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  • Somewhere on Leave (1943). Wartime music hall comedians do their worst in a corny collection of business interspersed with a ridiculous love story which features amazingly-stilted acting, though to be fair to the actors, the dialogue is almost unspeakable. The film only gets livelier when the comedians do their stuff, but I suspect even small children wouldn't laugh much, plus the direction throughout is dreadful.
    Frank Randle is an acquired taste, as are his cohorts Harry Korris, Dan Young and Robbie Vincent. There does seem to be a fair bit of ad-libbing going on, and it sounds at one point if Frank starts to say the "F" word. The more respectable players include Toni Edgar-Bruce and Vincent Holman (who is the recipient of the "F"), although they are also required to mug it up at times.
    Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 24th March 2018, 12:04 PM.

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    • The Root of All Evil (1946). But nevertheless, Phyllis Calvert believes money makes the world go around as she is determined to thwart the Grice family who did her out of £ and romance and it's only in the last reel that she comes to her senses. A typical Gainsborough soap opera, albeit in the "present day", with overblown incidental music by Bretton Byrd and Louis Levy who should've know better given their considerable experience, and written and directed by Brock Williams. John McCullum (sic twice) is her loyal lover and Hubert Gregg and Michael Rennie her faux ones. Competently made, mainly within the confines of Lime Grove Studios, it's unbelievable grand camp entertainment for a weekend afternoon, with Hazel Court, Moore Marriott, Arthur Young and George Carney amongst those who gleefully wallow in the realm of ripe ham.

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      • The Man Who Never Was (1956). Ronald Neame directed film based on a true second world war incident. Clifton Webb and Robert \Flemyng come up with a brilliant scheme to fool the enemy by floating a dead body carrying secret details of the Allied invasion but giving wrong information of where the actual landing will take place. Stephen Boyd is the spy who comes over to check if the information is correct or is it a trick. Exciting climax as Boyd makes out that he is a friend of the supposed deceased and checks up on his bank, club and fiancee in an effort to find out if it's a hoax. British regulars abound including Geoffrey Keen, Michael Hordern, Alan Cuthbertson and a lovely cameo from Miles Malleson .Peter Sellers is the voice of Winston Churchill. Glorious Eastman Colour..Loved it.

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        • Originally posted by cassidy View Post
          The Man Who Never Was (1956).
          I always particularly like Gloria Grahame as the purported girlfriend of “Major Martin”, confronting the Irish (German) agent. Where she says she never knew Martin (gasps of horror from the audience) but then goes on to ask, how can anyone really get to know anyone else in wartime.

          A powerful piece of acting

          Steve

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          • Flame in the Streets (1961). Another crusading screenplay from Ted Willis, this time dealing with the ignorance and prejudice when West Indian Gabriel is up for a promoted job and young Kathie falls in love with Jamaican Peter. John Mills is Katie's bellicose father, who has basically neglected his family due to his obsession with his union work, and while he is rational and fair-minded about Gabriel, he is not so understanding over Peter. Sylvia Syms plays Katie and Brenda De Banzie her hysterical and racist mother. Earl Cameron puts in a sensitive and moving performance as Gabriel, with Ann Lynn as his pregnant wife and Johnny Sekka plays Peter. A courageous and worthy film produced and directed by Roy Ward Baker that addresses issues which are still not resolved today. Also not resolved: it's a CinemaScope picture which has been blown up full-frame apart from the opening and end titles.

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            • The House That Dripped Blood (1970)

              I'm slowly converting my partner from Sci-Fi, into the delights of British horror.
              As she doesn't like too much gore, this seemed a good example. A portmanteau, well directed by Peter Duffell, with top horror Meisters Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in attendance.
              I think we both enjoyed the Sweets to the Sweet segment best, with a particularly creepy turn from the excellent Chloe Franks.
              The Cloak was also great fun, with Jon Pertwee flapping his arms frantically to achieve life off, in a cloak with the Shepperton label stitched inside!

