Flight from Folly

Flight from Folly is a 1945 British musical comedy film directed and produced by Herbert Mason, in his last directorial credit before moving onto production, for Warner Bros.[1] It stars Pat Kirkwood and Hugh Sinclair, with music from Edmundo Ros and the Rumba Band. Kirkwood had appeared in minor roles in four films between 1938 and 1940 before focussing her career on the West End stage, where she had become a major star during the war years. Flight from Folly was designed to give Kirkwood her first starring screen role, with the hope of breaking her out as a big-name film attraction.

Flight from Folly
Directed byHerbert Mason
Produced byHerbert Mason
Written byLesley Storm
Katherine Strueby
Edmund Goulding
StarringPat Kirkwood
Hugh Sinclair
Music byBenjamin Frankel
Eric Spear
Edmundo Ros
CinematographyOtto Heller
Distributed byWarner Brothers-First National Pictures
Release date
  • 21 May 1945 (1945-05-21) (United Kingdom)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


When his muse and girlfriend Nina (Tamara Desni) takes off with a continental lothario, composer and playwright Clinton Clay (Sinclair) is devastated and turns to drink for solace. His doctor (Sydney Howard) tries, with the help of Clinton's butler Neville (A. E. Matthews), to get him to pull himself together but all attempts fail as Clinton's behaviour becomes ever more unbalanced and every nurse they engage is sent on her way by him in quick order.

Showgirl Sue Brown (Kirkwood) is currently out of work, hears of Clinton's problems and poses as a nurse. She is taken on to be his keeper, and manages to placate him to the extent that he does not dismiss her. When Clinton decides to travel to Majorca in pursuit of Nina, Sue is included in the party along with Neville and Clinton's sculptor sister Millicent (Jean Gillie). Harriet (Marian Spencer), a devious widow with designs on Clinton, follows them to Majorca.

Once on the island, Clinton tracks Nina down and asks her to star in a tryout of a new musical he has written. She agrees, and Clinton makes arrangements to stage the musical there. On opening night however, the jealous Harriet locks Nina in her dressing room and disappears with the key. Sue offers to take Nina's place on stage, and proves to be a huge success with the audience. Clinton realises that he has fallen in love with her and is instantly cured of his malaise, happy now to let Nina go with her playboy lover.



It was the last film made at Warner's Teddington Studios before it was bombed in 1944.[2]

Reception and later history

Flight from Folly received a generally muted critical reception, with a degree of agreement that the cast, in particular Kirkwood herself, were better than the material they had to work with. The Manchester Guardian called the film "unworthy of [Kirkwood's] limited but genuine talent" which "promises better work in better films".[3] The Daily Mirror however found the film a "neatly made and tuneful comedy" with praise for Kirkwood's "vivacious personality and talent".[3] The film's set designs, costuming and make-up provoked criticism from a number of reviewers, with the Daily Mail commenting "the dressing of the picture... explores new regions of banal ugliness", while also remarking facetiously that Kirkwood's attempts at dancing the rumba "evoked Harringay rather more than Havana".[3]

There is no indication of what happened to the film after its original cinema run in 1945. The film does not appear ever to have been shown on television, and attempts to track down a print have so far proved fruitless. Also, the film is not held in the British Film Institute National Archive, is classed as "missing, believed lost", and is included on the BFI's "75 Most Wanted" list of missing British feature films.[3]

See also


  1. Quinlan, 1984, p. 208
  2. McFarlane, 2005, p. 462
  3. "Flight From Folly / BFI Most Wanted". British Film Institute. Retrieved 17 September 2010.


  • Quinlan, David. (1984). British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928-1959. BT Batsford Ltd
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