The Forbidden Street (1949)

90 mins | Drama | May 1949

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Britannia Mews and Impulse . The film was released in Great Britain as Britannia Mews and was originally scheduled to be released in America as Affairs of Adelaide . According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio bought Margery Sharp's novel in Jun 1946 for $150,000 plus bonus increments. A HR news item of 19 Jun 1946 announced that Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison would star in The Forbidden Street . British publicity materials and the Var review include Neil North and Anthony Lambin in the cast, but they were not in the viewed print, and it is possible that their scene was cut from the final film. The film was shot in England using studio funds frozen in Great Britain.
       An early draft of the screenplay was written by David Hertz, but his contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. A Var news item of 30 Nov 1948 reported that the studio had "two entirely different versions of The Affairs of Adelaide and doesn't know which to use. Situation came to light with the arrival here of Richard Best, British film cutter hired to sit in on editing of the British-made film. Best had already cut one version, in England. The almost completed studio version was altogether different than his, which he brought along with him. Studio paid Best's fare over, in order to insure proper overseas 'touches' in Adelaide ." Veteran Fox film editor Robert Simpson did some ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Britannia Mews and Impulse . The film was released in Great Britain as Britannia Mews and was originally scheduled to be released in America as Affairs of Adelaide . According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio bought Margery Sharp's novel in Jun 1946 for $150,000 plus bonus increments. A HR news item of 19 Jun 1946 announced that Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison would star in The Forbidden Street . British publicity materials and the Var review include Neil North and Anthony Lambin in the cast, but they were not in the viewed print, and it is possible that their scene was cut from the final film. The film was shot in England using studio funds frozen in Great Britain.
       An early draft of the screenplay was written by David Hertz, but his contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. A Var news item of 30 Nov 1948 reported that the studio had "two entirely different versions of The Affairs of Adelaide and doesn't know which to use. Situation came to light with the arrival here of Richard Best, British film cutter hired to sit in on editing of the British-made film. Best had already cut one version, in England. The almost completed studio version was altogether different than his, which he brought along with him. Studio paid Best's fare over, in order to insure proper overseas 'touches' in Adelaide ." Veteran Fox film editor Robert Simpson did some work on the American version, according to the legal records, but waived screen credit. Neither Simpson nor Best received screen credit on The Forbidden Street , however. According to modern sources, Dana Andrews' performance as "Henry Lambert" was dubbed by an unidentified British actor. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 May 1949.
---
Daily Variety
29 Apr 49
p. 4.
Film Daily
3 May 49
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Apr 49
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 May 49
p. 4597.
New York Times
14 May 49
p. 9.
Variety
30 Nov 1948.
---
Variety
9 Mar 49
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
COSTUMES
Hats for Miss O'Hara and Miss Butchart
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Personal asst to prod
Personal asst to prod
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Britannia Mews by Margery Sharp (Boston, 1946).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Affairs of Adelaide
Impulse
Britannia Mews
Release Date:
May 1949
Premiere Information:
London opening: 24 February 1949
New York opening: 13 May 1949
Production Date:
mid July--mid October 1948 at London Film Studios, Shepperton, England
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
13 May 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2450
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in feet):
8,126
Length(in reels):
10
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
PCA No:
13228
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In late nineteenth century London, young Adelaide Culver accepts her cousin Alice Hambro's dare to venture onto Britannia Mews, the squalid alley behind her family's house. Years pass, and Adelaide cannot get the mews out of her mind, feeling that her destiny is somehow bound to its rough streets. As young ladies, Adelaide and Alice are given drawing lessons by a handsome young artist, Henry Lambert, who lives in the family's old coachman's quarters in the mews. One day, Alice is unable to attend the lesson, and Adelaide and Henry, alone for the first time, acknowledge their mutual attraction. The following week, Adelaide learns that her father plans to retire and move the family to the country. She tells her parents she wishes to marry Henry, and although they object to the union because the struggling artist is not of their class, Adelaide refuses to be swayed. She goes to Henry and suggests marrying at once, but he protests that his income is inadequate to support a wife and admits that he tends to drink too much. Adelaide prevails, and the newlyweds move into the mews, where she discovers a beautifully crafted set of marionettes that Henry made years before in Paris. One day, Adelaide is summoned by her brother Treff, a student at Cambridge, who declares that their mother wants her to leave Henry and move home. Adelaide refuses, and when Henry returns from the pub, she tells him that she wants to leave the mews, leading to a bitter argument. Months pass, and with their money almost gone, Adelaide tries to persuade Henry to start giving drawing lessons ... +


