Fame Is the Spur (film)

Fame is the Spur
Directed by Roy Boulting
Produced by John Boulting
Written by Nigel Balchin
Howard Spring (novel)
Starring Michael Redgrave
Rosamund John
Bernard Miles
David Tomlinson
Music by John Wooldridge
Cinematography Günther Krampf
Edited by Richard Best
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Release dates
  • 23 September 1947 (1947-09-23)
Running time
116 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget over $1 million[1]

Fame is the Spur is a 1947 British drama film directed by Roy Boulting. It stars Michael Redgrave, Rosamund John, Bernard Miles, David Tomlinson, Maurice Denham and Kenneth Griffith.[2] Its plot involves a British politician who rises to power, abandoning on the way his radical views for more conservative ones. It is based on the novel Fame Is the Spur by Howard Spring, which was believed to be based on the career of the Labour Party politician Ramsay MacDonald.[3]


When a young man from a North country mill town (Michael Redgrave) commits to help the poverty stricken workers in his area, he takes as his Excalibur a sword passed down to him by his grandfather from the Battle of Peterloo, where it had been used against workers. As an idealistic champion of the oppressed, he rises to power as a Labour M.P., but is seduced by the trappings of power, and finds himself the type of politician he originally despised.


Critical reception

Allmovie wrote, "sometimes slow-moving, this is an interesting look into the reasons why the Labor and the Conservative factions are at loggerheads with each other in Great Britain" ;[4] while The New York Times wrote, "this John and Roy Boulting film has vivid authority and fascination...But, unfortunately, a full comprehension of the principal character in this tale is missed in the broad and extended panorama of his life that is displayed...Mr. Redgrave is glib and photogenic; he acts the "lost leader" in a handsome style. But he does not bring anything out about him that is not stated arbitrarily";[5] while the Radio Times praised Redgrave's "powerhouse performance, with his gradual shedding of heartfelt beliefs as vanity replaces commitment having a chillingly convincing ring. But such is Redgrave's dominance that there's little room for other characters to develop or for any cogent social agenda." [6]

External links


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