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              • Originally posted by Tigon Man View Post
                The House That Dripped Blood (1970)

                I'm slowly converting my partner from Sci-Fi, into the delights of British horror.
                As she doesn't like too much gore, this seemed a good example. A portmanteau, well directed by Peter Duffell, with top horror Meisters Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in attendance.
                I think we both enjoyed the Sweets to the Sweet segment best, with a particularly creepy turn from the excellent Chloe Franks.
                The Cloak was also great fun, with Jon Pertwee flapping his arms frantically to achieve life off, in a cloak with the Shepperton label stitched inside!
                Another star turn in this one I think is Geoffrey Bayldon as the previous owner of the cloak, Von Hartmann, who does not patronise the kinema.

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                • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
                  Flame in the Streets (1961). Another crusading screenplay from Ted Willis, this time dealing with the ignorance and prejudice when West Indian Gabriel is up for a promoted job and young Kathie falls in love with Jamaican Peter. John Mills is Katie's bellicose father, who has basically neglected his family due to his obsession with his union work, and while he is rational and fair-minded about Gabriel, he is not so understanding over Peter. Sylvia Syms plays Katie and Brenda De Banzie her hysterical and racist mother. Earl Cameron puts in a sensitive and moving performance as Gabriel, with Ann Lynn as his pregnant wife and Johnny Sekka plays Peter. A courageous and worthy film produced and directed by Roy Ward Baker that addresses issues which are still not resolved today. Also not resolved: it's a CinemaScope picture which has been blown up full-frame apart from the opening and end titles.
                  The US Region 1 release from VCI, sourced from ITV Studios is the correct ratio, although the picture quality is not brilliant. Why it is not available in the correct ratio in the UK is a mystery.

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                  • The Demi-Paradise (1943). Soviet ship engineer Laurence Olivier with his best Russian accent finds himself in pre-war London to aid the manufacture of a special propeller and has anxiously to cope with British (or "English", as the word Britain is not used) customs, attitudes and people, as well as falling for uppercrust Penelope Ward. A wartime propaganda piece designed to cement Anglo-Russian relations, not just as allies, but as friends forevermore. Well, that didn't last very long, did it, especially now! The England he encounters is a dingy London, but most of the film is in the fantasy land of Barchester, with its friendly natives and eccentricities personified by the likes of Joyce Grenfell, Edie Martin, Margaret Withers, Miles Malleson and, of course, supreme exponent Margaret Rutherford. Also in attendance are Felix Aylmer, George Thorpe, Guy Middleton and Jack Watling. At least a semi-demi adventure for two written and produced by Russian Anatole de Grunwald and directed by English Anthony Asquith.

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                    • The Square Ring 1953

                      A night at the fights English style where the dramas of each fighter unfold.

                      Robert Beatty, Jack Warner, Maxwell Reed, Bill Owen, George Rose & youngsters Ronald Lewis & Joan Collins.
                      A rare British boxing film which is a bit cliche'd but does have it's moments.
                      Robert Beatty is a bit long in the tooth to play a boxer called "Kid Curtis" & he seems to find it hard to not to shut his
                      eyes in the fight sequences. George Rose is way over the top as a punch drunk pug.
                      Maxwell Reed looks quite convincing in his fight scenes & is the only one who looked like he could actually
                      do a bit. He was married to Ms Collins at the time & there is a nice tender scene where they kiss.
                      Bill Owen is aptly cast as a boxer named "Happy"!
                      All in all it doesn't compare well with American films of the same ilk but there is some clever camera work!

