The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) Poster

The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)

  • Rate: 7.4/10 total 503 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Date: 8 March 1950 (UK)
  • Runtime: 81 min
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The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)


The Happiest Days of Your Life 1950tt0042541.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950)
  • Rate: 7.4/10 total 503 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Date: 8 March 1950 (UK)
  • Runtime: 81 min
  • Filming Location: Langley Court, Liss, Hampshire, England, UK
  • Director: Frank Launder
  • Stars: Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford and Guy Middleton|See full cast and crew
  • Original Music By: Mischa Spoliansky   
  • Soundtrack: Music
  • Sound Mix: Mono
  • Plot Keyword: School | Boarding School | Teacher | Rugby | Gender Clash

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • John Dighton  play
  • Frank Launder 

Known Trivia

  • Was filmed in Liss, Hampshire, England, at the village infant school. The pupils were featured in the movie as extras.
  • George Benson replaced John Boxer.

Goofs: Continuity: During the class change scene, the knob on the banister gets broken, but can be see soon after as unbroken.

Plot: Nutbourne College, an old established, all-boys, boarding school is told that another school is to be billeted with due to wartime restrictions… See more » |  »

Story: Nutbourne College, an old established, all-boys, boarding school is told that another school is to be billeted with due to wartime restrictions. The shock is that it's an all-girls school that has been sent. The two head teachers are soon battling for the upper hand with each other and the Ministry. But a crisis (or two) forces them to work together.Written by Steve Crook <>  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Sidney Gilliat known as producer
  • Stephen Harrison known as producer
  • Frank Launder known as producer
  • E.M. Smedley-Aston known as associate producer
  • Mario Zampi known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Alastair Sim known as Wetherby Pond
  • Margaret Rutherford known as Muriel Whitchurch
  • Guy Middleton known as Victor Hyde-Brown
  • Joyce Grenfell known as Miss Gossage
  • Edward Rigby known as Rainbow (school porter)
  • Muriel Aked known as Miss Jezzard
  • John Bentley known as Richard Tassell
  • Bernadette O'Farrell known as Miss Harper
  • Richard Wattis known as Arnold Billings
  • Gladys Henson known as Mrs. Hampstead (school housekeeper)
  • John Turnbull known as Conrad Matthews
  • Percy Walsh known as Monsieur Joue
  • Arthur Howard known as Anthony Ramsden
  • Myrette Morven known as Miss Chapel
  • Laurence Naismith known as Dr. Collett (school governor)
  • Patricia Owens known as Angela Parry
  • Kenneth Downey known as Sir Angus McNally (school governor)
  • Stringer Davis known as Rev. Rich (school governor)
  • Angela Glynne known as Barbara Colhoun
  • Harold Goodwin known as Edwin (assistant school porter)
  • Margaret Anderson known as Alice
  • Patience Rentoul known as Miss Armstrong
  • Lilian Stanley known as Miss Curtis
  • Stanley Lemin known as Mr. Parry
  • Olwen Brookes known as Mrs. Parry
  • Alan Broadhurst known as Mr. Ibbertson
  • Vivien Wood known as Mrs. Ibbertson
  • Nan Munro known as Mrs. Jones
  • Russell Waters known as Mr. West
  • George Benson known as Mr. Tripp
  • Betty Blackler known as Mary
  • Fred Marshall known as Metcalf
  • John Rhodes known as Cranbourne
  • Jim Davis known as Talbot
  • Keith Faulkner known as Unsworth
  • William Simonds known as Oliver
  • Charlotte Mitchell known as Ethel
  • Mackenzie Ward known as Benson
  • George Cole known as Junior assistant caretaker at Ministry of Education (uncredited)
  • Beryl Ede known as Political Canvasser (uncredited)
  • Pat Pleasence known as Young Girl (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:

  • Dorrie Hamilton known as makeup artist
  • Betty Sherriff known as hair stylist
  • Tom Smith known as assistant makeup artist

Art Department:

