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Anna Neagle Collection

Theatrical Release Date:  TBC
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Featuring: I LIVE IN GROSVENOR SQUARE VICTORIA THE GREAT SIXTY GLORIOUS YEARS LADY WITH THE LAMP DERBY DAY THE LADY IS A SQUARE Out to own on DVD 25th June 2007 UK PREMIERES AND RESTORED Anna Neagle was born in Forest Gate, Essex in 1904 and was to become the most beloved star of WW2 British cinema, voted the nation’s favourite actress seven years in a row after the war. Her career began as a dancer in the chorus line at the age of 14, and by the 1920s she began to appear regularly in West End musicals. Whilst attending a performance to consider one of her co-stars for a role in his latest film, the director Herbert Wilcox was smitten by Anna, and so began one of the most enduring and successful partnerships British cinema has ever seen. The couple married in 1943 and made over 30 films together with Anna as star and Herbert as director. Victoria The Great (1937) was made to capitalize on the royal fever of Coronation Summer, 1937 and features a final Diamond Jubilee sequence resplendent in Technicolor. Neagle stars as Queen Victoria opposite Anton Walbrook (The Red Shoes, The Life & Death of Colonel Blimp). The film was also a huge hit in US, the success there spawning the sequel Sixty Glorious Years (1938). These two films were fine early examples of the kind of lavish, sweeping romance that Neagle built her career on. It was the years during and after the war though that really sealed her position as the brightest star of the day. I Live In Grosvenor Square (1945) remains one of the most popular films of all time at the British box office, an enchanting wartime romance and an enduring testament to Anglo-American relations of the era. Catering perfectly to an audience in need of light-hearted escapism, Anna was equally endearing in musicals, comedies or biopics – the trio of which in this box-set is completed by The Lady with The Lamp (1951) in which she plays Florence Nightingale. Derby Day (1952) is a clever ensemble piece blending seamlessly the tales of several characters on their way to the races including Neagle’s Lady Helen Forbes. And rounding out the box-set is The Lady is a Square (1959), the last film she made before retiring from the screen and returning to her theatrical roots. She and Herbert remained married for 34 years right up until his death in 1977.

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