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My Wife's Lodger (1952)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Soldier Willie Higginbottom returns to England after six years serving overseas. His wife, Maggie, and his children are not particularly interested in his return. He discovers that he is less popular with his wife than lodger Roger, and he has to spend his first evening alone at home while the couple go off to the cinema together. Meanwhile, his wastrel son Norman goes out to get drunk and his flighty daughter Eunice goes dancing.

At the local palais, Eunice is impressed by Tex, an American serviceman. Later, a drunken Tex takes to the streets, and ends up in the Higgibottom household, where he shares some rye whisky with Willie. Once Willie is as inebriated as Tex, they enjoy themselves smashing crockery before they wander the streets.

Maggie and Roger return to the house to find it in disarray. Roger takes this opportunity to ask Maggie to divorce Willie and marry him instead. But Maggie is uncertain.

Tex and Willie return to the house. Willie rages at Maggie before he and Tex fall into a drunken sleep. The next day, Tex awakes and is surprised to see Eunice there. A romance begins.

Roger leaves the house in a hurry, while a dejected Willie goes out to look for work. Later, Tex tells Maggie and Eunice that he has an important letter for Willie that will inform him that he has inherited a large ranch in Texas. Tex proposes to Eunice.

A policeman comes to the house looking for Willie. Meanwhile, Willie gets a job as a waiter, and while on the job overhears Roger plotting to drug a lorry driver and steal his load of tobacco. Willie attempts to pursue Roger on a bicycle, but a mishap wrecks the vehicle. He meets Eunice and Tex and they pursue Roger in a jeep. Willie arrives at a roadside café to find a woozy driver whose lorry has been stolen by Roger.

Roger returns to the Higginbottom household to retrieve a bag. Before he can make his getaway, Willie and a policeman arrive at the house. It transpires that Willie has accidentally picked up a bag of dangerous chemicals, which the policeman has come to collect. On his way out, the policeman meets Roger. He recognises him as a criminal who has been operating under a number of aliases. Roger is apprehended.

Maggie, ashamed of her behaviour with Roger, is reunited with Willie. The whole family go to live in Texas on the ranch Willie has inherited.