Projecting the Archive

Trottie True (aka The Gay Lady)

+ intro by BFI Curator Josephine Botting

A Gaiety girl turns duchess in this Technicolor homage to the music hall.

Image from Trottie True (aka The Gay Lady) + intro by BFI Curator Josephine Botting

UK 1948
Dir Brian Desmond Hurst
With Jean Kent, Andrew Crawford, James Donald, Lana Morris
91min
35mm
Certificate PG

To celebrate the centenary of her birth, we’re screening Jean Kent’s most eye-catching role, and her personal favourite, from a gorgeous 35mm print made by the BFI National Archive. Kent brings vivacity and good-natured humour to this lavish Technicolor salute to the golden age of music hall, with no expense spared on the sumptuous recreation of Edwardian England. Trottie’s progression from working-class girl to stage celebrity echoes Kent’s own journey to stardom, which took her from Windmill Girl at the age of 14 to one of Gainsborough’s leading ladies. This film earned her the tag ‘Britain’s Betty Grable’, and she undoubtedly injected some welcome glamour and zest into the bleak post-war years.