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The Admirable Crichton
Directed by Lewis Gilbert
Produced by Ian Dalrymple
Written by J.M. Barrie (play)
Lewis Gilbert (adaptation)
Vernon Harris (screenplay)
Starring Kenneth More
Diane Cilento
Cecil Parker
Sally Ann Howes
Martita Hunt
Music by Douglas Gamley
Richard Addinsell (waltzes) (uncredited)
Cinematography Wilkie Cooper
Release date(s) 1957
Running time 94 min.
Country  United Kingdom
Language English

The Admirable Crichton is a 1957 motion picture directed by Lewis Gilbert and starring Kenneth More, Sally Ann Howes and Cecil Parker. The film was based on the 1902 comedy by J. M. Barrie, The Admirable Crichton.



Kenneth More stars as Crichton, the highly efficient butler for a family of upper class British aristocrats. Though More is true master of the household, he knows his place, honouring the tightly regulated social structure of turn-of-the-century England. After the family and its servants are shipwrecked and marooned on a desert island, only Crichton has the skill and resourcefulness to keep everyone alive. Within a few months the social order has been reversed: Crichton takes control affectionately known as ‘’Guv’’, while his former employers including Lord Loam (Cecil Parker) are his willing and eager servants. Lady Mary (Sally Ann Howes), assuming that she will never be able to return to her proper fiancé, falls in love with Crichton.

However the castaways are rescued and returned to their London estate, and the original master-servant status quo is restored. His marriage to Lady Mary now an impossibility, Crichton calmly packs his bags and leaves, in the company of maidservant Tweeny (Diane Cilento), who has loved him all along. Barrie's satirical jab at class consciousness (notably in the closing "interrogation scene", conducted by the imperious Lady Brocklehurst, played by Martita Hunt) were less relevant in 1957; thus, The Admirable Crichton concentrates on the story's farcical and romantic elements.

Other film adaptations

Other film versions of Barrie's play include a 1918 film adaptation directed by G. B. Samuelson, Cecil B. De Mille's Male and Female (1919), and We're Not Dressing (1934) with Bing Crosby. The play was also filmed twice for television, in 1950 and 1968.


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