Considered by many to be British music hall star Gracie Fields' finest vehicle, this film was written for her by leading novelist J.B. Priestley. In this morale-boosting depression movie, set in the industrial north of England, Fields stars as a resourceful, spunky working class heroine, laid off from her job in a clothing mill, who has to seek work in the seaside resort of Blackpool. This gives her the opportunity both to fall into many misadventures and, of course, to sing.
The decision to film on location brings the film a life and immediacy all too absent from most films of the period. The film provides us with a snapshot of life in a seaside resort in the 1930s. The final scene of the millworkers returning to the re-opened mill while Fields leads them in the rousing title song has become an almost iconic film cliché.
Gracie fields sing as we go
The Radio Times Guide to Film gave the film three stars out of five and described Sing As We Go as a "dated but spirited musical comedy...amusing and politically astute".
By contrast, in History of Modern Britain, Andrew Marr singled out Sing As We Go as an icon of British pop culture of the 1930s, concluding: "Fairy tale or not, this is probably the worst film I have ever seen."
In popular culture
The main theme of this movie, the song "Sing As We Go" (written by Harry Parr Davies), was used by the comedy group Monty Python in a parody song called "Sit on My Face" and is one of two signature songs of The Kampen Janitsjarorkester Symphonic Band (The Kampen Band) of Oslo Norway.
Gracie Fields as Gracie Platt
John Loder as Hugh Phillips
Dorothy Hyson as Phyllis Logan
Stanley Holloway as Policeman
Frank Pettingell as Uncle Murgatroyd Platt
Lawrence Grossmith as Sir William Upton
Morris Harvey as The Cowboy
Arthur Sinclair as The Great Maestro
Maire O'Neill as Madame Osiris
Ben Field as Nobby
Olive Sloane as Violet - The Song-Plugger's Girlfriend