My Brother Jonathan

My Brother Jonathan is a 1948 British drama film directed by Harold French, adapted from a novel by Francis Brett Young. It starred Michael Denison, Dulcie Gray and James Robertson Justice.

My Brother Jonathan
Australian daybill poster
Directed byHarold French
Produced byWarwick Ward
Written byAdrian Alington
Leslie Landau
StarringMichael Denison
Dulcie Gray
Music byHans May
CinematographyDerick Williams
Edited byCharles Hasse
Distributed byAllied Artists (US)
Release date
5 February 1948 (UK)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£260,903 (UK)[2]


The story revolves around the life of Jonathan Dakers (Denison), a small town doctor. He is training to be a surgeon when his father dies. Due to the resulting financial problems, he cannot continue his training. He buys a share in Dr. Hammond's general practice in Wednesford, a poor foundry town.

When Dakers notes that many patients have been injured in industrial accidents at the foundry, he comes into conflict with its owner Sir Joseph Higgins, and the owner's son-in-law Dr Craig, who owns the town's competing medical practice. He writes a report criticising the condition of the foundry and buildings the workers live in but Craig, who is also the local Health Officer, deliberately mislays it.

When Dakers performs a life saving tracheotomy on a child with diphtheria, and takes the child to the hospital, he is charged with misconduct, as the hospital charter precludes infectious cases.

As a child Jonathan Dakers met Edie Martyn (Beatrice Campbell). Years later they meet again when he is training in a hospital. He becomes infatuated with Edie; however, she begins a relationship with his brother Harold, who is killed in the First World War, leaving Edie pregnant. To save her from shame Jonathan marries her, despite being in love with Rachel Hammond (Gray), the daughter of his medical partner. Soon after giving birth to a son, Edie dies, first telling Jonathan to be happy with Rachel, whom he later marries.



Box Office

The film was a big hit on release, being the third most popular movie at the British box office in 1948.[3][4] It led to Michael Denison being voted the 6th most popular British star.[5][6]

Michael Balcon later claimed the film earned £1,041,000 at the UK box office of which £416,000 went on the entertainment tax, £375,000 went to exhibitors and £57,000 to the distributors, meaning the makers of the film did not recover their costs from the UK release.[1][7]


  1. Balcon, Sir Michael. "The Film Crisis and the Public." Sunday Times [London, England] 6 Mar. 1949: 4. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
  2. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p485
  3. "THE STARRY WAY". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 8 January 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  4. Robert Murphy, Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain 1939–48 2003 p210
  5. "Wonder-boy Welles for Britain". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 22 January 1949. p. 2 Supplement: Sunday MAGAZINE. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  6. Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 258.
  7. "Why British films are in a mess". The World's News (2468). New South Wales, Australia. 9 April 1949. p. 15. Retrieved 2 September 2017 via National Library of Australia.
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