Isn't Life Wonderful!

Isn't Life Wonderful! is a 1953 British Technicolor comedy film directed by Harold French.[4] It was released in the U.S. as Uncle Willie's Bicycle Shop, the title of Brock Williams original 1948 novel based on his boyhood experiences.[5] An Edwardian family must deal with its black sheep, the alcoholic Uncle Willie (Donald Wolfit).

Isn't Life Wonderful!
Directed byHarold French
Produced byWarwick Ward
Screenplay byBrock Williams
Based onnovel Uncle Willie and the Bicycle Shop by Brock Williams[1]
StarringCecil Parker
Eileen Herlie
Donald Wolfit
Peter Asher
Music byPhilip Green
CinematographyErwin Hillier
Edited byEdward B. Jarvis
Distributed byAssociated British-Pathé (UK)
Release date
16 November 1953
Running time
81 minutes[2]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£97,710[3]


In Edwardian England, alcoholic Uncle Willie (Donald Wolfit) is an embarrassment to his family. Head of the household father (Cecil Parker), decides to set Willie up as the manager of a bicycle shop, hoping to impress visiting American heiress Virginia van Stuyden (Dianne Foster). The surprise for everyone comes when Uncle Willie's little shop begins to prosper.


Critical reception

TV Guide called it "A pleasant little charmer";[6] while Sky Cinema wrote, "Director Harold French skilfully milks its situations for all they are worth...No big stars in this film, which makes it an unexpected treat. Based on an equally entertaining novel Uncle Willie and the Bicycle Shop. Donald Wolfit stars as the alcoholic Uncle Willie, Cecil Parker suffers splendidly as Father."[7]


  1. bnpfl4U3PT5S16ipZKL-nHP1psI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQsMHS6LjWAhXEI1AKHf8TCDwQ6AEIQzAJ#v=onepage&q=Isn't+Life+Wonderful!+literary+sources+in+film&f=false|title=The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film|first=Alan|last=Goble|date=1 January 1999|publisher=Walter de Gruyter|via=Google Books}}
  2. "ISN'T LIFE WONDERFUL - British Board of Film Classification".
  3. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p502
  4. "Isn't Life Wonderful! (1953)".
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  6. "Isn't Life Wonderful!".
  7. "Isn't Life Wonderful!".

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