Esther Waters (film)

Esther Waters Directed by Ian Dalrymple Peter Proud Produced by..

Esther Waters (film)

Esther Waters

Directed by
Ian Dalrymple
Peter Proud

Produced by
Ian Dalrymple
Peter Proud

Written by
Michael S. Gordon
William Rose
Gerard Tyrrell (Additional dialogue)

Based on
the novel by George Moore

Kathleen Ryan
Dirk Bogarde

Music by
Gordon Jacob (as Dr. Gordon Jacob)

C.M. Pennington-Richards
H.E. Fowle

Edited by
Brereton Porter


Independent Producers
Wessex Film Productions

Distributed by
General Film Distributors (UK)

Release date

22 September 1948 (London)

Running time

108 minutes



Esther Waters is a 1948 British drama film directed by Ian Dalrymple and Peter Proud and starring Kathleen Ryan, Dirk Bogarde (first credited film appearance), and Cyril Cusack.[1] It is an adaptation of the 1894 novel Esther Waters by George Moore.[2]


1 Plot
2 Cast
3 Production
4 Critical reception
5 References
6 External links

Esther (Kathleen Ryan) goes into service in Victorian England, only to be seduced by sweet talking footman William (Dirk Bogarde), and then abandoned by him. Esther is forced to deal not only with her pregnancy, but also with her mother’s death, and with no one but herself for comfort, she struggles to survive.

Kathleen Ryan – Esther Waters
Dirk Bogarde – William Latch
Cyril Cusack – Fred
Ivor Barnard – John Randall
Fay Compton – Mrs Barfield
Margaret Diamond – Sarah
George Hayes – Journeyman
Morland Graham – Ketley
Mary Clare – Mrs. Latch
Pauline Jameson – Hospital Nurse
Shelagh Fraser – Margaret
Margaret Withers – Grover
Julian D’Albie – Squire Barfield
Nuna Davey – Matron
Beryl Measor – Mrs. Spires
Barbara Shaw – Mistress
Archie Harradine – Singer
Duncan Lewis – Butcher

The movie was Dirk Borgarde’s first film as a leading man, when he replaced Stewart Granger, who dropped out.[3][4]
Critical reception[edit]
The Radio Times wrote, “George Moore’s source novel was strongly influenced by the naturalism of Emile Zola, but there is little of the earthiness of the original in this tawdry adaptation, which rapidly plunges between the two stools of heritage production and sensationalist melodrama. Dirk Bogarde is suitably scurrilous as a rascally footman, but the action slows fatally when he is off screen, with Kathleen Ryan in the title role facing all her trials (single motherhood, the workhouse and Bogarde’s drinking) with sulkiness rather than dignity and determination. The hors