October 21, 2014

Films

My Brother Jonathan – 1948 | 102 mins | Drama | B&W

Plot Synopsis

My Brother Jonathan

In a Worcestershire village just after WWII, a young soldier visits his doctor father Jonathan Dakers at their home. The father recollects to his son the relationship he had with his brother Harold, beginning in 1900 when both were children. After their writer father is visited by bailiffs, the boys go to a local mansion where they play cricket. Harold later goes to Harrow and Cambridge University, whilst Jonathan trains to be a doctor at a Midlands hospital. He subsequently meets a childhood friend, but she turns down his marriage proposal as she wants to travel. His father then dies after being knocked down by a car he’s revealed to have been a corset salesman and the family are penniless. Jonathan subsequently buys a share in a surgery in a poor industrial town and begins work as a GP.

A warm-hearted, but highly episodic late 1940′s British drama that doesn’t flow particularly well. Nevertheless it’s certainly better than the dreadful The Citadel (1938) – a wildly over-rated film which it vaguely resembles.

The script by Leslie L Landau and Adrian Alington moves along in decidedly erratic fashion. There’s also stiff direction from Harold French, although he does inject the story with warmth and humanity. The cast all try hard, notably Michael Denison – perhaps Britain’s answer to James Stewart. Ronald Howard is also unusually good here. However nearly every one of the characters is quite dull and all but a few situations they are placed into are uninteresting to say the least. The film is particularly dry and self-conscious in the second half when it becomes apparent that it’s just a mechanical Associated British production. The story is crying out for much more substance as there’s little to get your teeth into.

By Andy Coleby

Production Team

Harold French: Director
Douglas Daniels: Art Direction
Derick Williams: Cinematography
R. Gower Parks: Costume Design
Charles Hasse: Film Editing
Harry Hayward: Makeup Department
Francis Brett Young: Novel
Hans May: Original Music
Warwick Ward: Producer
Leslie Landau: Script
Adrian Alington: Script
Harold V. King: Sound
Cecil Thornton: Sound

Cast

Wilfrid Hyde-White: Mr. Gaige
Stephen Murray: Dr. Craig
Ronald Howard: Harold Dakers
Pete Murray: Tony Dakers
Michael Denison: Jonathan Dakers
Mary Clare: Mrs. Dakers
James Robertson Justice: Eugene Dakers
James Hayter: Tom Morse
Finlay Currie: Dr. Hammond
Dulcie Gray: Rachel Hammond
Beatrice Campbell: Edie Martyn
Arthur Young: Sir Joseph Higgins



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