Busman's Honeymoon (film)

Busman's Honeymoon is a 1940 British detective film directed by Arthur B. Woods.[1] An adaptation of the Lord Peter Wimsey story Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers, Busman's Honeymoon stars Robert Montgomery, Constance Cummings, Leslie Banks, Googie Withers, Robert Newton and Seymour Hicks as Mervyn Bunter. [Note 1]

Busman's Honeymoon
Directed byArthur B. Woods
Produced byHarold Huth
Ben Goetz
Screenplay by
Based on1936 play Busman's Honeymoon
by Dorothy L. Sayers
Muriel St. Clare Byrne
Music by
CinematographyFreddie Young
Edited by
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • 22 July 1940 (1940-07-22)
(London) (UK)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The plot revolves around newly married famous amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey (Montgomery) and his wife, mystery writer Harriet Vane (Cummings), who are looking forward to a quiet honeymoon at their new country cottage when they are reluctantly drawn into the investigation of a local murder. Busman's Honeymoon premiered in London in July 1940 and was released in the U.S. as Haunted Honeymoon in September 1940.[3]

Plot summary



Location shooting on Busman's Honeymoon began 4 August 1939 with Richard Thorpe as the original director. After the outbreak of the Second World War, the film was "shelved" until March 1940 with Arthur B. Woods appointed as director. [4] Principal photography took place from 21 March to mid-April 1940 at Denham Studios, as well as other locations in England.[5]

Critical reception

Film critic Bosley Crowther in his review of Haunted Honeymoon, wrote in The New York Times, "Seldom has there been a film so pleasantly conducive to browsing as this leisurely, bookish fable of murder in Devonshire; not of late has there been one so steeped in the genteel tradition of British crime literature. A glass of port, at least, should be taken along with it." [6]

In a more recent review, Britmovie wrote, "Americans Robert Montgomery and Constance Cummings aroused some national indignation when cast as such the essentially British sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey and his crime-writing bride Harriet Vane but they acquitted themselves satisfactorily, even though some of their thunder is stolen by a particularly colourful supporting cast that includes a morose Robert Newton, Seymour Hicks resourceful butler, Leslie Banks and Googie Withers". [7]



  1. American stage and film actor Robert Montgomery could effectively carry off a British accent as Lord Peter Wimsey.[2]


  1. "Film details: "Busman's Honeymoon' (1940)." BFI. Retrieved: 24 August 2016.
  2. Maltin 1994, p. 622.
  3. Heiman, Sarah. "Articles: 'Haunted Honeymoon' (1940)." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: 24 August 2016.
  4. "Trivia: 'Haunted Honeymoon' (1940)." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: 24 August 2016.
  5. "Original print information: 'Haunted Honeymoon' (1940)." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: 24 August 2016.
  6. Crowther, Bosley. "Movie review: The screen: 'Haunted Honeymoon,' a leisurely English mystery film, at Loew's Criterion." The New York Times, 31 October 1940.
  7. "Films: 'Busman's Honeymoon'." Archived 3 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine britmovie.co.uk, 2016. Retrieved: 24 August 2016.


  • Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia. New York: Dutton, 1994. ISBN 0-525-93635-1.
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