On Approval (1945) - Rotten Tomatoes

On Approval (1945)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

On Approval Photos

Movie Info

English actor Clive Brook's only directorial effort, On Approval, is based upon Frederick Lonsdale's frothy 1926 play, though reset in the late 19th century. Brook plays George, a titled duke whose wealth has largely been spent but who has no intention of settling further into genteel poverty. George is enormously appealing to Helen (played by Googie Withers), a good-natured American heiress, and is equally appalling to Maria (Bea Lillie), an Englishwoman of considerable means. The imperious Maria is dating the eternally devoted Richard (Roland Culver), who worships her. Maria decides that she will marry Richard -- after he spends a month with her in a secluded Scottish castle, where she will try him out "on approval." Maria, however, does not intend to discover whether they are suitable for all aspects of marriage; every night he is to row across the loch and spend his nights at a local inn. Neither Maria nor Richard will lack for company, though, as George and Helen invite themselves along. Things get complicated when it turns out that there are no rooms available at the inn, leaving the men to share the castle with the women -- a prospect that so horrifies the servants that they promptly leave the two couples high and dry. Left to their own devices, the foursome get to know each other -- and they don't necessarily like what they find.


Clive Brook
as George Duke of Bristol, George, 10th Duke of Bristol
Beatrice Lillie
as Maria Wislack
Googie Withers
as Helen Hale
Roland Culver
as Richard Halton
O.B. Clarence
as Dr. Graham
Elliot Mason
as Mrs. McCosh
Hay Petrie
as Landlord
E.V.H. Emmett
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for On Approval

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (4)

The Wildean witticisms come fast and furious in this effervescent screen adaptation of a British play by Frederick Lonsdale.

June 14, 2018 | Full Review…

This impish 1944 film adaptation of the 1926 Frederick Lonsdale comedy provides spacious roles for two peerless actresses.

June 26, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

On Approval, which augured either a cute commentary on manners or a Beatrice Lillie bonanza, turned out to be an uneven little lampoon that more often than not did not come off.

March 25, 2006 | Full Review…

Though Brook's deliberately 'cinematic' approach was highly praised at the time, it is the performances, Lonsdale's deft craftsmanship, and the presence of the semi-mythical Lillie which now holds interest.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

A soufflé that never sogs, a fortunate coincidence of director, scriptwriter, and cast of just four, a Mozartian quartet, or perhaps Gilbert & Sullivan is more accurate, who play beautifully together.

August 13, 2019 | Full Review…

On Approval is one of the funniest British pictures I have seen for a very long time.

June 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for On Approval


Somewhat funny and somewhat boring, that's what I remember feeling towards this movie, but I can't seem to remember the story at the moment, and Flixster doesn't have it either. I'll watch it again sometime.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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