                      Comment


                      • When the Bough Breaks (1947). Soppiness is signalled from the start with the sentimental strings of Clifton Parker's music as we see Patricia Roc informally but reluctantly giving her baby son to a childless couple (being 1947, Pat is the victim of bigamy, not a "single mother"). When Pat gets sorted several years down the line, she wants her boy back, even though he has never known her.
                        A Gainsborough domestic melodrama written by Peter (Carry On) Rogers who milks the expected plotlines for all they're worth, with an obvious and convenient conclusion, plus he slips in a homily about following proper adoption procedure while he's at it.
                        Miss Roc is pretty unconvincing and Rosamund John and Patrick Holt as the adopting couple are rather wet too. Brenda Bruce and Leslie Dwyer are rather more on the ball as supportive friends, but I would wonder about the casting of Bill Owen as the leading man. Cavan Malone does well as the boy at the centre of things, and there are welcome, albeit brief, appearances from Torin Thatcher, Catherine Lacey, Muriel George and Edie Martin.
                        Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 3rd April 2018, 06:58 PM.

                        Comment


                        • Innocent Sinners (1958). Philip Leacock directs this sentimental and religious children's' film with some sensitivity and coaxes at times rough and ready but genuine performances from young June Archer as Lovejoy and Christopher Hey as Tip; it's a pity their acting careers weren't longer. In effect abandoned by her flapper mother played by Vanda Godsell, streetwise Lovejoy tries to create little gardens in ruined areas of London, but is continually thwarted. From a story by Rumer (Black Narcissus) Godden, the contrived screenplay is strictly in CFF territory albeit on a bigger budget, but's there's fine acting from David Kossoff and Barbara Mullen as the struggling restaurateurs who try to look after Lovejoy, and a breathless performance from Flora Robson as a benefactor. Catherine Lacey is back too, plus there's a doctor role for Barbara's colleague-to-be Andrew Cruckshank, as well as one of those roles you think is going to be significant but isn't for Edward Chapman.

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                          • Mr Perrin & Mr Traill (1948)

                            David Farrar's war hero takes on a different sort of enemy, when he becomes a Schoolmaster at a minor Public School.
                            There he meets embittered, querulous Marius Goring as senior maths teacher Vincent Perrin, who considers Farrar's David Traill an impudent young puppy! Woof...
                            A nicely presented battle of wills between the progressive and the traditional, with a fine performance by Goring, who despite being only 36, pulls off his old man impersonation to great aplomb despite the unconvincing make up. Farrar is his usual solid self, and there's Raymond Huntley, who serves up a treat, at his acidic best as the martinet Headmaster.
                            With Edward Chapman, Greta Gynt and Ralph Truman.

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                            • Meet Mr Callaghan (1954)

                              Derrick De Marney is the Private Eye from the Peter Cheyney novel, looking into what made an old man change his will before being murdered.
                              I confess to not being familiar with Mr De Marney's work. Whatever this gentleman had, it wasn't conventional for a leading man, being neither tall, nor especially good looking and possessed of a voice that is a dead ringer for Harry Hill.
                              It all works though and he makes the decidedly dodgy Callaghan into a fully rounded character.
                              The story itself is a run of the mill crime drama with Trevor Reid in familiar Detective guise, John Longden and Adrienne Corri.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Tigon Man View Post
                                Meet Mr Callaghan (1954)

                                Derrick De Marney is the Private Eye from the Peter Cheyney novel, looking into what made an old man change his will before being murdered.
                                I confess to not being familiar with Mr De Marney's work. Whatever this gentleman had, it wasn't conventional for a leading man, being neither tall, nor especially good looking and possessed of a voice that is a dead ringer for Harry Hill.
                                It all works though and he makes the decidedly dodgy Callaghan into a fully rounded character.
                                The story itself is a run of the mill crime drama with Trevor Reid in familiar Detective guise, John Longden and Adrienne Corri.
                                Probably Derrick De Marney is most memorable in the title role of Uncle Silas (1947), which is well worth hunting down. The title music by Eric Spear for Meet Mr. Callaghan seems to have been quite popular and its rhythm line strangely resembles another work of Mr. Spear dating from 1960 . . .

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                                • Tigon Man
                                  Tigon Man commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  I've just watched Uncle Silas Gerald, Derrick is very good in the title role. A little theatrical perhaps, but then the film is a rather over ripe gothic melodrama,
                                  The actress playing the drunken Governess, gives one of the most eye rolling over the top villainesses in screen history!
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