The Love Lottery

The Love Lottery

Original UK film poster
Directed by Charles Crichton
Produced by Monja Danischewsky
Written by Harry Kurnitz
Monja Danischewsky
Story by Charles Neilson-Terry
Zelma Bramley Moore
Starring David Niven
Peggy Cummins
Anne Vernon
Herbert Lom
Music by Benjamin Frankel
Cinematography Douglas Slocombe
Edited by Seth Holt
Distributed by GFD
Release dates
  • 30 January 1954 (1954-01-30) (UK [1])
Running time
89 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Love Lottery is a 1954 Ealing Studios comedy film, directed by Charles Crichton and starring David Niven. The film examines celebrity and fan worship with an international setting including Lake Como, ambitious dream sequences, and an uncredited cameo appearance at the end by Humphrey Bogart as himself.[2]


A celluloid heart-throb, who is haunted by dreams and hounded by fans, is coerced into taking part in a lottery to find a wife.[3]



The film was first shown at the Regent Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand on 21 January 1954, as a royal performance during the New Zealand visit by Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh.[5][6] The UK premiere was at the Gaumont Haymarket in London on 30 January 1954.[1]

Critical reception

The reviewer for The Times expressed mixed views after the UK premiere: "The construction of The Love Letter is deplorably weak ... and Mr. Charles Crichton, who directs the film for Ealing Studios, is left to make what he can of an idea which could branch out in a number of directions. ... Yet, even if catches are dropped, there is much in The Love Letter which beguiles and entertains, The satire at the expense on film publicity methods and of the mentality of the film-fan is, in the Ealing tradition, so mild that a writer such as Mr. Clifford Odets would not recognize that it was there, but it is there, nevertheless, and it scores som palpable, if gentle, hits."[7]

Many years later, the US edition of the TV Guide gave the film two out of four stars, calling it a "clever British satire on the Hollywood star system."[8]


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