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Britain proves cheap films can make box-office hit

By our film correspondent

LONDON, January 20. -—I have just seen a first-class example of the British film of the future. It has no big-name stars, no

expensive sets. The cost was nearer £50,000 than the cus tomary £250,000 or £500,000. But it is fine entertainment— the sort of film which should attract and appeal to tens of thousands of cinema-goers the world over. The film is 'The Girl Who Couldn't Quite,' a very faithful (perhaps too faithful) adaptation of the stage show, which ran in two theatres in London's West End for many, months. / cannot say it ha* great ? originality, clever camera ' tricks, handsome, beautiful or witty *lars, or even a zither theme. But it gave me 90 minutes e.njoyable relaxation, which after all is why nine out of ten of us go to the pictures. Monarch Film Corporation are the makers. They are a modest, independent group, who haven't enough financial backing to pro duce lavish films, but concen trate on well-made modest pro ductions which please the cus tomers and line (reasonably) the ' pockets of the Monarch share holders. 'In ;;The Girl Who Couldn't Quite,' they have a winner. It is made on a low budget, but is far from being a 'cheap' film. In 'any ways it is a perfect model for the type of film you can expec^, from all British

studios, big and small, rich and poor, during 1950 and 1951. - ? * THE film stars, Bill Owen, Elizabeth Hensen, Iris Hoey, and Betty Stbckfield, who make ( a capable cast to handle the difficult social intricacies of Leo Mark's play. The story is unusual. It is of Ruth, a difficult neurotic teen age girl who, like the princess in the fairy story, has been unapie | to laugh since babyhood. Her tempers and tantrums drive her rich, adoring mother (Betty Stockfield) almost hysterical with worry. Then one day she laughs sud denly. She tells the family she has seen a handsome young man in the garden she would very much like to meet. The grounds are searched and the handsome stranger is found. He turns out to be an ill kempt, illiterate tramp Tim (Bill Owen), whose mysterious, irre sistible qualities force the girla snobbish mother and grana mother to allow him to stay in their country mansion. , How Tim gradually gives Ruth a -new interest in life, and re vitalises the whole household, oc cupies the bulk of the film. ? ' .. ? ;.???'*??. TN addition to 'The Girl Who ' 7' Couldn't Quite.' Monarch Films have four other low budget films planned for 1950, all of which are awaited here ?with interest. ? They are 'Stranger At My Door,' 'Strong is the Seed.' 'Oil the Record.' and 'Lili Marlene.',y ;