Synopsis by Hal Erickson
British musical star Tommy Steele had starred in Half a Sixpence in London and on Broadway, thus he was first choice for this garish film version. Based on the H.G. Wells story Kipps (previously filmed in 1941 with Michael Redgrave), Half a Sixpence tells the tale of a humble London drapery clerk (Steele) who inherits a fortune. He briefly forgets his old mates and his faithful girl friend (Julia Foster), but soon discovers that High Society isn't his cup of tea. Filmed during the "monster musical" cycle fostered by The Sound of Music, Half a Sixpence isn't really suited for the spectacular approach dictated by co-producer Charles H. Schneer. Fortunately, the guiding directorial hand is the film's other producer: George Sidney, a veteran of MGM's Arthur Freed unit, who knew how to successfully weld music with story. Thanks to Sidney and star Steele, Half a Sixpence never gets too out of hand, though we'd argue with some of the eyestrain-inducing color choices in the bigger numbers. The film might have done better at the box office had the score yielded a few hit songs.
class-consciousness, girlfriend, high-society, inheritance, wealth