It's a Good Day
"Great Day" is a curious little movie released back in 1945 which at times tells a story about how women kept things going whilst the men were at war but also has a family drama surrounding the Ellis family as matriarch Liz deals with what ever comes her way. I called it curious because whilst we have moments of drama surrounding the Ellis family it often lacks real storyline and seems to be just a slice of life movie. Which in fact makes it all the more curious because the initial set up is that America's first lady Eleanor Roosevelt is paying the village a visit as that leads me to suspect there should be even more drama.
It's a normal sort of day in the village of Denley except the women of the WI have been called to an impromptu meeting at the village hall as Lady Mott (Isabel Jeans) has an exciting announcement; Eleanor Roosevelt is coming to see what the women have been doing to keep things running during the war. Leading the work at the hall is Mrs. Liz Ellis (Flora Robson - Guns at Batasi) who has a few issues on her mind as her husband Capt. John (Eric Portman - One of Our Aircraft Is Missing) drinks too much and is living on his past whilst their daughter Margaret (Sheila Sim) finds herself in a love triangle as whilst she has been working on the farm has started a relationship with farmer Bob Tyndale (Walter Fitzgerald) but also has her former boyfriend Geoffrey Winthrop (Philip Friend) still keen on her.
As I said "Great Day" is an incredibly curious movie because of the mix of storylines going on. The background ends up being the visit of Eleanor Roosevelt as the women beaver about to be prepared for her arrival but then in front of that we have the romantic tribulations of Margaret and also her father's drinking leading to problems. It sort of feels like it doesn't really have a storyline but is equivalent to one of those more modern movies which give us various storylines which interweave, but lacks the narrative flare to make it sparkle. That is the problem with "Great Day" as it just doesn't sparkle but more meanders through the various stories. That is until a turn of events focuses everything on the Ellis family due to an incident involving Capt. John and then things take a dramatic turn.
But whilst "Great Day" meanders it is still entertaining with director Lance Comfort keeping each scene bubbling along and letting the actors entertain with their performances. And the actors certainly do, be it the supporting performances from Patricia Hayes and Isabel Jeans to the main performances of Eric Portman and Sheila Sim. But the stand out performance comes from Flora Robson as the Ellis Matriarch as she calmly keeps things running from dealing with her husband to her daughter's romantic tribulations with an air of calm which is just marvellous.
What this all boils down to is that "Great Day" is a movie which kind of struggles for focus because of its lack of one central storylines but is still entertaining to watch with the performances through out making it entertaining.