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BRITISH CINEMA during the 1930s and 40s


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On 8/12/2018 at 12:54 PM, arpirose said:

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.

I love British cinema too, and anything by Powell, including ones you mention and "The Tales of Hoffman". E.T.A. Hoffman was a fascinating figure in his own right and his tale "The Sandman" supposedly was a favorite of Sigmund Freud, due to its subterranean possibilities. When I see anything starting with the J. Arthur Rank emblem, I'm hooked. As for the 1950's when Losey went there, I especially admired "The Sleeping Tiger" with Dirk Bogarde. Great topic, Arpirose!

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On 8/12/2018 at 5:48 PM, Swithin said:

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:

 

Love those BBC productions, Swithin! One of the greatest mini-series I've ever seen was their production of Honore de Balzac's book, "Cousin Bette". It starred Margaret Tyzack and also had a fine turn by a young Helen Mirren. Watching each episode as Bette worked her tapestry stitching the crest and working on the diabolical downfall of all who had wronged her, was mesmerizing. The remake version on film with Jessica Lange was a travesty and so miscast. To this day, I have never seen the original from the BBC available on any dvd or videotape boxed set, though I get many catalogs with mega amounts of old BBC productions available sadly. Any other fans here?

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23 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

I love British cinema too, and anything by Powell, including ones you mention and "The Tales of Hoffman". E.T.A. Hoffman was a fascinating figure in his own right and his tale "The Sandman" supposedly was a favorite of Sigmund Freud, due to its subterranean possibilities. When I see anything starting with the J. Arthur Rank emblem, I'm hooked. As for the 1950's when Losey went there, I especially admired "The Sleeping Tiger" with Dirk Bogarde. Great topic, Arpirose!

Yep, I have to admit whenever I see that dude bangin' that gong at the beginning of a movie, I sure know the movie I'm about to see is probably gonna be a whole lot better than the Grade-B horror movie I had just watched on KHJ-TV Los Angeles Channel-9's "Movie Macabre" hosted by Elvira back in the day, and when they showed THIS guy bangin' HIS gong here...

 

(...btw...I think that's Chuck McCann, isn't it?...what movie would that have been in?)

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2 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Yep, I have to admit whenever I see that dude bangin' that gong at the beginning of a movie, I sure know the movie I'm about to see is probably gonna be a whole lot better than the Grade-B horror movie I had just watched on KHJ-TV Los Angeles Channel-9's "Movie Macabre" hosted by Elvira back in the day, and when they showed THIS guy bangin' HIS gong here...

 

So true, but I still can't get that image of you dancing to "Bang a Gong" by T-Rex that you posted on the OKCupid site, Dargo. James Coburn is hanging his head in shame.

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TCM has aired quite a few British films with war-time themes.  This kind of films are probably more relatable to American viewers.  The Small Back Room (1949) is a British gem of the period about a WWII scientist.  Criterion has made a DVD for it, and TCM has aired it in one of those Powell & Pressburger mini-fests.  Went the Day Well? (1942) is about an English village invaded by the Nazis.  A UK Blu-ray is availableI See a Dark Stranger (1946) has Deborah Kerr playing an nationalistic Irish woman in WWII.  Already mentioned is Green for Danger (1946), a war-time whodunit set in a military hospital.  It is on Criterion DVD and Filmstruck.

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2 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

Love those BBC productions, Swithin! One of the greatest mini-series I've ever seen was their production of Honore de Balzac's book, "Cousin Bette". It starred Margaret Tyzack and also had a fine turn by a young Helen Mirren. Watching each episode as Bette worked her tapestry stitching the crest and working on the diabolical downfall of all who had wronged her, was mesmerizing. The remake version on film with Jessica Lange was a travesty and so miscast. To this day, I have never seen the original from the BBC available on any dvd or videotape boxed set, though I get many catalogs with mega amounts of old BBC productions available sadly. Any other fans here?

