Mrs Chedworth (Rita Pauncefort) is in full flight during the morning rush hour at their rented suburban bungalow. She tears strips off both the youngest child Fred (Rodney Jacobs) and daughter Susie (Jean Hatton) in preparation for her real target, her husband George (Cecil Kellaway). He suffers her attack with meek resignation. As he’s rushing to get to work, eldest son Arthur (Peter Finch) tells his father that he’s in trouble with gambling debts. Mr Chedworth is shocked, but promises to pay the bookmaker.
There’s a fluency to the dialogue in this scene that was unusual in a Cinesound production, and it may have something to do with advances in sound technology. Fast, overlapping dialogue was hard to record in the early days of sound, but this scene shows that Cinesound took the second half of its name very seriously.
This was Peter Finch’s second role at Cinesound, after Dad and Dave Come to Town in 1938. It was a much bigger role, and Kellaway is said to have given the young actor help in the technical aspects of working on film, especially the need to position himself in relation to the lights. This scene gives us a good idea of the technical proficiency with which Cinesound was operating by 1939 – a good script with strong dialogue, first class actors, good lighting and sound. This was what Ken Hall had been developing for eight years, and it was soon to come to a halt, with the coming of the Second World War.