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TROPHY: Harold Hales commissioned the making of the magnificent 'Hales Trophy'.







'The Card' is a 1952 British comedy film version of the 1911 novel by Arnold Bennett. In America, the film was titled 'The Promoter.' It was adapted by Eric Ambler and directed by Ronald Neame. It stars Alec Guinness, Glynis Johns, Valerie Hobson, and Petula Clark. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound.

It is mainly faithful to Bennet's novel based on the life of Harold Hales, omitting some minor incidents.


The film follows the adventures and misadventures of Edward Henry (Denry) Machin, an ambitious young man from a poor background.

Denry surreptitiously changes his poor grades to qualify for entry to a "school for the sons of gentlemen". At the age of 16, he becomes a junior clerk to Mr. Duncalf, the town clerk and a solicitor. He meets the charming and socially well-connected Countess of Chell, a client of Duncalf's, and is given the job of sending out invitations to a grand municipal ball. He "invites" himself, and wins a £5 bet that he will ask the countess to dance. This earns him the reputation of a "card" (a "character", someone able to set tongues wagging)—a reputation he is determined to cement, but the next day, Duncalf angrily sacks Denry.

Denry offers his services as a rent collector to a dissatisfied client of Duncalf's, Mrs Codleyn. His reputation as an efficient and no-nonsense collector brings the business of Mr Calvert. Denry quickly realises, though, that he can make more money by advancing loans, at a highly profitable interest rate, to the many tenants who are in arrears. He also discovers that Ruth Earp, the dancing teacher who is attracted to Denry, is herself heavily in arrears to Mr. Calvert. Despite this, Ruth and he become engaged.

While on holiday in Llandudno with Ruth (accompanied by her friend Nellie Cotterill as chaperone), he witnesses a shipwreck and the rescue of the sailors—an event that he turns to his financial advantage. He also realises Ruth's spendthrift nature, and they part on bitter terms.

Denry starts up the Five Towns Universal Thrift Club, a bold venture that allows members to purchase goods on credit. This increases Denry's wealth and reputation, and he is able to expand further, due to the patronage of the countess.

Denry's social ambitions expand. He becomes a town councillor, and he purchases the rights to locally born Callear, the "greatest centre forward in England", for the failing local football club.

Ruth reappears, now the widow of a rich, older, titled man. He considers renewing their relationship, but is unsure of his (and her) feelings.

Nellie's father, a builder, is bankrupt (again), and the family decides to migrate to Canada. As they are boarding the ocean liner at Liverpool, Denry realises that Nellie is devastated at her potential loss, and that he really loves only her. Ruth, who is also present, is furious, but quickly starts a fresh relationship with another older, titled gentleman.

Nellie and Denry marry. Denry becomes the youngest mayor in the history of Bursley.

The Card was largely filmed in Burslem in Stoke-on-Trent, the basis for the fictional location of Bursley, and in Llandudno, North Wales.












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