Margaret Tyzack as Cousin Bette was one of the great early Masterpiece Theater roles. She was also in The First Churchills as Princess (later Queen) Anne; and in I, Claudius. And earlier, she was in The Forsyte Saga, the series that preceded Masterpiece Theater but helped to inspire its creation.

In 2009, I saw a production of Phedre at the National Theatre in London, starring Helen Mirren and Margaret Tyzack.

I think you can find most, if not all, of Cousin Bette on YouTube.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

Yep, I have to admit whenever I see that dude bangin' that gong at the beginning of a movie, I sure know the movie I'm about to see is probably gonna be a whole lot better than the Grade-B horror movie I had just watched on KHJ-TV Los Angeles Channel-9's "Movie Macabre" hosted by Elvira back in the day.

Lol, how about the beginning of the Beatles film HELP, when they have a look alike for gong dude, and the gong ends up being the size of a child's toy and it makes a tin can noise? ?

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The Seventh Veil has been shown on TCM, I think. Apparently it helped make James Mason a bigger star. In one of her books Pauline Kael says that when she was running a theater and would show The Seventh Seal, some women would attend believing they were going to see The Seventh Veil.

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On 8/14/2018 at 7:12 PM, Swithin said:

Margaret Tyzack as Cousin Bette was one of the great early Masterpiece Theater roles. She was also in The First Churchills as Princess (later Queen) Anne; and in I, Claudius. And earlier, she was in The Forsyte Saga, the series that preceded Masterpiece Theater but helped to inspire its creation.

In 2009, I saw a production of Phedre at the National Theatre in London, starring Helen Mirren and Margaret Tyzack.

I think you can find most, if not all, of Cousin Bette on YouTube.

 

 

 

Thank you, Swithin. I own the "I, Claudius" boxed set and enjoyed Tyzack in that production also. How wonderful for you to have seen her and Mirren on stage. I did want to own CB on dvd, but at least I could watch it on Youtube if necessary. Much appreciation!

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30 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

Thank you, Swithin. I own the "I, Claudius" boxed set and enjoyed Tyzack in that production also. How wonderful for you to have seen her and Mirren on stage. I did want to own CB on dvd, but at least I could watch it on Youtube if necessary. Much appreciation!

I've also seen Tyzack on stage in London with Maggie Smith in The Importance of Being Earnest and Lettice and Lovage; and in Indian Ink, a Tom Stoppard play which also starred Felicity Kendal and Art Malik.

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3 minutes ago, Swithin said:

I've also seen Tyzack on stage in London with Maggie Smith in The Importance of Being Earnest and Lettice and Lovage; and in Indian Ink, a Tom Stoppard play which also starred Felicity Kendal and Art Malik.

Art Malik is great and I first saw him in "The Jewel in the Crown". I enjoy all Stoppard's plays. What part did Smith play in TIOBE? I'm going to guess Lady Bracknell if this was not in ancient times.

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4 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

Art Malik is great and I first saw him in "The Jewel in the Crown". I enjoy all Stoppard's plays. What part did Smith play in TIOBE? I'm going to guess Lady Bracknell if this was not in ancient times.

Yes, Maggie Smith played Lady Bracknell. A different interpretation from the classic Edith Evans one (which I had seen Wendy Hiller do on stage). Margaret Tyzack played Miss Prism. The young men were Alex Jennings and Richard E. Grant; the young women, Susannah Harker and Claire Skinner. It was 1992.

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3 minutes ago, Swithin said:

Yes, Maggie Smith played Lady Bracknell. A different interpretation from the classic Edith Evans one (which I had seen Wendy Hiller do on stage). Margaret Tyzack played Miss Prism. The young men were Alex Jennings and Richard E. Grant; the young women, Susannah Harker and Claire Skinner. It was 1992.

Wendy Hiller is always wonderful! I probably would like any version though I am partial to Joan Greenwood in the early version, due to that incredibly throaty voice of hers, which sounds like money. Michael Redgrave is quite good in it too, though I do dig Richard Grant.

