Wednesday, June 27, 2012

British

Opening the house up to the sun whenever possible in the last two days.
We forget how cold it is outside when the sunshine streams in like this.

A bit more cheerful than the photo of the same room and view in the previous post.

Our guest, seen through the window here, is still hanging around.
D has taken quite a fancy to him and has nicknamed him "Ranga".


 ***

Somewhat of a British theme happening with the next four movies in the classic rewatch.
"Jane Eyre"(1944) is actually just pretending to be British as it was filmed in the US and features predominantly American actors.
Adapted from one of my favourite books, this is a beautifully made film. The harshness of the English moors in the 1800s is perfectly depicted as is the gloom and coldness of the mysterious Thornfield Hall, and of the equally mysterious Mr Rochester (Orson Welles).
Both Welles and Joan Fontaine as Jane are excellent.
Particularily notable is Peggy Ann Garner who portrays Jane as a child. All the scenes featuring young Jane at the miserable Lowood school are heartbreaking. A great movie.








The next three movies have much in common. All are British made, all are directed by David Lean, all are based on plays written by Noel Coward and two of them star Celia Johnson.
"This Happy Breed"( 1944) tells the story of the working-class Gibbons family as they live their lives during the twenty year period between the World Wars. Both big and small events in their lives and that of England as a whole are depicted in a gentle, very "stiff upper lip" British way. A lovely film in every respect.
Celia Johnson in "This Happy Breed"


"Brief Encounter"( 1945) also stars the wonderful Celia Johnson. Here she plays the very English and proper Laura, the wife of a kind but ordinary man and mother of two children. While waiting for her train home after shopping in the nearby town one day, she meets local doctor,  Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard) and they strike up a friendship. The film details their developing relationship during their "brief encounters" at the railway station and during Laura's weekly visits to town.
Beautifully done.


"Blithe Spirit"(1945) was perfect comic relief after the last few entries here.
Charles (Rex Harrison) is haunted by the troublesome ghost of his first wife, Elvira (Kay Hammond) who is conjured up during a seance by the very eccentric local psychic Madame Arcati ( Margaret Rutherford). Charles' second wife, Ruth (Constance Cummings) is far from amused by this situation. However, there are many laughs to be had here. Margaret Rutherford is hilarious and there are some very funny lines (and some very daring ones for 1945!).





I'm impressed that I've now watched over fifty of these old movies this year.
 Still a long way until I reach the end of my collection!

3 comments:

librarygirl said...

Blithe spirit and This happy breed are two of my all time favourite movies.

Anonymous said...

Are the old movies all in your collection? What a great library you must have. Debbie

Manderley said...

Hi Debbie. Yes, we have quite a large DVD collection here!