In late nineteenth century London, young Adelaide Culver accepts her cousin Alice Hambro's dare to venture onto Britannia Mews, the squalid alley behind her family's house. Years pass, and Adelaide cannot get the mews out of her mind, feeling that her destiny is somehow bound to its rough streets. As young ladies, Adelaide and Alice are given drawing lessons by a handsome young artist, Henry Lambert, who lives in the family's old coachman's quarters in the mews. One day, Alice is unable to attend the lesson, and Adelaide and Henry, alone for the first time, acknowledge their mutual attraction. The following week, Adelaide learns that her father plans to retire and move the family to the country. She tells her parents she wishes to marry Henry, and although they object to the union because the struggling artist is not of their class, Adelaide refuses to be swayed. She goes to Henry and suggests marrying at once, but he protests that his income is inadequate to support a wife and admits that he tends to drink too much. Adelaide prevails, and the newlyweds move into the mews, where she discovers a beautifully crafted set of marionettes that Henry made years before in Paris. One day, Adelaide is summoned by her brother Treff, a student at Cambridge, who declares that their mother wants her to leave Henry and move home. Adelaide refuses, and when Henry returns from the pub, she tells him that she wants to leave the mews, leading to a bitter argument. Months pass, and with their money almost gone, Adelaide tries to persuade Henry to start giving drawing lessons again. The couple argue on the small landing outside their house, and when Adelaide pushes Henry away from her, he accidentally falls down the stairs and is killed. Her neighbor, Mrs. Mounsey, commonly known as The Sow, assures the constable it was an accident, and when she complains of financial problems, Adelaide kindly shares her remaining money with the old woman. Adelaide decides to return to her family, and writes them that Henry has died of influenza. As she prepares to leave, however, Mrs. Mounsey threatens to tell the police that Adelaide killed her husband unless she stays in the mews and makes weekly payments. Two years later, Mrs. Culver comes to visit her daughter, but Mrs. Mounsey intercepts her and says that Adelaide moved out a year ago. One night, Adelaide encounters Gilbert Lauderdale, an alcoholic former attorney reduced to addressing envelopes for a living. Adelaide rents Gilbert the coach house downstairs, and when she tells him about Mrs. Mounsey, he gets rid of the old woman by threatening to prosecute her for blackmail. Gilbert tells Adelaide that he was briefly married but has not seen his wife, who now lives in America, for years. Gilbert and Adelaide soon begin working with Henry's marionettes, and together with Desmond Bly, a puppet master, open a puppet theater. Treff comes to one of their performances, and Adelaide introduces Gilbert as "Henry Gilbert Lambert." Treff offers to be their agent, and uses his college connections in the press to make their act even more successful. Treff is troubled by the fact that Adelaide and her "husband" have separate sleeping quarters, and Gilbert makes up a story about violent nightmares that cause him to thrash and kick in his sleep. One afternoon, Gilbert's wife Milly, who has returned from America, comes to call after seeing Gilbert's picture in a magazine. She claims that Gilbert deserted her, and Adelaide sadly tells him that he must return to his wife. After Gilbert leaves, Treff arrives with the news that their parents want Adelaide and her husband to visit. Just then, Gilbert returns and happily tells Adelaide that Milly had divorced him and remarried two years before. Gilbert changes his last name to Lambert, and he and Adelaide are married that afternoon. They immediately depart for the country, where Adelaide and her family are finally reunited On Treff's advice, Mrs. Culver gives the couple separate bedrooms, but when everyone is asleep, Gilbert enters his new wife's room. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.