Released in the US as The Randolph Family, Dear Octopus was based on the internationally popular play by Dodie Smith. The story is motivated by the Golden Wedding anniversary of Charles and Dora Randolph (Frederick Leister, Helen Haye). As the relatives gather, each reveals his or her personal quirks and shortcomings. Caught in the middle is family secretary Penny Fenton (Margaret Lockwood), who has the unenviable task of sorting and smoothing out the family's many deep-set hostilities and jealousies so that a good time will be had by all. The basic premise of Dear Octopus is established early on; the rest of the film is variations on a single theme, albeit consistently amusing ones.
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