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Once a Jolly Swagman (1949, Dirk Bogarde, Bonar Colleano)



Starring Dirk Bogarde, Bonar Colleano, Thora Hird, Sid James and Bill Owen, British gem Once A Jolly Swagman was nominated for a BAFTA in 1949. Bogarde, in only his second film, plays the role of Bill Fox, a bored factory worker who becomes a famous speedway star. He meets a glamorous society woman who introduces him to a new and exciting social circle and Bill quickly forgets his working class roots.

Bill eventually becomes disillusioned with the Mayfair scene and marries Pat, the sister of his team mate, Lag Gibbon. Back at the track, he tries to form a riders union to ensure families are financially secure should an accident occur on the track.

Pat tries to get Bill to pack up racing and open a garage, but Bill refuses and she leaves him. WW2 arrives and Bill enlists as a motorcycle despatch rider but after the war Bill is left with a dilema, should he make a racing comeback or get back together with his one true love?

production details
UK / Rank / 100 minutes / 1949

Director: Jack Lee
Writers: Montagu Slater, William Rose,

Dirk Bogarde as Bill Fox
Bonar Colleano as Tommy Possey
Bill Owen as Lag Gibbon
Renée Asherson as Pat Gibbon
Thora Hird as Ma Fox
James Hayter as Pa Fox
Sid James as Rowton

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