The Films of Petula Clark
Madame Louise
(The Madame Gambles)

Released October 1951 [UK]
as The Madame Gambles [US]
Comedy - 83 minutes

In this comedy, a bookie wins a boutique and decides to modernize the joint by devising new, more effective programs for running it. Those who have worked in the shop for years are not pleased with the new changes, and when the bookies elaborate plans blow up in his face, they are only too pleased to go back to working for the shop's original owner.
Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide


Richard Hearne .........
Petula Clark ...........
Garry Marsh ...........
Richard Gale.........
Hilda Bayley........
Doris Rogers.............
Charles Farrell..........

Mr. Pastry
Miss Penny
Mr. Trout
Lt. Edwards
Madame Louise
Mrs. Trout

  • Directed by Maclean Rogers
  • Writing credits: Michael Pertwee
         Based on the play by Vernon Sylvaine
    •      This British comedy, modest in aim and manner but none the less enjoyable, was obviously designed to display the gifts of its star, Richard Hearne. He is a genuine comic personality and this, coupled with his delightfully energetic acrobatics, does much to enliven the film's rather familiar material. The production word, if unpretentious, is competent; and the experienced hand of Maclean Rogers has kept the action moving fast and furously. A pleasant little film successfully aimed at the vast market for unsophisticated British comedy.
           Mr. Pastry is an elderly, endearingly eccentric dress designer at Madame Louise's costumier. Madame Louise has a weakness for the horses and loses her entire business to the bookmaker, Trout. The latter, a none too scrupulous member of his profession, is in trouble with a gang of racetrack racketeers and seeks refuge in his newly acquired shop. Once installed, he forces Mr. Pastry to help him in his frantic efforts to dodge both the crooks and his formidable wife. Mr. Pastry finds his work on a three-in-one dress creation outrageously interrupted by hectic encounters with the cooks and desperate interviews with the wife. Finally, he lands up on the race course as aludicrously inept bookie, where his breaches of racetrack etiquette lead to a whirlwind chase in which he uses a variety of vehicles ranging from a fairy cycle to roller-skates. In the end, Madame Louise gets her shop back and Mr. Patry's assistant Penny gets her lieutenant. Richard Hearne virtually carries the whole film, which owes all its best moments to his unflagging agility. Garry Marsh is the engaging unprincipled troubt, and Petula Clark and Richard Gale supply the romantic interest. Hida Bayley, Doris Rogers and Charles Farrell play up well in support.
      Today's Cinema - September 10, 2951

    • This knockabout comedy concerns a fashionable dress shop which is taken over by a bookie who "wins" it in a bet with the proprietor. He arrives to find the establishment set in very old-fashoned ways and attempts to slicken up the shop in general and Mr. Pastry in particular. After many adventures, the shop is finally restored to its original owner. This is not a particularly good comedy even of its type; it may amuse firm Mr. Pastry fans but Petula Clark is completely wasted in a coy love affair.
      Monthly Film Bulletin - September 1951

    Petula and Garry Marsh on the set

  • IMDb