  • William Hutchinson known as assistant art director
  • Peter Wood known as scenic artist (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Individual Pictures


  • British Lion Film Corporation (1950) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Cinédis (1951) (France) (theatrical)
  • Eclair Journal (1951) (France) (theatrical) (16mm)
  • Filmsonor (1951) (France) (theatrical)
  • Lumiere Pictures (1995) (UK) (VHS)
  • Starlight (2005) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Starlight (2005) (Switzerland) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Release Date:

  • UK 8 March 1950
  • UK 10 April 1950 (London)
  • USA 16 September 1950 (New York City, New York)
  • Denmark 27 January 1951
  • France 9 February 1951 (Paris)
  • Sweden 19 February 1951
  • Portugal 14 July 1952
  • Spain 19 January 1953 (Madrid)
  • West Germany 11 June 1967
  • Finland 21 September 1973 (TV premiere)
  • Germany 7 February 2005 (DVD premiere)



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on November 20, 2012 by Movies DVD New Releases Blu-ray in Movies | Tags: , .


  1. Hugh Peacock ( from London, England
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    From the golden period of British films, this has my vote for one of thefunniest of all time.Screened yesterday at my Film Society to a rapturous audience, I wasastonished at how well the comedy has lasted (made in 1950!). It isreallydown to the expert timing and inimitable playing from two of the finestactors Britain has produced: Margaret Rutherford and AlastairSim.Adapted from a play by John Dighton, this farce is briskly handled bydirector Frank Launder.The plot is simple: A ministry mistake billets a girls’ school on a boys’school.I will always laugh when I think of this film.

  2. David Matthews (
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    No point in giving too many plot details here, just take the basic premiseof an all girls school being assigned to an all boys school by mistake, addthat on the same day the girl’s headmistress has to show a group of visitingparents around while the boy’s headmaster (who is due to be promoted to asenior position at a new college) has to show his new employers around and Ithink you’ll get the picture.

    This fifty year old comedy wears well. The pace is frantic, like a Frenchfarce with doors opening and closing and much dashing along corridors withsplit second timing as the two groups try to avoid each other. MagaretRutherford and Alistair Sim ham it up superbly and there are many familiarfaces in the supporting cast, all of whom react with greatprofessionalism. At ninety minutes the film doesn’t out stay it’s welcome,and there’s even time for a little romance that doesn’t slow up the actionone bit. Incidentally I had forgotten how sexy the gym outfits of Englishschoolgirls of that period were. It bought back memories.

  3. aromatic-2 ( from New York, NY
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    One of the flat-out drollest movies of all-time. Sim and Rutherford are attheir best matching wits over the predicament of an all-boys and all-girlsschool sharing the same quarters. Slapstick has never been thissophisticated.

  4. filoshagrat from Scotland
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    This film, without doubt, is the clearest example of the British humourthe Germans can’t understand. One-liners run rampant in a film spawningone of the greatest series of films in British cinema history(St.Trinians). The story of bureaucratic incompetence amid post-wartrials enables Frank Launder to direct maximum talent from all thecast. It’s probably the only film in which Margaret Rutherford meetsher match, in Alastair Sim, for forceful characterisation (she stillwins though). Joyce Grenfell (bless her) and Richard Wattis bothdeserve mentions in Dighton’s masterpiece of English etiquette andstiff upper lip under pressure.

    No Rutherford/Sim/Grenfell fan would be without this in theircollection. Absolutely brilliant. Why 9/10? Only 83mins long.

  5. Mark Whiston from Eastbourne, England
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    After a long run in the West End this charming film re-cast MargaretRutherford as the Headmistress ‘Miss Whitchurch’ in this financiallysuccessful adaptation made in 1950.

    All interior shots took place at Riverside studios in Hammersmith, London.The exterior scenes were filmed on location at a public girl’s school nearLiss in Hampshire. During the 12 – week shoot both Margaret Rutherford andJoyce Grenfell were staying in a hotel nearby and would often visit theschool during the evenings where they would happily enjoy the company ofthereal school mistresses.

