Johnny Frenchman

Johnny Frenchman is a 1945 British film produced by Ealing Studios and directed by Charles Frend. The film was produced by Michael Balcon from a screenplay by T. E. B. Clarke, with cinematography by Roy Kellino.

Johnny Frenchman
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCharles Frend
Produced byMichael Balcon
Written byT. E. B. Clarke
StarringTom Walls
Patricia Roc
Françoise Rosay
Paul Dupuis
Music byClifton Parker
CinematographyRoy Kellino
Edited byMichael Truman
Distributed byEagle-Lion Distributors
Release date
  • 29 October 1945 (1945-10-29)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


The film is set between March 1939 and June 1940 in a small fishing port in Cornwall, whose inhabitants have an historic but largely benign rivalry with their counterparts from another port over the water in Brittany whose men fish the same grounds. Legally the French may not fish within three miles of the British coast, and vice versa, and alleged breaches of this rule are the cause of frequent spats between hot-headed Cornish harbour-master Nat Pomeroy (Tom Walls) and Lanec Florrie (Françoise Rosay), an equally redoubtable widow from the Breton port. Beneath all the bluster and posturing however, there is a mutual understanding and respect between the two communities.

Widower Nat's daughter Sue (Patricia Roc) has been friends since childhood with local boy Bob Tremayne (Ralph Michael), and their eventual marriage has been taken as a given. During a visit by the Cornish contingent to Brittany a wrestling match is arranged between Bob and Lanec's son Yan (Paul Dupuis), during which Yan breaks a bone, to the concern of Sue. Yan is attracted to Sue and begins actively to woo her, with great success. Sue is torn between her own attraction to Yan and her unspoken commitment to Bob, a situation which leads to increased friction between the two communities. However when war-related danger ensues, both sides realise that their unity in common cause against the mutual enemy is more important than petty squabbles. Bob is called up to serve in the British navy, and in a showdown conversation with Yan before he leaves, the two agree that Sue must be allowed to follow her own heart.


Location filming

The film's exterior sequences were shot in the Cornish fishing port of Mevagissey.


    TimeOut Film Guide - published by Penguin Books - ISBN 0-14-029395-7

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