The Prime Minister (film)

The Prime Minister is a British 1941 British historical drama film directed by Thorold Dickinson and starring John Gielgud, Diana Wynyard, Fay Compton and Stephen Murray.

The Prime Minister
Directed byThorold Dickinson
Produced byMax Milder
Written byMichael Hogan
Brock Williams
StarringJohn Gielgud
Diana Wynyard
Fay Compton
Stephen Murray
Music byJack Beaver
CinematographyBasil Emmott
Edited byLeslie Norman
Distributed byWarner Brothers
Release date
4 March 1941
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

It details the life and times of Benjamin Disraeli, who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It depicts his long marriage to Mary Disraeli and his relationship with various other public figures of the era including William Gladstone, Lord Melbourne and Queen Victoria. Gielgud would later reprise his role as Disraeli in the ITV television drama Edward the Seventh (1975).

The film was shot at Teddington Studios by the British subsidiary of Warner Brothers. The company had previously made a successful biopic of the Prime Minister as Disraeli in 1929. The film's sets were designed by the art director Norman G. Arnold.


In 1837, London novelist Benjamin Disraeli (John Gielgud) crashes his bicycle and is given a ride to a garden party by Mary Ann Wyndham-Lewis (Diana Wynyard). She has read his novels and says he should be in Parliament. Disraeli asks Mary Ann to help him, so she goes to the Conservative party leaders and gets their support for Disraeli.


See also

  • The Thorold Dickinson Archive is held at the University of the Arts London Archives and Special Collections Centre.[1]


The Prime Minister opened in the United States in February 1942, eleven months after its British premiere. The American release was cut by 15 minutes, and among the scenes lost was one featuring Glynis Johns, then beginning her career.[2]

Box Office

According to Warner Bros records the film earned the studio $16,000 domestically and $21,000 foreign.[3]


  2. Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 22 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
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