|Di Dors with Eric Portman|
|Young Hemmings with Finlay Currie|
Lynch (1931-2003) had a curious career: a lot of theatre and television and some movie parts in the early 60s: starring here, and with Dirk Bogarde in that POW drama THE PASSWORD IS COURAGE, and with young Sean Connery in ON THE FIDDLE, and a bit part with Ava Gardner in 55 DAYS AT PEKING and in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. (like Eric Portman here he was also gay, as per his IMDB resume).
|Francesca twists with Alfred|
WEST 11 is a perfect double bill with THE L-SHAPED ROOM , one 1962 drama I had missed until now. This is another solid Bryan Forbes film, about a French girl also moving into Notting Hill/Bayswaster bedsit land. She rents the L-shaped room in a very decrepit looking house run by Avis Bunnage, type cast again here as the landlady (my post on the "Hollywood UK" series (TV label) shows the house now, or 20 years ago). What does not quite work for me here is that the heroine is played by Leslie Caron, after her Hollywood era in the '50s, so she seems not only too old but rather out of place here, by the end though she is totally convincing in a very multi-faceted performance. Her French girl is pregnant and has a very good scene with suave doctor Emlyn Williams. Fellow boarders in the house include Tom Bell, one of those 'angry young men' and black and gay Brock Peters. CORONATION STREET's Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix) is brassy blonde here as one of the working girls in the basement, and old time star Cicely Courtneidge is Mavis, an old time music hall entertainer, with a secret of her own ... Caron gets to know these lonely people and involved in their dramas as she and Tom Bell embark on a tentantive romance. The ending is quite bittersweet, as she calls to collect her case from the new girl (Nanette Newman of course, Mrs Forbes) in the L-shaped room.