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Watched Last Night

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  • Carry On Camping (1969). Seen it umpteen times since on first release in the cinema and it still makes me laugh out loud. Talbot Rothwell's clever script coupled with expected but expert playing by Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Barbara Windsor, Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtrey, Bernard Bresslaw and Dilys Laye all make this a winner, and special mention too for Peter "gorn for a P/pownd" Butterworth, Terry Scott and Betty Marsden as the put-on Potters and Amelia Bayntun as Mrs. "sore misgivings" Fussey. A joy.

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    • Breach of Promise (1942) I watched primarily for Judy Campbell (who sounds exactly the same as Jane Birkin three-quarters of a century later!). She wore a series of négligées and a very unflattering coiffure while vamping it up with Clive Brook in a dinner jacket. This rather lame comedy was written by Emeric Pressburger and Roland Pertwee but it sounded very much like Noël Coward on a very lazy day.

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      • Originally posted by jamal.nazreddin View Post
        Breach of Promise (1942) ... This rather lame comedy was written by Emeric Pressburger and Roland Pertwee
        Actually written by Pertwee with screenplay by Pressburger from an original story by Pressburger ("Victorious Defeat")

        From my plot summary on the IMDb:
        Peter Conway (Clive Brook) is a playwright and his new play is having its first night. At the party afterwards Peter is kissed by a woman he claims not to know. The woman is Pamela ('Judy Campbell'). At first she persues him but then produces some letters where he declared his undying love for her and she sues him for Breach of Promise (as the ladies could in the 1940s). But Peter has a nice scheme to defeat her plan - he marries her. She then does her best to bankrupt him. But why does she want to destroy him? A series of misunderstandings follow as we gradually realise what is going on as Peter & Pamela part and come back together time and time again.

        A fun light hearted romantic tussle

        Steve

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        • Going Gay (1933). Not Arthur Riscoe or Naunton Wayne changing their sexual preferences despite their chumminess, although there is an appearance of the butch Bertha Belmore as "Masculine Lady", but "their musical comedy adventure" set in Vienna. Friendly rivals, they both try elaborate ways to help chubby Simone Simon lookalike Magda Schnedider with her dancing and singing ambitions. Sadly, the comedy sequences are generally feeble and the dancing ones clunkily choreographed, so in fact the film is going nowhere.

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          • The Dresser (2016)

            ​​​​​
            This got off to a slow start for me, I found myself wishing for the earlier more cinematic version, rather than Eyre's filmed theatre. Watching Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen becomes an engrossing experience. The supporting cast are excellent also, I particularly liked Edward Fox as the mournfaced Fool and Sarah Lancashire, not an actressI 8 have ever had much time for, as 'Sir' star-crossed lover.

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            • Made in Heaven (1952). A gentle comedy with a few surprisingly rude lines for its day but a peculiar Chaucer inspired premise: if a couple can show they've been happily married for a year, they win a flitch of bacon. Basil and Julie Topham are nominated as the couple, but their relative domestic bliss is threatened by the arrival of glamorous Hungarian maid Marta. The film was certainly not made in heaven with its meandering plot, but what stops it from going to hell is brisk direction by John Paddy Carstairs and lively performances from David Tomlinson and Petula Clark as the Tophams, Charles Victor and Sophie Stewart as the parents, A. E. Matthews as the grandfather and Richard Wattis and Athene Seyler as the downtrodden vicar and his bossy sister. Sonja Ziemann is Marta and Ferdy Mayne her admirer from home, and sundry villagers are played by Philip Stainton, Alfie Bass, Dora Bryan and Michael Brennan. While the storyline is often unfocused, there is time for a brief sideswipe at the incompetence of that roguish johnny-come-lately, television, plus it's all photographed in bright Technicolor by Geoffrey Unsworth.
              Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 12th August 2017, 07:58 PM.

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              • Street Song (1935). Another thick slice of sentimentality expelled from the bowels of Twickenham Film Studios. Here we have penniless but honest orphans, Rene Ray and her brother John Singer, plus their cute dog Rags, struggling to run their pet shop, but in hock to pawnbroker Laurence "brass balls" Hanray who's dressed in semi-Dickensian attire. Then enter equally penniless street singer John Garrick whose voice is of course brilliant, with kind-hearted but crooked pal Wally Patch in tow. Will the shop survive/will John get a recording contract at the BBC/will Uncle Wally go straight? High-pitched wobbling violins on the soundtrack accompany the treacle, but at least the film's only an hour long and there's some imaginative direction by Bernard Vorhaus.

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                • We watched The Case of the Mukkinese Battle Horn just now. Basically a live TV Goon Show (as opposed to animation) and profoundly unfunny after all these years. Sellers being his usual genius, Milligan working frantically for laughs and Dick Emery playing along. Pamela Thomas adding voluptuous glamour, but missing the Secombe chemistry to make a full Goon experience.

