The film is a historical drama set during the reign of Elizabeth I (Flora Robson), focusing on the English defeat of the Spanish Armada, whence the title. In 1588, relations between Spain and England are at the breaking point. With the support of Queen Elizabeth I, British sea raiders such as Sir Francis Drake regularly capture Spanish merchantmen bringing gold from the New World.
A beautiful girl, Snow White, takes refuge in the forest in the house of seven dwarfs to hide from her stepmother, the wicked Queen. The Queen is jealous because she wants to be known as “the fairest in the land,” and Snow White’s beauty surpasses her own.
Derrick De Marney finds himself in a 39 Steps situation when he is wrongly accused of murder. While a fugitive from the law, De Marney is helped by heroine Nova Pilbeam, who three years earlier had played the adolescent kidnap victim in Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. The obligatory “fish out of water” scene, in which the principals are briefly slowed down by a banal everyday event, occurs during a child’s birthday party. The actual villain, whose identity is never in doubt (Hitchcock made thrillers, not mysteries) is played by George Curzon, who suffers from a twitching eye. Curzon’s revelation during an elaborate nightclub sequence is a Hitchcockian tour de force, the sort of virtuoso sequence taken for granted in these days of flexible cameras and computer enhancement, but which in 1937 took a great deal of time, patience and talent to pull off. Released in the US as The Girl Was Young, Young and Innocent was based on a novel by Josephine Tey.
At a family reunion, the Cooper clan find that their parents’ home is being foreclosed. “Temporarily,” Ma moves in with son George’s family, Pa with daughter Cora. But the parents are like sand in the gears of their middle-aged children’s well regulated households. Can the old folks take matters into their own hands?
Ballet star Pete “Petrov” Peters arranges to cross the Atlantic aboard the same ship as the dancer he’s fallen for but barely knows, musical star Linda Keene. By the time the ocean liner reaches New York, a little white lie has churned through the rumor mill and turned into a hot gossip item: that the two celebrities are secretly married.
The ups and downs in the lives and careers of a group of ambitious young actresses and show girls from disparate backgrounds brought together in a theatrical hostel. Centres particularly on the conflict and growing friendship between Terry Randall, a rich girl confident in her talent and ability to make it to the top on the stage, and Jean Maitland, a world weary and cynical trouper who has taken the hard knocks of the ruthless and over-populated world of the Broadway apprentice.