Costumes of English Literary Characters: Just William at the Movies


Figure 1.--A Movie version of the William stories appered in 1948, "William at the Circus". Of course William was always pictured with his trademark cap. Caps with circular stripes were one of the many cap styles commonly worn by British boys until the 1960s. The boys are Brian Weske (Henry) and James Crabbe (Douglas) who are two of William's "Gang".

The first actual view that the British had of William and the Outlaws was at the movies. William also eventually appeared on televisio, but that was years after his film appearances. HBC does not have a great deal of information about Just William movies. One movie was appropriately enough titled Just William and was made in 1939. I believe this was the first one. Another film was William Himself, I'm not sure when it was made. Another film William at the Circus was made about 1948.

Media Depictions

The first actual view that the British had of William and the Outlaws was at the movies. William also eventually appeared on television, but that was years after his film appearances.

Films

HBC does not have a great deal of information about Just William movies. One movie was appropriately enough titled Just William and was made in 1939. I believe this was the first one. Another film was William Himself, I'm not sure when it was made. Another film William at the Circus was made about 1948.

Just William (1939)

One of the stars of the 1939 film Just William was Roddy McDowall. He played role of Ginger, William's best friend.

William Himself


Just Willam's Luck (1947)

William was played by William (Eddie) Graham. The film was directed by Val Guest.


Figure 2.--This is the boy playing William in the 1948 film "William at the Circus". He is William (Eddie) Graham who played William in this film as well as "Just Williams Luck".

William Comes to Town

The U.S. version was "William at the Circus" (1948). William was played by William (Eddie) Graham. The film was directed by Val Guest. A British reader tells us, "I was on the set of the Circus film, which was on location at the London Olympia, where they were filming scenes of Bertram Mill's Circus."

America

Some of the William movies appeared in America. They do not appear to have been very popular. Thus few Americans had ever heard of William. I'm not sure why William friends did not prove popular in America. Perhaps no great effort wasmade to promote them. I do know that they certainly were not widely shown. I have also never noted being shown with other old movies on American television. Certainly Hollywood was dominate at the time. American films were widely distributed in Britain. I'm just not sure about the William films.








Christopher Wagner






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Created: December 2, 1999
Last updated: June 20, 2002