Last night snuggled under the duvet I swiped to the itv iplayer and watch this delightful film. An adaptation of HG Well’s novel, a quiet, easy watching, beautifully portrayed piece.
Alfred Polly is a well meaning dreamer, good with words, eager to learn, wanting better in life. After the death of his Mother at an early age the change of attitude i his father causes an estrangement that continues until his Father’s death where Mr Polly discovers his Father’s life was insured and he was to receive £325, quite the rich sum for the early 1900’s.
Alfred Polly marries his cousin Miriam Larkins and they open a gentleman’s out fitters shop, but, as the years go by, the marriage becomes stale and Polly feels trapped. He decides to stage his own death by cutting his throat and clearing debts by burning down the shop but becomes an accidental hero when he saves a deaf old lady from the flames. Seeing the opportunity to make changes he leaves the insurance cheque on Miriam’s pillow and goes walkabout and gets a job at a country pub, the Potwell Inn, run by a kindly landlady, Nancy Potter. However, her violent nephew Jim is driving the customers away and Polly reluctantly faces up to him. He loads the shot gun, even though his practise firings have been abysmal, he places his jacket on the back of the chair and sits waiting for the dastedly Jim to arrive. Of course the hapless fellow falls deeply asleep enabling Jim to wake up and take the gun out of his arms, when Polly wakes he tries to out run the buckshot, falling to the ground just grazed. Jim steals his jacket and heads into the Pub to steal and scare Nancy. Looking out the window he sees Polly is not where he fell but has crawled to the chicken coup and seizes to finish the fellow off but the gun back fires injuring him and Polly passes out.
Polly feels safe that Jim has gone for good, but as time passes his mind wanders and wonders about how Miriam has faired since his disappearance. He returns to the shop, now a tea room, and asks about her and hears that years before Mr Polly’s disfigured body was pulled from the sea and only identified by the tags in his clothing. When Miriam arrives she is shocked and first then fearful how she can afford to repay the insurance pay-out but Polly asks if she is happy and that it might be best to leave things as they are and he slips away back to the Potwell Inn and the idyllic life he has always craved.