The Great Mr. Handel

The Great Mr. Handel is a 1942 British Technicolor historical film directed by Norman Walker and starring Wilfrid Lawson, Elizabeth Allan and Malcolm Keen.[1] The film is a biopic of the 18th-century German-British composer Georg Friedrich Händel, focusing in particular on the years leading up to his 1741 oratorio Messiah.[2]

The Great Mr. Handel
Directed byNorman Walker
Produced byJames B. Sloan
Written byLawrence du Garde Peach
Gerald Elliott
Victor MacLure
StarringWilfrid Lawson
Elizabeth Allan
Malcolm Keen
Michael Shepley
Music byGeorge Frideric Handel
Ernest Irving
CinematographyJack Cardiff
Claude Friese-Greene
Edited bySam Simmonds
Independent Producers
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
9 November 1942
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Production and release

The film was made by the Rank Organisation at Denham Studios, using Technicolor. After a private screening, the company head J. Arthur Rank criticised its lack of glamorous appeal. The film was not a box office success on its release.[3]

Main cast



  • Harper, Sue. Picturing the Past: The Rise and Fall of the British Costume Film. British Film Institute, 1994.
  • Macnab, Geoffrey. J. Arthur Rank and the British Film Industry. Routledge, 1994.
  • Murphy, Robert. Realism and Tinsel: Cinema and Society in Britain, 1939-1949. Routledge, 1989.

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