January 1954.
The reviewer for The Times expressed mixed views after the UK premiere: "The construction of The Love Lottery is deplorably weak ... and Mr. Charles Crichton, who directs the film for Ealing Studios, is left to make what he can of an idea which could branch out in a number of directions. ... Yet, even if catches are dropped, there is much in The Love Lottery which beguiles and entertains, The satire at the expense on film publicity methods and of the mentality of the film-fan is, in the Ealing tradition, so mild that a writer such as Mr. Clifford Odets would not recognize that it was there, but it is there, nevertheless, and it scores some palpable, if gentle, hits."
Michael Balcoln called it one of the worst movies made at Ealing.
Many years later, the US edition of the TV Guide gave the film two out of four stars, calling it a "clever British satire on the Hollywood star system."