|Directed by||Anthony Kimmins|
|Produced by||Colin Lesslie|
|Written by||Kenneth Horne|
|Based on||Aunt Clara|
by Noel Streatfeild
A. E. Matthews
|Music by||Benjamin Frankel|
|Edited by||Gerald Turney Smith|
Colin Lesslie Productions
|Distributed by||British Lion Film Corporation|
|22 November 1954|
Aunt Clara is a 1954 British comedy film starring Margaret Rutherford as a woman who inherits a number of shady businesses from a relative. Ronald Shiner, A. E. Matthews, and Fay Compton are also featured. The film was based on the 1952 novel of the same name by author Noel Streatfeild, and directed by Anthony Kimmins for London Films.
Clara Hilton (Margaret Rutherford) is a shrewd, kindly old lady mostly ignored by the rest of her family. When her cantankerous uncle Simon (A. E. Matthews) dies, he unexpectedly leaves her the bulk of his considerable estate - his house, six racing greyhounds, a crooked game, a pub and a brothel - because she alone would see to the well-being of those dependent on him. Clara keeps Simon’s valet Henry Martin (Ronald Shiner) on to assist her.
Henry (Ronald Shiner) and Cyril (Ronald Ward) and Maggie Mason (Eileen Way), who run the pub, try to keep her from seeing what kind of business they are running, but she quickly finds out. She also discovers that Simon's "natural daughter" Julie Mason (Jill Bennett), to whom he left £20 a month for life, has disappeared. Clara decides to have her solicitor Charles Willis (Nigel Stock) try to find her, only to discover he met Julie at the funeral and is dining with her that very evening.
Then she learns that Fosdick (Eddie Byrne), the man operating the crooked Gambler's Luck wheel of fortune, will be at Epsom Downs, so she goes to meet him. With the police closing in, Fosdick hastily departs, leaving Clara in charge of the game. She and Henry are taken into custody. Charles clears up the matter.
Next, Alfie (Reginald Beckwith) and Lily Pearce (Jessie Evans) deceive Clara into believing that the greyhounds they are training for her are champions, the furthest thing from the truth.
When Charles finds out the Masons have not given Julie her monthly allowance, they all go to give the Masons the opportunity to explain themselves. In private, Cyril Mason tells Charles that they kept the money because Julie has no morals, Charles punches him. Later, he and Julie marry.
Clara puts on a fundraiser for a children’s holiday fund, but the donations are meagre. Henry unexpectedly presents the patrons the opportunity to play Gambler's Luck. Afterward, Clara gives the game to Fosdick, on the understanding that he send half the winnings to her charity.
At the greyhound races, Alfie substitutes a champion for his perennial loser, but Clara feeds the animal hot dogs beforehand, causing him to fade, and costing Alfie and Henry £25 each, plus a £20 cup. Clara, on the other hand, wins her bet. Later, she reimburses the pair for their losses, and anticipates that Alfie will play fair from now on.
Finally, Clara goes to see brothel-owner Gladys Smith. She and her girls are getting on in years and will not be able to ply their trade for very much longer. Clara reveals that she does not have much longer to live, and they are the last responsibility Henry left her. After Clara dies, her will leaves the women the house and funds to support them, and the pub goes to Henry.
- Ronald Shiner as Henry Martin
- Margaret Rutherford as Clara Hilton
- A. E. Matthews as Simon Hilton
- Fay Compton as Gladys Smith
- Nigel Stock as Charles Willis
- Jill Bennett as Julie
- Reginald Beckwith as Alfie Pearce
- Raymond Huntley as Maurice Hilton
- Eddie Byrne as Fosdick
- Sid James as Honest Sid (as Sidney James)
- Ronald Ward as Cyril Mason
- Eileen Way as Maggie Mason
- Gillian Lind as Doris Hilton
- Jessie Evans as Lily Pearce
- Garry Marsh as Arthur Cole
'Britmovie' wrote that the film "fails to catch fire despite its undoubted charm. Margaret Rutherford plays the eponymous lead but for once her dotty spinster persona is understated and the film contains a suffocating melancholic tone that only resolves itself at the films moving closure"; while TV Guide observed "a charming film dotted with cameos by noted British comics."
- "Aunt Clara (1954) - film review". Filmsdefrance.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Aunt Clara 1954". Britmovie.co.uk. Britmovie | Home of British Films. Retrieved 23 June 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Aunt Clara Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved 23 June 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)