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BRITISH CINEMA during the 1930s and 40s


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I am a great fan of BRITISH CINEMA mainly from the 1930s and 40s. I like some 1950s films as well, especially the ones with ALEC GUINESS.  I love the RED SHOES AND BLACK NARCISSUS DIRECTED BY MICHAEL POWELL.

There is British Noir as well, that is terrific. There is one called THE FINGER OF GUILT 1956 that was directed by JOSEPH LOSEY using a pseudonym.   It starred Richard Basehart, Mary Murphy AND CONSTANCE CUMMINGS The Blacklist was felt in England as well.  In order to work the artists had to use different names to  get financial backing the US.

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Just yesterday I was thinking of Roger Livesay and his fine, late performances as the Duke of St. Bungay in 18 episodes of The Pallisers, an early BBC/Masterpiece Theater marvel. Here he is in a scene with Roland Culver, who plays the Duke of Omnium:

 

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Nice clip. Delighted to see this on Netflix and have put it in the line. I don't pay attention to Netflix "best guess" on how much they think I'll like but still noted with interest that it was the full five stars for Pallisers. The first time I've seen that. Not surprising in a way, I have a full  history of BBC productions. I've heard the name Pallisers and am a bit surprised I had not nabbed that already. The name Susan Hampshire in the cast list was a jolt, a name associated with something I liked very much and I had to find out. She has been a lot stuff and she has that familiar face but the jolt came from Barchester Chronicles from 1982 where she had a small but strong role. And an aside, Alan Rickman fans who haven't seen BC should get to it. It was his first TV show and I won't go into detail but suffice it to say that he Packs a Wallop.

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1 minute ago, laffite said:

Nice clip. Delighted to see this on Netflix and have put it in the line. I don't pay attention to Netflix "best guess" on how much they think I'll like but still noted with interest that it was the full five stars for Pallisers. The first time I've seen that. Not surprising in a way, I have a full  history of BBC productions. I've heard the name Pallisers and am a bit surprised I had not nabbed that already. The name Susan Hampshire in the cast list was a jolt, a name associated with something I liked very much and I had to find out. She has been a lot stuff and she has that familiar face but the jolt came from Barchester Chronicles from 1982 where she had a small but strong role. And an aside, Alan Rickman fans who haven't seen BC should get to it. It was his first TV show and I won't go into detail but suffice it to say that he Packs a Wallop.

Okay, thanks.

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1 minute ago, laffite said:

I was referring to Swithin's post ... actually.

This is the second Okay Thanks I've stopped for you in the last couple of days. It smacks a little of passive-aggressiveness. Please PM me (if you want) if there is something you want to say to me directly.

Sounds great, thanks.

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9 hours ago, sagebrush said:

Sounds like a good flick. I love Roger Livesey!

Me too, sagebrush.

Two of my favorite Roger Livesey starring films are The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and I Know Where I'm Going.

(...bet they're yours too, huh) ;)

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Some great British thrillers came out during this era, such as:

The Terror

The Ghost Camera

The Mystery of Mr. X

Death at Broadcasting House

Green for Danger

....and I know there are more. I just can't think of them just now!

I'm also a very big fan of Kind Hearts and Coronets

I'd give anything to see all the films in which Austin Trevor plays Poirot, such as the 1934 film Lord Edgware Dies.

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I almost always enjoy British films when TCM shows them. A lot of them I don't remember by name, as TCM plays them less frequently (many of them I've only seen once each), and I'm usually less familiar with the actors. Some of those kitchen sink dramas of the late 50s to the mid 60s are a bit overwrought, but usually very well acted.

I'm looking forward to Peter Finch night on Wednesday. I'm going to skip his American fare this time around - The Nun's StoryFar from the Madding CrowdNetwork - and give a try to two movies I've never even heard of, No Love for Johnnie and Girl with Green Eyes.

 

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One of my favorite British Films is BILLY LIAR with Tom Courtney.  It is a film directed by John Schlesinger.One of the best parts of the movie is Billy juggling two girlfriends to no avail. The film introduced Julie Christie to audiences, who played the free spirited LIz.

Here is  a clip from the film.

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/237393/Billy-Liar-Movie-Clip-Count-Five-And-Tell-The-Truth.html

You will notice that Julie is wearing a NEW MOD HAIRDO, WHILE THE OTHER WOMEN ARE WEARING the traditional BOUFFANT HAIRDOS. Fashion and hair Styles were changing before the BEATLES hit it big.

