Return to Yesterday

Date: 1940
Director: Robert Stevenson
Production Company: CAPAD, Ealing Studios

Stars: Clive Brook, Anna Lee, May Whitty, Hartley Power, Milton Rosmer
Location(s): Devon, London

Region(s): ,

Storyline:

Robert Maine is torn between returning to the glamour of Hollywood or working with a small theatre company in England and rekindle his happy carefree days. When she falls in love with Maine, Carol has the same dilemma.

Additional Information:

Screen and “Now” captures 1, 4, 8 and 10 provided by James and Chris Churcher, those and other screen captures uploaded by Richard Lovejoy.

Can you help:

If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.


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An overview of the town of Teignmouth (Torracombe in the film) to set the location.

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A little changed vista.

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A cove appears behind a further credit.

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An entertainment location unidentified.

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The Town and pier from Eastcliff Walk. A similar view was seen in 'Press for Time'.

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The jetty to the pier was removed in 1940 during World War II to prevent its use by the Germans, which reduced the pier's length by 75ft.

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Robert Maine (Clive Brook) is to travel to the films Torracombe (Teignmouth) and an adoring crowd gathers. Paddington Station.

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A further view of Paddington Station whilst the awaiting crowds are instructed.

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Eventually Maine boards unnoticed and the train departs. Bishop’s Road Bridge, London W2 as seen from Platform 4?.

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A King Class (on a Plymouth working) heading along the sea wall section between Parsons Tunnel and Teignmouth station. This footage also appears in 'Ghost Train' (1941) and 'Another Time Another Place'.

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An excellent comparison shot of this memorable track location.

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Enjoying an homemade Cornish Pasty with the guard Robert sees Teignmouth Pier from the carriage.

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Having realised that he was perhaps happier before he became famous he pulls the communication chord and after the train stops he leaves the train to embark upon a “Return to Yesterday”. This footage also appears in 'Ghost Train' (1941).

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Dawlish Warren looking towards Dawlish town by the GWR main line to Devon and Cornwall taken from Langston Rock.

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Peter Thropp (David Lee) who’s play is scheduled at the local theatre and his girlfriend Carol Sands (Anna Lee) return to the boarding house at which they are staying.

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Morrison (David Horne) the play producer calls upon Maine’s agent to tell him about the play he was now involved with in Torracombe. To check whether he did leave on the “Nomadic” he calls the shipping lines clerk Fred Glover (Eliot Makeham) at his home. Unknown location.

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After rehearsal Maine takes Carol on a trip to the local Tuesday Island.

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They successfully negotiate the small channel but then crash into a rock!

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They try in vain to attract the attention of a passing DH82A Tiger Moth Regn: G-AFSS (But how they eventually return remains a mystery!)

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Despite Robert being told by his agent that he cannot perform due to his contract he decides to proceed and the first performance is a sell out. Teignmouth pier looking inland toward the apartments in Den Crescent.

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Robert decides to return to America alone and is seen off by fellow cast member Mrs Truscott (Dame May Whitty) Unknown station.