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8 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

Wendy Hiller is always wonderful! I probably would like any version though I am partial to Joan Greenwood in the early version, due to that incredibly throaty voice of hers, which sounds like money. Michael Redgrave is quite good in it too, though I do dig Richard Grant.

In the version where Wendy Hiller played Lady Bracknell, Miss Prism was played by Phyllida Law, who is the mother of Emma and Sophie Thompson. That was 1987.

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13 minutes ago, Swithin said:

In the version where Wendy Hiller played Lady Bracknell, Miss Prism was played by Phyllida Law, who is the mother of Emma and Sophie Thompson. That was 1987.

Wow, I'm learning all kinds of new stuff from you today, Swithin. Did not know Emma's mother but thanks for that elucidation!

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1 minute ago, CaveGirl said:

Wow, I'm learning all kinds of new stuff from you today, Swithin. Did not know Emma's mother but thanks for that elucidation!

Did you know her sister Sophie? I've seen her on stage many times. And -- to expand this still further -- Sophie is currently playing Lady Bracknell in the West End. One of the early times I saw her on stage was as Ophelia to her brother-in-law Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, 30 years ago. That's life, one day you're Ophelia; then before you know it you're Lady Bracknell!

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10 minutes ago, Swithin said:

Did you know her sister Sophie? I've seen her on stage many times. And -- to expand this still further -- Sophie is currently playing Lady Bracknell in the West End. One of the early times I saw her on stage was as Ophelia to her brother-in-law Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, 30 years ago. That's life, one day you're Ophelia; then before you know it you're Lady Bracknell!

I did not think I did know her, till you rattled my brain and now I realize I just saw her in a dvd I ordered of "Gosford Park". I never connected the two sisters, since the name was so common. I also realize after looking at the IMDB for their mum, that I've seen her in "Upstairs Downstairs" and in my boxed set of episodes from "Tales from the Unexpected". Thanks for filling in the blanks on this rather like the Redgrave family.

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Well, ya know CG. If anybody knows a thing or two about those superfluous-u using actors and actresses, it'd be our friend Swithin here!  ;)

(...yep, he's pretty knowledgeable about this kind'a stuff for a NYC boy, isn't he)

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On 8/14/2018 at 1:18 PM, DVDPhreak said:

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.

Oh, lordie...all three of those films [G, DON and TSV] are fabulous and you are so right that the Anton Walbrook film is superior to the American version, even though Boyer is good, but Walbrook's imperiousness is astounding. I also own the others you mention and love "Dead of Night" and anything with Robert Newton, Alastair Sim, James Mason and so on. "The Seventh Veil" is so seductive with the guardian-ward theme taken to the nth degree of the extreme of psycho-sexual melodrama. Going past that time period of the 1950's, I am much attuned to things with Dirk Bogarde like "The Servant" which is beyond any American film at the time in concept and execution of a profound British nature, even though directed by Joseph Losey.

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  On 8/14/2018 at 10:18 AM, DVDPhreak said:

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 DVDwhich 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.

Oh, lordie...all three of those films [G, DON and TSV] are fabulous and you are so right that the Anton Walbrook film is superior to the American version, even though Boyer is good, but Walbrook's imperiousness is astounding. I also own the others you mention and love "Dead of Night" and anything with Robert Newton, Alastair Sim, James Mason and so on. "The Seventh Veil" is so seductive with the guardian-ward theme taken to the nth degree of the extreme of psycho-sexual melodrama. Going past that time period of the 1950's, I am much attuned to things with Dirk Bogarde like "The Servant" which is beyond any American film at the time in concept and execution of a profound British nature, even though directed by Joseph Losey.

CG Your post is wonderful.  I love the SERVANT AND DIRK BOGARDE.  To be bit silly, but I think he was so handsome during the beginning of his career. I love those witty DOCTOR FILMS.  They are a bit silly, but a lot of fun.  In one one of them,  THE DOCTOR AT SEA, BRIGITTE BARDOT makes an appearance.

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