Released November 1948 [UK]
Comedy - 93 minutes
Cozy, domestic comedy-drama revolving around the ups and downs of the Huggetts, a typical British middle-class family first introduced in Holiday Camp. In this episode, flashy cousin Diana comes for a visit with calamitous results: She costs Father Huggett his job, inspires the boy next door to take the family car out for a spin only to crash it and she causes Pet to mistakenly believe that her cousin is jeopardizing the Huggett marriage.
- Directed by Ken Annakin (who directed all of the Huggett films)
- Rank/Gainsborough Production
- Filmed at Islington Studios
- Soundtrack: Petula sings "Walking Backwards" by Jack Fishman and Peter Hart
Ken Annakinís initial feature film was Holiday Camp, a delightful British comedy set in one of the new Butlin holiday camps, starring Jack Warner and Kathleen Harrison as Mr. and Mrs. Joe Huggett. The Huggett sagas were something like Britainís version of the successful American Ma and Pa Kettle films spawned by The Egg and I. British moviegoers responded enthusiastically to light-hearted comedy, as if to say that the sacrifices of the war had been made in part to preserve humor and gaiety. Gainsborough was only too happy to oblige the public and Annakin directed two Huggett films released in 1948, Here Come the Huggetts and Vote for Huggett, and another in 1949, The Huggetts Abroad. "I believe that the Huggett films succeeded for the same reason that successful sitcoms do today," Annakin surmises. "The films focused on the happy side of life without unpleasantness. Audiences could identify with the characters and were entertained. Things were always upbeat and never downbeat. The Huggett films made audiences feel good."
Two budding stars who learned their craft in Annakin films were Petula Clark and Anthony Newley. Future sex symbol Diana Dors first titillated British audiences in the Huggett series. Dors, a 15-year-old jitterbug queen, was selected by Annakin to display her natural charms in Vote for Huggett. "It is my feeling based on experience as a director that 40% of young people have the ability to act," Annakin says. "The hard part is to determine the 10% I feel have the capability to become outstanding. It was a pleasure working with young performers like Pet Clark, Tony Newley, and Diana Dors and see them progress as performers."
The Ken Annakin Story
by William Hare
Picture Show magazine
Here come the Huggetts--and they are welcome! Admittedly the picture dealing with a suburban family consisting of father, mother and three daughters--incidentally, why no son? -- is rather discoursive and lacks tautness in its continuity, but it's good fun. Mabel and Denis Constanduros have written in some very birght lines and the incidents generally are amusing, the interest quite well sustained. It's an unpretentious affair and none thw worse for that. Jack Warner and Kathleen Harrison, notable parents in "Holliday Camp", keep up the same spirit with the requisite touch of sentimentality. As their eldest daughter, Jan Hylton is good, Susan Shaw registers as the second daughter. Particularly likeable is Petula Clark, as the youngest, who believes her father is having an affair with a flashly blonde cousin who has come to stay with them. Diana Dors is just right as the up-to-date good-time girl.
If the series keeps up the standard, it is going to be very popular, even if it does not break records in the West End.
Picturegoer - 18, December 1948
Britain's answer to the Hardys, depending on how you look at it. Tolerable at the time.
The first of a famous series of British family films revolving around a Royal Wedding. The film deals with the ordinary happenings of a typical middle-class household. Drama and comedy, laughter and tears combine to form the ideal entertainment mixture.