Berkeley Square

Runtime : 84 mins

Genre : Fantasy Romance

Vote Rating : 5.2/10

Plot : A young American man is transported back to London in the time of the American Revolution and meets his ancestors.

Cast Members


I found Oscar-nominated Leslie Howard just a little too earnest in this tale of an American scientist "Peter Standish" who inherits a London house from a distance cousin. Upon arrival, he starts to feel a curious bond with the place and as he discovers more about the house, his ancestry and a diary detailing much of the 1780s London society in which it's writer lived, he becomes - somewhat inexplicably - convinced that he is going to travel back through time. Low and behold on the exact date and time expected, he walks into an 18th century home where he meets his soon to be fiancée "Kate" (Valerie Taylor) and her beautiful younger sister "Helen" (Heather Angel). He is an instant hit in society circles but struggles to contain his knowledge of the future and after a particularly uncomfortable conversation with the Duchess of Devonshire (Juliette Compton) finds himself in immediate need to get back to his own timeline. He confides his predicament to his new love "Helen" and his dilemmas begin to mount up... It's an intriguing concept, and there is plenty of subliminal social comment too. "Standish" is abhorred by the depravity, poverty and cruelty he sees when first in London - but it has also got quite a bit of a rather ungainly American superiority complex about it, too - the "Land of the Free" stuff as though 1780s Britain was some sort of demagogue's paradise. Howard was in the original 1928 stage play, so knows the part backwards and there are some nice cameos from Alan Mowbray and Beryl Mercer to help nudge it along but it runs too much to gloopy melodrama, and though not a bad film, I just think it couldn't quite decide what it wanted to be, or for whom, and I found it's romanticised moralising a bit annoying. Stylish though, looks good.

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