|Green Grow the Rushes|
|Directed by||Derek N. Twist|
|Written by||Derek N. Twist|
|Produced by||John W. Gossage|
|Music by||Lambert Williamson|
|Distributed by||British Lion Films|
Green Grow the Rushes (1951) is a British comedy film and the first film to be released by ACT Films Ltd. The film was produced by John Gossage and funded by the National Film Finance Corporation and the Co-operative Wholesale Society Bank.
Three British government bureaucrats arrive in Kent to inquire as to why the coastal Anderida marsh is not being cultivated. The reason is that most of the local people know about or are involved in the liquor smuggling scheme operated by Captain Biddle and his accomplice Robert (Richard Burton), who is posing as a fisherman when he is seen by the newspaper editor and his journalist daughter Meg.
Robert persuades them not to report it in the newspaper, and tells Biddle about his encounter with them. Biddle does not like the idea of any local "Lily White" (woman) knowing about their illegal activity; he was once married to a Lily White. The smugglers’ next cargo gets caught in a violent storm, and their boat washes inland, settling in the meadow of a farmer whose wife Polly happens to be Biddle’s ex-wife.
- Richard Burton - Robert Hammond
- Honor Blackman - Meg Cuffley
- Roger Livesey - Captain Cedric Biddle
- Frederick Leister - Colonel Gill
- Arnold Ridley - Tom Cuffley
- John Salew - Herbert Finch
- Colin Gordon - Roderick Fisherwish
- Geoffrey Keen - Spencer Prudhow
- Russell Waters - Joseph Bainbridge
- Vida Hope - Polly
- Cyril Smith - Constable Hewitt
- Jack McNaughton - Sgt. Edgar Rigby
- Eliot Makeham - James Urquhart (Coast Guard)
- Gilbert Davis - Whitley
- Harcourt Williams - Chairman of the Bench
- Archie Duncan - Constable Pettigrew
- Bryan Forbes - Fred Starling (Biddle’s crewman)
- Harold Goodwin - Gosling (Biddle’s crewman)
- Henrik Jacobsen - Sigismund (Biddle’s crewman)
Based on the 1949 novel Green Grow the Rushes by Howard Clewes. The title, at least, is inspired by the 18th-century folk song "Green Grow the Rushes, O", in which each of the 12 verses after the first has the penultimate line, "Two, two, the lily-white boys, clothed all in green O."
The film recouped its cost. However the NFFC rejected ACT's next two proposed projects, films about Sir William Hastings and the Tolpuddle Martryrs. So the company made less politically active films from then on.
- Variety (weekly) 21 November 1951.
- The British Film Catalogue, 11606.
- Monthly Film Bulletin, 1951 page 371.
- Action! Fifty Years in the Life of a Union. Published: 1983 (UK). Publisher: ACTT. ISBN 0 9508993 0 5. ACT Films Limited - Ralph Bond p81 (producer listed as John Gossage) - "He welcomed the project and urged the recently established National Film Finance Corporation to help finance our first film...After some rather difficult negotiations , the NFFC agreed to put up approximately two-thirds of the budget and the Co-operative Wholesale Society Bank put up the remainder."
- Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Green Grow the Rushes Article".
- Harper, Sue; Porter, Vincent (2003). British Cinema of The 1950s The Decline of Deference. Oxford University Press USA. p. 14.