Cavalcade, with all its flag-waving and unsubtle use of patriotic music, feels, for all intents and purposes, like a piece of wartime propaganda, not least because of its similarities with David Lean’s This Happy Breed, also based on a Noël Coward play tracing the lives of ordinary British families and interweaving their personal struggles with the wider national issues. Importantly, however, whilst This Happy Breed was released during the Second World War, this was released in 1933, slap bang in the middle of the interwar period. It therefore just doesn’t seem to have a reason to exist other than to whip up a sense of national pride for no reason other than to do it. Whilst nicely acted it also lacks plot, cohesion, a sense of progression or any real emotional connection with the characters. It’s just a bit of a damp squib.