Strike Force Entertainment
brings you another first with this DVD celebration of the life of Gracie
Fields; a comprehensive compilation of all of her appearances in the cinema
newsreels of yesteryear. Singer,
comedienne and film star Gracie Fields is still regarded as one of the Icons of
20th Century British Variety; her definitive renditions of popular songs herein
such as ‘Sing As We Go’, ‘Sally’, ‘Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye’, ‘Only
A Glass Of Champagne’ and ‘I Never Cried So Much In All My Life’, are simply
From humble beginnings in
Rochdale in Lancashire as Grace Stansfield, she made her first stage appearance
at the tender age of five and went onto international super-stardom. The
newsreels first filmed Gracie in 1923 in the ‘Mr. Tower of London’ review which
came to London’s West End and launched her phenomenal career.
Gracie’s first film ’Sally
In Our Alley’ was a major box office hit; but she found film-making ‘very
boring’ as she always craved a live audience.
Such was her popularity,
Gracie was honoured with the CBE at Buckingham Palace for ‘Services to
Entertainment’ in 1938 before becoming seriously ill with cancer in 1939.
An irrepressible force of
nature, Gracie recuperated sufficiently to get back to work with ENSA
entertaining the troops throughout the Second World War even though her
marriage to an Italian citizen meant that she had to leave Britain to reside in
the United States. Performance highlights of such shows were sharing the bill
with the legendary Bob Hope and Arthur Askey, both seen here!
Nearly two years after
second husband Monty Banks died of a heart attack, ‘Our Gracie’ opened The
Festival of Britain celebrations in 1951 and, in the following year, she
married ‘the love of her life’ Boris Alperovici, a Romanian radio repairman, on
Gracie Fields was the
consummate professional entertainer and much in demand for a variety of public
events from film premiéres, as a ‘Miss World’ judge and judging dancing
competitions. The newsreels covered examples of them all amongst several
emotional returns to her beloved hometown Rochdale, visits to factories and
interviews with Gracie herself.
She was finally made a
‘Dame’ in February 1979, just seven months before her death on the Isle of
Capri aged 81.
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