Champagne Charlie is a 1944 British musical film directed by Alberto Cavalcanti and loosely based on the rivalry between the popular music hall performers George Leybourne (born Joe Saunders), who was called "Champagne Charlie" because he was the first artist to perform the song of that title, and Alfred Vance, who was known as "The Great Vance".
Leybourne and Vance, portrayed by Tommy Trinder and Stanley Holloway, were London's big music hall stars of the 1860s and 1870s, of the kind called lions comiques. In the film, they are "top of the bill" at their respective music halls. The film's female leads are a music hall owner and her daughter, portrayed by Betty Warren and Jean Kent.
Champagne Charlie opens with a sing-along in a pub, and follows the rise of Leybourne as a music hall singer. The highlight of the film is a singing competition between the two protagonists. Leybourne sings "Ale Old Ale" and Vance replies with "Gin, Gin, Gin"; the competition continues, with the scene finally ending with the song of the title. The film is notable for its realistic approach to showing details of the audiences, venues and staff, with copious quantities of food and drink providing a vicarious delight for wartime audiences. In 1944, Champagne Charlie was typical of feature films designed to raise morale and generate goodwill.
|Genre:||Musikfilm, Dramedy, Filmdrama|
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