    Although the film’s script contains only two original lines from theoriginal play the leads and supporting actors are in fine form and you canonly feel sympathetic for their predicament especially in the finalscenes.

  6. didi-5 from United Kingdom
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    This English classic couldn’t miss with Alastair Sim and MargaretRutherfordin the same movie (he’s the head of a boys’ school who has to accomodateherschool and staff during wartime alongside their own). There’s also thedelightfully dotty Joyce Grenfell (Miss Gossage, ‘call me sausage’). TheHappiest Days … falls back on slapstick farce and, rather like the StTrinian’s series, sends up the whole boarding school culture with glee.Itall gets incredibly silly and, as such, is a genuinely hilarious andharmless hour and a half of entertainment.

  7. Learner5 (
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    The play is cleverly constructed – begin with the porter, Rainbow – & letthe audience see the background unfold through his eyes. The film followsthe play with great faithfulness, working, no doubt, on the simple premisethat it couldn’t be bettered. Now throw in a host of superb characteractors – & the result is a resounding triumph.A definite must-see.

  8. JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    A bumbling error at the Ministry Of Education results in Nutbourne BoysSchool having to share with St Swithin's School For Girls. This bemusesthe respective head teachers of each school and leads to all manner ofchaotic goings on, however the two are forced to come to an uneasyalliance in the hope of averting major trouble.

    The Happiest Days Of Your Life is based on the John Dighton play from1948, with Dighton writing the part of Headmistress Whitchurchspecifically for Margaret Rutherford. Replacing George Howe from theplay in the role of Headmaster Pond, is Alastair Sim, and herein liesthe crowning glory of this filmic adaptation, Sim & Rutherford areperfectly wonderful, bouncing off each other to keep what is basicallya one joke movie, highly entertaining. Directed by the gifted FrankLaunder, and produced by the equally adroit Sidney Gilliat, TheHappiest Days Of Your Life is a quintessentially British movie,obviously a precursor to the St Trinians franchise, the film entertainsthe children with it's high jinks clash of the sexes heart, whilsttickling the watching adults with its very saucy undercurrent.Thankfully the chaotic ending cements all that has gone before it toleave this particular viewer with a grin as wide as Nutbourne RailStation. Great fun. 8/10

  9. trojanfoe from United Kingdom
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    This film is just plain lovely. It’s funny as hell and as old as thehills. The acting is superb and it’s fascinating seeing post-warBritain and how we used to behave in those days. This seems to havebeen some pre-runner to the St. Trinians films (given the Alastair Simand Margaret Rutherford connection – there’s also a very young GeorgeCole in there who appeared in many St. Trinians films) but I don’tmyself understand the connection. It was shown on BBC4 recently after abiography of St. Trinians creator Ronald Searle, however I missedenough of the biography to miss the connection with this film. Anyway agreat film in its own right and something that should be preserved forall time!

  10. odde63 from United Kingdom
    20 Nov 2012, 4:59 am

    This film was made thirteen years before I was born but I still thinkit is the wittiest, dottiest, most harmless piece of fun ever made. Itsimply could not go wrong with the cast of superb British characteractors it boasts.

    Where to start? Alastair Sim-peerless; Margaret Rutherford-ditto;thewonderfully alkward, innocent Gossage, played to perfection by theimperious Joyce Grenfell. The caddish Victor Hyde-Brown (a GuyMiddleton special) and the rest of the staff sum up post-warmiddle-class England to a tee.

    The humour is sometimes obvious, but it is of that special "Ealing"variety and is never offensive.

    I have watched this film more times than I care to remember and stilllaugh like a drain at the antics every time. The storming of the dormsoccupied by the girls school, the magnificently-planned but ultimatelydoomed twin tours of the school and the chaotic ending involving thearrival of a third school to add to the anarchy, are priceless.

    It's an old cliché I know, but they really do not make them like thatanymore. How I wish they did. If you haven't seen it, please do, youwon't be disappointed.

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