Throughout the history of British film there's been a steady drain of talent from the local industry to Hollywood. There's not been much traffic in the other direction. Constance Cummings was an exception.
She was born in Seattle and entered show business as a Broadway chorus girl. Producer Sam Goldwyn spotted her potential and she moved to Hollywood. She was kept busy and was well on the way to becoming a big star when she met English playwright Benn Levy. He was scriptwriting in Hollywood though he'd already contributed to British cinema by writing the dialogue for the talkie version of Blackmail.
Her marriage to Levy took her to England, though there was a court case to endure before she was free of her contract. Their professional partnership proved as successful as the marriage and she appeared in many of his West End hits. She also scored in classical roles. In between her stage work, she managed to fit in a few films.
She didn't film anything like as frequently in Britain as she did in Hollywood, but she did get to appear in one bona fide classic, Blithe Spirit, and several popular successes. However, her commitment to the stage and to her husband's political career (he became a Labour MP in the 1945 election) probably prevented her from becoming a huge screen star.
Even after her film career ended, her stage work continued and she scored her biggest critical success in Long Day's Journey Into Night opposite Laurence Olivier in 1971 at the National. She was still treading the boards in her nineties.
|1931||The Criminal Code (US)|
|1931||The Last Parade (US)|
|1931||Lover Come Back (US)|
|1931||Travelling Husbands (US)|
|1931||The Guilty Generation (US)|
|1932||Behind the Mask (US)|
|1932||The Big Timer (US)|
|1932||Attorney for the Defense (US)|
|1932||American Madness (US)|
|1932||Movie Crazy (US)|
|1932||The Last Man (US)|
|1932||Washington Merry-Go-Round (US)|
|1932||Night After Night (US)|
|1933||Billion Dollar Scandal (US)|
|1933||The Mind Reader (US)|
|1933||Broadway Through the Keyhole (US)|
|1933||Heads We Go|
|1934||This Man is Mine (US)|
|1934||Looking for Trouble (US)|
|1935||Remember Last Night? (US)|
|1936||Strangers on a Honeymoon|
|1942||The Foreman Went to France|
|1950||Into the Blue|
|1955||John and Julie|
|1959||The Battle of the Sexes|
|1963||Sammy Going South|
|1963||In the Cool of the Day|
Constance Cummings at Amazon UK
Constance Cummings at Amazon US