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Gracie Fields: Icon of Variety, A Newsreel Celebration

28th October 2015 - 10:05 | London, United Kingdom | Price £13

Available directly from the production company at email or by phone 020 8996 3120

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 unforgettable.

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 Capri.

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.

Available 28/10/2013
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