Johnny Frenchman. Image shows from L to R: Yan Kervarec (Paul Dupuis), Sue Pomeroy (Patricia Roc). Copyright: Ealing Studios.

Johnny Frenchman

1945 British comedy film about fishing communities. Stars Francoise Rosay, Tom Walls, Patricia Roc, Ralph Michael, Paul Dupuis and others.

On TV on 5th September at 3:55pm on TPTV

Johnny Frenchman. Image shows from L to R: Francoise Rosay, Tom Walls, Patricia Roc, Paul Dupuis. Copyright: STUDIOCANAL.

Johnny Frenchman

Comedy drama following a Cornish fishing community and its relationship with its French rivals

Francoise Rosay, Tom Walls, Patricia Roc, Ralph Michael, Paul Dupuis, Frederick Piper, Paul Bonifas, Arthur Hambling and others
T.E.B. Clarke
Charles Frend
Michael Balcon

It is 1939 and the people of Trevannick, a small fishing village on the south coast of Cornwall, are going about their business as normal - when not being disturbed by rivals from Lanec.

A similar village in Brittany on the northern French coast, its fishing fleets regularly enter Cornish waters to poach the English stock, taunt the locals, and occasionally make port whilst refusing to pay their harbour dues: for Trevannick harbourmaster and leading fisherman Nat Pomeroy, the behaviour of the 'froggy' interlopers, led by matriarch 'Lanec' Florrie Kervarec, is particularly rankling.

Rivalry between the Breton and Cornish coastal communities has been rife since time immemorial, but under Florrie and Nat's respective tenures, their obstinacy and big personalities have caused tensions to grow to a head and scuffles are increasingly heated.

The pair are equally aghast, therefore, when the arrival of Florrie's son Yan's boat in Trevannick leads him to catch the eye of Nat's daughter, Sue - and vice versa. A series of unlikely events cause the villages to attempt to put their differences aside, but it is never long before suspicions and hostilities break out once more.

Things begin to change as 1940 arrives. War has come to Europe, Paris falls, and the German army is pushing ever westwards. Florrie and the Lanec locals first help a small group of British servicemen across the channel, and eventually follow themselves, bringing a large group of Lanec children to England and safety.

With the situation on the south side of the Channel growing more desperate, the presence of Yan, Florrie and co raises further questions for Trevannick and its people - and when Yan and Sue decide to marry, opinion is very much split!

Production Details

UK certificate
105 minutes
Release date
July 1945
Summer 1944

Eagle-Lion Distributors

Production company
Black and white
Laugh track

Broadcast details

Upcoming repeats
  1. 5th September at 3:55pm on TPTV
  2. 8th September at 3:40pm on TPTV

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