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.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Vote for Britain

A crucial week here in the UK, with our election on Thursday and terror attacks escalating - lets return to the glory years of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s and all those British movies we love, part of our current Lists season, and no, I may not be able to stick to 20 each - but then, my blog - my rules. Reviews of lots of these at British label.

1940s:
  • Lets start with 7 David Lean, all essential: IN WHICH WE SERVE / THIS HAPPY BREED / BLITHE SPIRIT / BRIEF ENCOUNTER / GREAT EXPECTATIONS / OLIVER TWIST / THE PASSIONATE FRIENDS
  • 4 Michael Powell, even more essential: A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH / I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING / BLACK NARCISSUS / THE RED SHOES
  • 2 Carol Reed: THE FALLEN IDOL / ODD MAN OUT
  • 2 Basil Dearden: SARABAND FOR DEAD LOVERS / THE BLUE LAMP
  • Asquith; THE WAY TO THE STARS
  • Annakin - HOLIDAY CAMP - the post war boom starts with those new holiday camps, 1947.
  • Hamer – IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY - the grim side of postwar London / KIND HEARTS & CORONETS
  • Crichton – WHISKEY GALORE.
Let's throw in some Gainsborough melodramas which brightened up the war years: THE WICKED LADY, MADONNA OF THE SEVEN MOONS, CARAVAN, BLANCHE FURY, and some Anna Neagle epics: I LIVE IN PARK LANE, MAYTIME IN MAYFAIR

1950s:
Often seen as a bland decade for English movies, but lots of pleasure for those of us growing up then:
  • Dearden – POOL OF LONDON / THE GENTLE GUNMAN  / VIOLENT PLAYGROUND
  • Crichton – DANCE HALL (by Godfrey Winn - the leisure time of factory girls, as much a social document as SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING would be at the end of the decade)
  • Hurst – DANGEROUS EXILE (ditto Belinda Lee in this 1957 costumer about the son of Marie Antoinette..)
  • Box – CAMPBELL’S KINGDOM (Dirk and very tough guy Stanley Baker in the Canadian Rockies (actually the Dolomites in Italy), we loved it in 1957.
  • Fregonese - SEVEN THUNDERS (Boyd leads a terrific cast in 1957 wartime thriller set in occupied Marseilles - one I enjoyed as a kid)
  • J Lee Thompson - NO TREES IN THE STREET / TIGER BAY / NORTH WEST FRONTIER (all 1959)
  • NO TIME FOR TEARS - 3 Anna Neagle classics:
  • MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER 
  • THE LADY IS A SQUARE
  • THOSE DANGEROUS YEARS
  • WONDERFUL THINGS
  • SIMON AND LAURA 
  • AN ALLIGATOR NAMED DAISY
  • NOR THE MOON BY NIGHT
  • OUT OF THE CLOUDS
  • JET STORM - Stanley Baker pilots the plane, Richard Attenborough has the bomb, all star cast in 1959. Love it 
  • HELL DRIVERS
  • ALIVE AND KICKING
  • THE WEAK AND THE WICKED. Glynis Johns is sent to prison and shares a cell with Diana Dors, in this delicious 1954 meller, from J Lee Thompson.
  • TURN THE KEY SOFTLY. More ex-jailbirds with Yvonne Mitchell and young Joan Collins in 1953
  • PASSPORT TO SHAME 
  • EXPRESSO BONGO
  • SERIOUS CHARGE
  • ROOM AT THE TOP.
1960s:
The new boys and girls and directors hit town:
  • VICTIM
  • A TASTE OF HONEY
  • A KIND OF LOVING (above right)
  • THE L-SHAPED ROOM (Leslie Caron joins the seedy Notting Hill bedsit set, 1962)
  • WEST 11 (Di Dors also in Notting Hill bedsit land with gay Alfred Lynch, in early Winner 1963)
  • TWO LEFT FEET (Young Hemmings and Michael Crawford shine)
  • SOME PEOPLE, 1962 charmer about Bristol teenagers, with Hemmings again.
  • THE BOYS - fascinating 1962 time capsule
  • THE LEATHER BOYS - another early gay British saga, 1964, below)
  • BILLY LIAR
  • THE SERVANT
  • DARLING (above right) - Julie and gay pal eye up the waiter .... both get him.
  • THE GIRL WITH GREEN EYES
  • I WAS HAPPY HERE
  • THE KNACK
  • THE SYSTEM - perfectly 1964 as England began to swing ...
  • THE WORLD TEN TIMES OVER - 1963 Soho saga
  • A HARD DAY'S NIGHT
  • HELP!
  • THE PLEASURE GIRLS - 1965 Kensington girls, gays too!
  • SATURDAY NIGHT OUT
  • NOTHING BUT THE BEST
  • REPULSION
  • ACCIDENT.
SWINGING 60s:
  • TOM JONES
  • WHATS NEW PUSSYCAT?
  • MODESTY BLAISE
  • BLOW-UP
  • SMASHING TIME
  • HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH
  • DEEP END
  • PERFORMANCE.
All covered in detail at British/London labels. 

3 comments:

  1. These certainly are grim and distressing times we're experiencing at the moment. The superb films on your list offer some escape from the gloomy present. So many terrific films here. I'm delighted to see The Passionate Friends mentioned. Powell and Pressburger made such imaginative and stunning films, those you list are timeless in my opinion. Hope all is well with you. Maddy

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  2. Love this, Michael. "Smashing Time" rocks!

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  3. Thanks Maddy and Joe. I have written about most of these in more detail in previous posts - British label will find them - but they do seem to symbolise the best of British .... SMASHING TIME is certainly a 60s treat now, and those Leans and Powells seem the best of the 1940s British films now.

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