Second Fiddle (1957 film)

Second Fiddle is a 1957 British comedy film directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Adrienne Corri, Thorley Walters, Lisa Gastoni and Richard Wattis. The film was produced by Robert Dunbar for Act Films Ltd.[1] It was the final film of prolific director Maurice Elvey.[2]

Second Fiddle
DVD cover
Directed byMaurice Elvey
Produced byRobert Dunbar
Written byRobert Dunbar
Allan MacKinnon
Based onstory by Mary Cathcart Borer
Robert Dunbar
StarringAdrienne Corri
Thorley Walters
Lisa Gastoni
Music byWilliam Davies
CinematographyArthur Graham
Edited byTed Hunter
Distributed byBritish Lion Films (UK)
Release date
June 1957
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Second Fiddle was missing from the BFI National Archive, and was listed as one of the British Film Institute's "75 Most Wanted" lost films.[3] BFI's update on the list reveals that the film is now found and commercially available on DVD from mid-2015.[4]


Deborah and Charles, very much in love, are young executives at the successful Pontifex Advertising Agency. Deborah is highly sought after as a brilliant jingle writing executive, while Charles is regarded as thoroughly efficient. The Pontifex board of directors however, will not allow any married women on their staff. Charles’ fiancée Deborah worries about her future with the company. Eventually the company reverses their policy, enabling newly-wed Deborah to continue working. When Deborah wins a lucrative advertising campaign in New York, and Charles seems to be overlooked for a promotion he was confident would be his, Charles feels his masculinity threatened. Whilst Deb is away in New York, Charles becomes involved in a flirtatious relationship with his attractive secretary Pauline.


Critical reception

DVD Compare wrote, "it’s a film that is photographed in a very static way, in a studio setting (Shepperton Studios) and with much use of long takes and theatrical ‘side-on’ blocking of actors – but this fits the material like a glove. It's a funny, enjoyable film which also slyly comments on issues of gender at work and at home."[2]


  1. Action! Fifty Years in the Life of a Union. Published: 1983 (UK). Publisher: ACTT. ISBN 0 9508993 0 5. ACT Films Limited - Ralph Bond p81 (producer listed as Robert Dunbar)
  3. "Second Fiddle / BFI Most Wanted". British Film Institute.
  4. "Network ON AIR > Second Fiddle".

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