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11 hours ago, laffite said:

I was referring to Swithin's post ... actually.

This is the second Okay Thanks I've stopped for you in the last couple of days.

Be careful how you deal with Lawrence -- he's very sensitive at the moment and will threaten never to come into this thread again! ?

Regarding The Pallisers, it's one of the great series. 22 episodes. Susan Hampshire, who played Glencora Palliser, burst on the scene in terms of American awareness a few years earlier -- as Fleur in The Forsyte Saga; then as Sarah Churchill in The First Churchills, which was the first Masterpiece Theater.

I've seen her on stage, in Man and Superman in 1977. She hasn't done that much recently, having mostly retired to take care of her husband, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. But she did appear in a production of Wilde's An Ideal Husband a few months ago.

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16 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I almost always enjoy British films when TCM shows them. A lot of them I don't remember by name, as TCM plays them less frequently (many of them I've only seen once each), and I'm usually less familiar with the actors. Some of those kitchen sink dramas of the late 50s to the mid 60s are a bit overwrought, but usually very well acted.

I'm looking forward to Peter Finch night on Wednesday. I'm going to skip his American fare this time around - The Nun's StoryFar from the Madding CrowdNetwork - and give a try to two movies I've never even heard of, No Love for Johnnie and Girl with Green Eyes.

 

No Love for Johnnie is a solid political drama, and I look forward to seeing it again. The script for The Girl with Green Eyes isn't really new--young woman has affair with older married man--but Rita Tushingham, Peter Finch, and Lynn Redgrave (as Rita's best friend) do their best to make it fresh. If you like the offbeat charms of Rita Tushingham (not pretty, but an unusual, distinctive, and very watchable face), you may want to check it out.

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16 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

I'm looking forward to Peter Finch night on Wednesday. I'm going to skip his American fare this time around - The Nun's StoryFar from the Madding CrowdNetwork - and give a try to two movies I've never even heard of, No Love for Johnnie and Girl with Green Eyes.

Far from the Madding Crowd is actually a British film. There's a lot in it to like, although I find Julie Christie to be miscast -- too swinging London to play a 19th Century Hardy heroine. But that demented border collie deserved an Oscar for craziest dog in movie history!

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6 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

imdb lists the primary production company of Far from the Madding Crowd as MGM. I realize it was shot in England and possibly with an English crew, but I'm still calling it an American film

MGM was involved in many films that are considered UK productions; for example, the Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple films. No one would call those American productions. 

actress-margaret-rutherford-as-miss-jane

Murder Most Foul

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058383/

 

 

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The 1940 UK version of Gaslight is vastly superior to the 1944 Hollywood version with Ingrid Bergman.

Dead of Night (1945) is shown quite often on TCM and its influence to the horror genre is far and wide.

The Seventh Veil (1945) is a moving study of emotional oppressiveness that is often the theme in British films.  I've never seen it aired on TV anywhere, and there is only this UK DVD which is all-region but in PAL.

Rarely seen and hard to find is the 1949 thriller Obsession (aka. The Hidden Room), with an Englishman wrecking a most unusual revenge on his wife's American lover.  It can be found in this budget-price DVD with average video and audio qualities.

There are other well-known 30-40s British films like Odd Man Out, The Fallen Idol, Things to Come, all of Hitchcock's British films, David Lean's Great Expectations, Brief Encounter, The 49th Parallel, and so on, which are often shown on TCM and readily available to rent or purchase.

I admire these films for their artistry as well as the unmistakable "Britishness" in them.

I can keep going with 50s British films and beyond, as I have a vast library of British films.  Let me know if we should make another thread.

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2 minutes ago, DVDPhreak said:

Rarely seen and hard to find is the 1949 thriller Obsession (aka. The Hidden Room), with an Englishman wrecking a most unusual revenge on his wife's American lover.

Obsession is currently available on FilmStruck. There are quite a few British films there.

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There were a lot of "British" films in the 30s and 40s that were backed by American studios, and they often show a kind of Britishness that was often Americans' idea of Britishness, and not the real thing.  For that, I often have to look further across the pond to find truly characteristically British films, such as The Blue Lamp (1950), a docu-drama that shows a police investigation as well as a glimpse of British urban life at the time that feels authentic.  These movies are often only on British-made DVDs or Blu-rays, so I have a multi-region movie player just for that.  

EDIT: "The Blue Lamp" is available on this Region-B Blu-ray with a nice restored picture.

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