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IanPatrickMovieReviews

"Fire Over England" 1937 Video Movie Review - Queen Elizabeth I War Film

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Overall, "Fire Over England" is a pretty mediocre historical period drama about the English defeating the Spanish Armada during the Queen Elizabeth era. The last 30 minutes of the film truly saved it from being not worth watching at all. There is a hilarious scene in the movie (which I discuss in my video review) that I will also be posting in my YouTube channel. 

 

Enjoy the review and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel or give the video a like if you enjoyed it!

 

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I am working on a column today, Ian, but when I get a chance later I will devote some time to your latest review. Didn't realize you've done almost thirty of these.

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I am working on a column today, Ian, but when I get a chance later I will devote some time to your latest review. Didn't realize you've done almost thirty of these.

No worries! And yea, I'm nearing the 30 mark..I was a bit rusty in this review and not as smooth...but I got my points across. 

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Here is the hilarious scene from the movie...This scene cracked me up too much to not put on YouTube! Laurence Olivier bursts into a cabin to see his father talking with an old Spanish friend of his...instantly he shouts "Enemies now!" to kill this old friend of his father's (only to be stabbed in seconds). Laurence Olivier overacts sometimes.........

 

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No worries! And yea, I'm nearing the 30 mark..I was a bit rusty in this review and not as smooth...but I got my points across. 

I liked the review. I would say THAT HAMILTON WOMAN is a better film, but FIRE OVER ENGLAND does have its merits.

 

As I listened to the first part of your commentary, it occurred to me that TCM's website should probably have a genre sub-forum for historical films, because not all of them are war films per se. 

 

One thing I wanted to mention, Ian, regarding the theatrical techniques exhibited by Olivier in this picture-- just prior to this, he had done Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT, which was filmed with a lot of the staginess left intact. But still, he had been making films for several years by this point, and clearly he should have known cinema is a more intimate process and the overly grand posturing is not always needed.

 

In fact, Olivier had done several Hollywood films in the early 30s-- one of them with Gloria Swanson; another with Ann Harding (one of my favorite actresses of the decade); and another with Lili Damita (first wife of Errol Flynn). So it's not like he's a novice at motion picture acting in 1937. Maybe because after he left Hollywood the first time and returned to his stage roots, he temporarily forgot how to make movies. Or perhaps the director was encouraging him to step it up and overdo it....?

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I've mentioned before that I wish TCM had more genres in the sub forum section...I would absolutely love if they had a period/historical genre or even just a "drama" genre! Period dramas are possibly my favorite genre from back in the day, and it saddens me that the site doesn't have it in its own area. 

I'm not sure what was going on with Laurence Olivier at the time, but this movie is definitely the most obvious film I've seen of his where I think "yep...he's a stage actor." As you said, it's not like this was his first motion picture to be in. Who knows.....but it was entertaining! haha 

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I've mentioned before that I wish TCM had more genres in the sub forum section...I would absolutely love if they had a period/historical genre or even just a "drama" genre! Period dramas are possibly my favorite genre from back in the day, and it saddens me that the site doesn't have it in its own area. 

I'm not sure what was going on with Laurence Olivier at the time, but this movie is definitely the most obvious film I've seen of his where I think "yep...he's a stage actor." As you said, it's not like this was his first motion picture to be in. Who knows.....but it was entertaining! haha 

By the way, I thought it interesting that you were in the mood for an Olivier film, but then you were slightly let down by his performance. I suppose we can say you must have picked the wrong Laurence Olivier movie to watch! :)

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By the way, I thought it interesting that you were in the mood for an Olivier film, but then you were slightly let down by his performance. I suppose we can say you must have picked the wrong Laurence Olivier movie to watch! :)

I know! I definitely picked the wrong one :( I'll need a month or two until I watch him again haha!

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I know! I definitely picked the wrong one :( I'll need a month or two until I watch him again haha!

That's funny. Or you could always re-watch THAT HAMILTON WOMAN or WUTHERING HEIGHTS. It should solve the problem!

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That's funny. Or you could always re-watch THAT HAMILTON WOMAN or WUTHERING HEIGHTS. It should solve the problem!

Yes! One of these nights I will rewatch "That Hamilton Woman" with my dad...he's been really wanting to see it. Also, "Blanche Fury" kind of reminded me of "Wuthering Heights" :P  

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Yes! One of these nights I will rewatch "That Hamilton Woman" with my dad...he's been really wanting to see it. Also, "Blanche Fury" kind of reminded me of "Wuthering Heights" :P

Are you posting your video review of BLANCHE FURY today??

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By the way I watched FIRE OVER ENGLAND this morning...one problem I noted with Olivier's performance is that he seems to lack self-confidence, which is unusual for him. In his scenes with Raymond Massey, he seems uncharacteristically 'weak' and lacking in the kind of screen presence he normally has. He seems unusually vulnerable, and I don't think it's something he did intentionally for the sake of the character. I wonder why his performance is so 'off' in this film.

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By the way I watched FIRE OVER ENGLAND this morning...one problem I noted with Olivier's performance is that he seems to lack self-confidence, which is unusual for him. In his scenes with Raymond Massey, he seems uncharacteristically 'weak' and lacking in the kind of screen presence he normally has. He seems unusually vulnerable, and I don't think it's something he did intentionally for the sake of the character. I wonder why his performance is so 'off' in this film.

I'm glad you noticed it, too! He is so awkward in this movie...and it takes about an hour and a half for a video to upload to YouTube...it takes about an hour for a video I make to render.

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I'm glad you noticed it, too! He is so awkward in this movie...and it takes about an hour and a half for a video to upload to YouTube...it takes about an hour for a video I make to render.

Thanks for the info. And thanks for taking the time to upload the video commentaries.

 

As for FIRE OVER ENGLAND, I probably would not have watched it again (at least this soon) if not for your review. I noticed it on Hulu and thought I would look at it and see what was going on with Olivier's performance. He's just so fragile and delicate...maybe he was on pins and needles during production because he was and the director were clashing...or maybe he had some off-screen personal problems that were affecting his performance. I don't know what it was exactly, but it sure does detract from enjoying his performance. Fortunately, he is not like this in most of his other pictures.

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