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This Happy Breed
Directed by David Lean • 1944 • United Kingdom
Starring Robert Newton, Celia Johnson
David Lean brings to vivid emotional life Noël Coward’s epic chronicle of a working-class family in the London suburbs over the course of two decades. Robert Newton and Celia Johnson are surpassingly affecting as Frank and Ethel Gibbons, a couple with three children whose modest household is touched by joy and tragedy from the tail end of the First World War to the beginning of the Second. With its mix of politics and melodrama, THIS HAPPY BREED is a quintessential British domestic drama, featuring subtly expressive Technicolor cinematography by Ronald Neame and a remarkable supporting cast including John Mills, Stanley Holloway, and Kay Walsh.