The Galloping Major (film)

The Galloping Major is a 1951 British comedy sports film, starring Basil Radford, Jimmy Hanley and Janette Scott.[2] It also featured Sid James, Charles Hawtrey and Joyce Grenfell in supporting roles. It was directed by Henry Cornelius and made at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. The film's sets were designed by Norman Arnold.

The Galloping Major
Directed byHenry Cornelius
Produced byMonja Danischewsky
Written byMonja Danischewsky
Henry Cornelius
Basil Radford
StarringBasil Radford
Jimmy Hanley
Janette Scott
A. E. Matthews
Rene Ray
Music byGeorges Auric
CinematographyStanley Pavey
Edited byGeoffrey Foot
Distributed byIndependent Film Distributors
Release date
8 May 1951
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£153,770 (UK)[1]

The title is taken from the song "The Galloping Major", and the plot was centred on gambling at the horse racing track. People in a London suburb form a syndicate to buy a race horse to run in the Grand National.


The film was made as an independent production, backed by the Woolf Brothers. It proved profitable at the box office,[3] but producer Monja Danischewsky quit independent production afterwards to return to work at Ealing Studios. It has been noted as being similar in style to the Ealing comedies of the same era.[4]

It features appearances by several figures well-known at the time, including the jockey Charlie Smirke and the radio commentators Raymond Glendenning and Bruce Belfrage.

Main cast


  • "Lambs Green" in the film is actually Belsize Village, London NW3. The cafe in the film was a greengrocer's shop in 2012, but the whole area is easily recognisable.
  • The race track was filmed at Alexandra Palace, which can be seen briefly in the background.


  1. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p495
  3. Harper & Porter p.147
  4. Murphy p.123


  • Harper, Sue & Porter, Vincent. British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference. Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Murphy, Robert. Directors in British and Irish Cinema: A Reference Companion. British Film Institute, 2006.
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