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                  • Poet's Pub (1949). Oxford Blue Saturday Keith is a struggling poet, but he takes over an equally struggling but historic country hotel/pub and turns it into a decent going concern. There he finds conflict, mystery and crime as well as love. Quite an amusing piece from an Eric Linklater novel with Derek Bond as Saturday (he and his six sibling are named after the days of the week) and Rona Anderson as the girl he falls for. She, unfortunately, is the daughter of a literary critic, not known for the niceties: a tailor-made role for James Robertson Justice in fine blustering, opinionated form. Barbara Murray and Leslie Dwyer are two of the hotel staff and Fabia Drake, Joyce Grenfell, Geoffrey Dunn and Maurice Denham provide expected eccentric rustic characterisations. Filmed with the short-lived independent frame technique (back projection, etc. writ large).

                    Comment


                    • Dentist on the Job (1961)

                      A mostly painless sequel to the previous years Dentist in the Chair, with Bob Monkhouse, Ronnie Stevens and Kenneth Connor working on a new formula for toothpaste.
                      Shirley Eaton supplies the glamour with assured comic turns from Eric Barker, Richard Wattis and Reginald Beckwith in support.
                      A sort of Carry on up the Hampstead Heaths for the undemanding.

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                      • I'm open to correction as always, but I don't know of many full-length movies of the all-British Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. However there was a great D'Olye Carte production of The Mikado at the Buxton Opera House in 1992, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Sullivan. It was broadcast live on BBC and we recorded it on VHS at that time. Over the years the tape deteriorated somewhat and the VCR became obsolete. We recently found a service that makes professional and enhanced copies for £10 and we had a DVD made. We played it last night and enjoyed it immensely. As with most such BBC productions (eg the celebrated Laurel and Hardy Cuckoo documentary) it is totally unavailable from the BBC, but they retain the copyright, so this is probably protected until 2042. But we're happy to freely pass on the glory of this production to other members for their private use, so anyone interested please send a message and make arrangements. This production, although regarded as a little avant-garde at the time, is now regarded as one of the finest and comes from the official troupe. Great music and good fun.

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                        • The Price of Silence (1959)

                          Gordon Jackson is an ex con trying to start a new life in a provincial town, whose past comes back to haunt him in the form of blackmailer Sam Kydd.
                          When an old lady gets bumped of, the cops,a familiar role for Victor Brooks, naturally suspect our Gord, even though he only went down for a minor embezzlement!.
                          Routine programmer, that at least has a happy ending.
                          With June Thorburn.

                          Comment


                          • Beast In the Cellar (1970)

                            Kinda silly plot that is sparked up by the performances of the two leading ladies..Flora Robson and Beryl Reid. The storyline involves a secret that two elderly spinster sisters have in their cellar..that of a half crazed brother they locked away years earlier to keep him from going to war.

                            He escapes and creates havoc on mostly male soldiers as in his muddled mind he sees them as his reason for enduring years of isolation and imprisonment. I do have to ask the question why did the director not make his captors..the sisters his first and only victims?

                            This is a neat little thriller that does try to lift itself from a low budget B grader but with little success. Worth an hour and a half of your time if alone for Robson and Reid.
                            Last edited by chillingfilmania; 18th August 2017, 12:16 AM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by chillingfilmania View Post
                              Beast In the Cellar (1970)

                              Kinda silly plot that is sparked up by the performances of the two leading ladies..Flora Robson and Beryl Reid. The storyline involves a secret that two elderly spinster sisters have in their cellar..that of a half crazed brother they locked away years earlier to keep him from going to war.

                              He escapes and creates havoc on mostly male soldiers as in his muddled mind he sees them as his reason for enduring years of isolation and imprisonment. I do have to ask the question why did the director not make his captors..the sisters his first victims?

                              This is a neat little thriller that does try to lift itself from a low budget B grader but with little success. Worth an hour and a half of your time if alone for Robson and Reid.
                              The endless dialogue kills it for me, too much talking about celery, the pace just crawls along.

                              Comment


                              • Warning to Wantons (1949). More independent frame fun, this comedy proudly declared to be Production No 2. (aside from Poet's Pub, the other two made were Floodtide and Stop Press Girl), but can also be proudly declared to be downright weird. Convent girl Renee, always with an eye for the men, leaves the religious halls for hedonism and manipulates her way into the grand estates of Count Kardak, bewitching him, his son Max and eventually a rustic peasant Pauli, while falling very much foul of Countess Marie. It's all exceedingly odd and the cast portray their roles really quite strangely. Anne Vernon is Renee, Harold Warrender the Count, David Tomlinson - the only one acting in the way you'd expect - plays Max, Hugh Cross is Pauli and Sonia Holm the jealous Marie. Enchanting continental location photography, back projected like mad, while nicely directed by co-writer Donald B. Wilson, can't detract from the peculiar plot and performances.

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