Even though it's now shown on television quite regularly this is one of those films that still surprises with just how good, funny and relevant it is today.
It was made in 1952 when the British film industry was still a commercial force. Some of those involved were once famous and successful and are now ignored and almost forgotten. Some went on to bigger though not better things. Director Ronald Neame had been a cameraman and producer for David Lean and would go on to direct `The Poseidon Adventure'. But this, his second film as director, is by far his best.
It's an acutely observed comedy of social manners set in the English Midlands at the beginning of the last century. The original novel is by Arnold Bennett, a great writer of social comedy now almost out of print. The screenplay by a very different writer, Eric Ambler, whose books and screenplays remain under-appreciated. And it's the writing and the playing by a generally excellent cast which keep this film fresh and alive.
The DVD also contains Alec Guinness in a later television play by John Mortimer `Edwin' which is by turns cruel, funny and sad and is almost worth the price of the disc on its own.