Upstairs and Downstairs
Upstairs and Downstairs VideoCover.jpeg
Directed byRalph Thomas
Written byFrank Harvey
Based onnovel by Ronald Scott Thorn
Produced byBetty E. Box
StarringMichael Craig
Anne Heywood
Mylène Demongeot
Claudia Cardinale
CinematographyErnest Steward
Edited byAlfred Roome
Music byPhilip Green
Ralph Thomas-Betty E Box Productions
Distributed byThe Rank Organisation
Release date
27 August 1959
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Upstairs and Downstairs is a 1959 British comedy film directed by Ralph Thomas and starring Michael Craig, Anne Heywood, Mylène Demongeot, Claudia Cardinale, James Robertson Justice, Joan Sims, Joan Hickson and Sid James. It features the first English-language performance of Claudia Cardinale.


Richard Barry marries Kate, the daughter of his boss, Mr Mansfield. Mansfield tells Richard that he needs to take over the entertaining for their firm. Richard decides this will require hiring some domestic help at home, but there then follows a series of very unsuitable servants. Eventually, he hires a young Swedish blonde woman, Ingrid, who is most competent and liked, not only by Richard and Kate and their two children, but also by their male friends. But Ingrid likes Richard...



Ralph Thomas and Betty Box made the film after a series of more expensive adventure films. "I'm glad we're back in comedy", said Box. "I like to make people laugh. I think they get enough crying in daily life. Also the results in comedy are more tangible. You hear where you succeed."[1]

Ralph Thomas later called the film "a light comedy which I liked very much... I had a great cast in that one... For its period it was a very effective, very small little comedy, which I think was really very funny."[2]

Michael Craig said "the jokes and the situations were pretty much the same as in all the other Box/Thomas comedies. That's not surprising as they were mostly written by the same person and had the same casts."[3]


Upstairs and Downstairs was one of seven Rank films bought for release in the US by 20th Century Fox.[4]


  1. ^ Melita Knowles (19 May 1959). "Producer Betty Box Prefers Comedies: Good Collaboration". The Christian Science Monitor. p. 4.
  2. ^ Collected Interviews: Voices from Twentieth-century Cinema by Wheeler W. Dixon, SIU Press, 2001 p112
  3. ^ Craig, Michael (2005). The Smallest Giant: An Actor's Life. Allen and Unwin. p. 89.
  4. ^ "Of Local Origin". New York Times. 7 January 1960. p. 25.