I Live in Grosvenor Square

I Live in Grosvenor Square
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Produced by Herbert Wilcox
Written by Maurice Cowan (story)
William D. Bayles
Arvid david
Nicholas Phipps
Starring Anna Neagle
Rex Harrison
Dean Jagger
Robert Morley
Music by Anthony Collins
Cinematography Mutz Greenbaum
Otto Heller
Distributed by Pathé Pictures International
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release dates
20 July 1945 (UK)
3 March 1946 (USA)
Running time
130 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $1 million (US)[1]

I Live in Grosvenor Square is a British World War II romance directed and produced by Herbert Wilcox. It was the first of Wilcox's "London films" collaboration with his wife, actress Anna Neagle. Her co-stars were Dean Jagger and Rex Harrison. The plot is set in a context of US-British wartime co-operation, and displays icons of popular music with the purpose of harmonising relationships on both sides of the Atlantic.[2] An edited version was distributed in the United States, with two additional scenes filmed in Hollywood, under the title A Yank in London.


In the summer of 1943, after he is taken off combat operations for medical reasons, American SSgt John Patterson (Dean Jagger), an Army Air Force gunner, is billeted in the London home of the Duke of Exmoor (Robert Morley) in London's Grosvenor Square. He is befriended by the Duke and British paratrooper Major David Bruce (Rex Harrison), who has taken leave to contest a parliamentary by-election.

On a weekend visit to the duke's estate near Exmoor in Devon, Patterson meets the duke's granddaughter, Lady Patricia Fairfax (Anna Neagle), a corporal in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, who is David's childhood sweetheart. After a cool beginning based on cultural misunderstandings, they fall in love. David is unaware of what is happening until the final night before the election, when it becomes clear to him during a party on the estate. The next day, the duke learns that his estate has been appropriated by the American army for a base and that David has lost the election.

When Patterson realizes that Pat and David have long expected to marry, he contrives to obtain medical clearance to go back to combat duty. David and Pat have an ugly showdown over Patterson, only to learn that he has gone back to war. David realizes that Pat still loves Patterson and arranges for them to reunite. Returning from a mission with heavy battle damage, Patterson attempts to help his pilot land their B-17 Flying Fortress at an emergency landing strip at Exmoor, but is killed when the bomber stalls as they manoeuvre to avoid crashing in the village. The duke and his family mourn Patterson at a memorial service in the village church, while David takes off with his paratroop unit to parachute into France on D-Day.


Notable supporting players included Charles Victor, Ronald Shiner, Percy Walsh, Brenda Bruce, Shelagh Fraser, John Slater, Alvar Lidell, David Horne, Robert Farnon and Carroll Gibbons.[3]

The Canadian Band of the AEF appears with bandleader/arranger Captain Robert Farnon.[4] They filmed their sequence in late 1944.[5]

Critical reception

Critic Bosley Crowther wrote in The New York Times, "There is much that is admirable about A Yank in London, and the glimpses of Irene Manning singing for the boys at the Rainbow Corner in Piccadilly will stir memories. But the picture, like the script, is diffuse, and Mr. Wilcox in his direction permits scenes to dissolve in a rambling, confusing style";[6] while more recently TV Guide called it "An entertaining but overlong romance."[7]


  1. Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 p 221
  2. "I Live in Grosvenor Square".
  3. "Full cast and crew". IMDb.com.
  4. Patrick Morley, "This is the American Forces Network": The Anglo-American Battle of the Airwaves in World War II, (Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2001), p. 106.
  5. Chris Way, The Big Bands Go To War, (Edinburgh and London: Mainstream Publishing, 1991), p. 83.
  6. http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9E0CE7D8153FE23BBC4851DFB266838D659EDE
  7. "A Yank In London".

External links

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