Half a Sixpence


2h 28m 1968

Brief Synopsis

Arthur Kipps, an orphan apprenticed to a tyrannical owner of a mercantile, has a sudden abrupt change of life when his wealthy grandfather dies and leaves him a pile of money.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
New York opening: 20 Feb 1968
Production Company
Ameran Films
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the musical Half a Sixpence by Beverley Cross (London, 21 Mar 1963), which was based on the novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul by H. G. Wells (London, 1905).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 28m
Sound
4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints), 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints), Mono (35 mm optical prints)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

In Edwardian England, orphaned Arthur Kipps finds a new sixpence as he walks along a stream with his girl friend, Ann. Before going to a nearby town to serve as apprentice to a draper, Kipps has a blacksmith cut the coin in two and gives one half to Ann as a symbol of their love. Kipps's work at the drape store is difficult and his living conditions minimal, but his luck changes when he becomes friends with Harry Chitterlow, an eccentric actor-playwright; Chitterlow discovers from the newspaper that Kipps is heir to a fortune left him by his grandfather. Now a wealthy young man, Kipps rewards the showman by investing in one of his productions and then leaves the store for a trip abroad. Upon his return, he forgets his vow to Ann, who is now a maid in a large manor, becomes engaged to snobbish socialite Helen Walsingham, and allows her brother Hubert to invest his money. His break with his former friends becomes final when he leads a crew of his aristocratic friends to victory in the Henley Regatta. Kipps soon realizes the shallowness of his new lifestyle, however, and renews his pledge to Ann by breaking his engagement. Kipps and Ann get married and move into his grandfather's mansion, as he makes plans to build her the most elegant home in England. Ann despises her husband's grandiose airs, and their marriage soon becomes a series of quarrels over social status. Their problems multiply when Hubert disappears, leaving behind a mountain of unpaid bills and a bankrupt Kipps. Sobered by misfortune, Kipps happily returns to his former way of life with his old friends and prepares to settle down in a modest cottage with Ann. Later, Chitterlow unexpectedly reappears with news that his play is a smashing success and that Kipps will reap a percentage of the profits. Musical numbers : "All in the Cause of Economy," "I'm Not Talking to You" (Kipps and Apprentices), "Half a Sixpence" (Kipps and Ann), "Money To Burn," "The Race Is On," "Flash, Bang, Wallop" (Kipps and Chorus), "I Don't Believe a Word of It" (Ann and Friends), "A Proper Gentleman" (Chorus), "She's Too Far Above Me," "This Is My World" (Kipps), "If the Rain's Got To Fall" (Kipps, Children, and Chorus), "Entr'acte" (Orchestra), "I Know What I Am" (Ann).

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
New York opening: 20 Feb 1968
Production Company
Ameran Films
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the musical Half a Sixpence by Beverley Cross (London, 21 Mar 1963), which was based on the novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul by H. G. Wells (London, 1905).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 28m
Sound
4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints), 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints), Mono (35 mm optical prints)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Quotes

Don't forget old Harry. For #100, I'll let you have a quarter share of my new play.
- Harry Chitterlow
A quarter share? I'll take half!
- Arthur Kipps
Spoken like a gent!
- Harry Chitterlow
Oh, Hang the shop!
- Kipps
I don't like the way this place is run, so you better wake yourself up, or you'll find yourself out *on* *your* *ear*! Ficency, Shalford! Ficency, System,
- Kipps
and that to your blessed economy. And you can stick that on my account!
- Kipps

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in England at Tunbridge Wells, Henley, and Blenheim Palace. Opened in London in December 1967; running time: 146 min. Perlberg began the film as producer but withdrew.