South Riding

  • 1937
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A glimpse at an England that was soon to cease and never return, SOUTH RIDING is set in a fictitious area in Yorkshire, which has a West, a North, and an East Riding, but no South. There are similarities in structure to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; this is essentially the same tale set in modern times. Richardson, a once-wealthy estate owner, is going...read more

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A glimpse at an England that was soon to cease and never return, SOUTH RIDING is set in a fictitious area in Yorkshire, which has a West, a North, and an East Riding, but no South. There are similarities in structure to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; this is essentially the same tale set

in modern times. Richardson, a once-wealthy estate owner, is going broke keeping his wife, Todd, in a mental hospital. His daughter, Johns, is neurotic and strung tighter than a cheap mandolin. He has always lived on the estate which his family has owned for centuries. Clements, a socialist, wants

to clear away the slums in the town and build decent housing for the lower classes. He is supported in his desire by a few of the other local council members who are being manipulated by some real estate sharks. The idea is to get the town to buy a worthless piece of land that will net a large

profit for the developers. Richardson meets Best, the headmistress of a local school, and the two fall in love, but there is no way for them to get together permanently as long as Todd keeps raving in her asylum. Richardson uncovers the real-estate scam, and Clements pulls out his support when he

learns what's going on. Richardson now comes to the aid of the people and offers his huge manor house, as well as his neighboring property, at a reasonable fee, for the city to use for building. But the proviso is that the main house be used for a school which Best will oversee. About five

minutes' worth of Depression-era scenes were cut from the 90-minute version shown in England; these included shots of families living in abandoned double-decker buses. Richardson and Todd appeared together as lovers in THE RETURN OF BULLDOG DRUMMOND, then she played his daughter in BREAKING THE

SOUND BARRIER. Richardson and Best establish their Yorkshire origins without belaboring the North Country accents. Not an altogether satisfying love story, it is more interesting as a portrait of pre-WW II life in the country. Excellent sets by Meerson and well shot by Stradling, who was born in

England but made his name in the U.S.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A glimpse at an England that was soon to cease and never return, SOUTH RIDING is set in a fictitious area in Yorkshire, which has a West, a North, and an East Riding, but no South. There are similarities in structure to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; this… (more)

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