Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Forgotten '50s British movies: Miracle in Soho

Plus a selection of Belinda Lee posters ...

MIRACLE IN SOHO, 1957, another colourful Rank Organisation drama is so rare now there is only one comment on it at IMDb. Produced by veteran Emeric Pressburger and directed by one Julian Amyes (later a prolific tv director), it also had a perfect theme song sung by '50s star Ronnie Hilton.

In London's colourful Soho Michael Morgan is working mending the road. Morgan operates a pneumatic drill with a road resurfacing crew. He also operates on the girls in whatever street he happens to be working on. When a job takes him to London's Soho he is soon up to his usual games, but starts to realise there is something special about Julie, who is preparing with her Italian family to emigrate to Canada
This is a very interesting look at mid-50s London. The clever set, if it is one, covers the street for 'St Anthony's Way', a regular Soho street with shops, restaurant, a church even, where our heroine fetchingly prays. She is Belinda Lee is one of her last movies for Rank before becoming that Peplum star in Italy, before her untimely death in 1961, aged 25 .... as per other posts on her here, Belinda Lee label
If one was casting the lothario who loves them and leaves them (young Billie Whitelaw was his last girl, at Moorgate - she accepts her fate, as he now moves on to Soho) then regular chap John Gregson would hardly top the list, but here he is, after romancing Diana Dors in VALUE FOR MONEY, and those hits like GENEVIEVE .... 

The colourful cast includes Rosalie Crutchley as Belinda's pragmatic sister, Cyril Cusack as the all-knowing postman, Brian Bedford, John Cairney, and Ian Bannen as the volatile brother. Like those other London dramas like IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY, POOL OF LONDON, A KID FOR TWO FARTHINGS it shows the city in its '50s mode, and Soho in all its diversity, a post-war melting pot of races and religions, and which incorporates a great many minor characters and subplots and is all the more amusing for it. Belinda looks lovely here and has some nice moments. Here are some of her others we have reviewed here ...

I will have to get back to re-seeing her comedy THE BIG MONEY and that torrid romance NOR THE MOON BY NIGHT again soon too .... 
'50s glamour girl Belinda also starred in the French New Wave LES DRAGUEURS in 1959, and showed what an actress she was in the Loren/Mangano role in the Italian drama THE LONG NIGHT OF '43, as per my rave at Italian, Belinda labels, as well as her APHRODITE, MESSALINA and others, you could say she was the British Anita Ekberg ... ? She was amusing too with Marcello Mastroianni in the delightful GHOSTS OF ROME.

Next Forgotten '50s British movies: PASSPORT TO SHAME, another British "classic" with Diana Dors ... and the 1950 DANCE HALL with Di Dors, Petula Clark, Kay Kendall and more ... its delirious ! 

Next gay interest: The 1991 BBC production THE LOST LANGUAGE OF CRANES.

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