A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War,... See full summary »
A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic and the Great War. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
If you want to know what the twentieth century looked like to people in the early thirties, this is the film to watch. Two families - upstairs and downstairs - go through the events of the Boer War, the Edwardian age, the First World War and its aftermath, ending in the "chaos and confusion" of the depression. The film seems to be fairly closely based on the original Drury Lane theatre production (many of the cast are the same). So when Binnie Barnes delivers "Twentieth Century Blues" (excellently) this is presumably how Coward wanted it sung. Noel Coward's clipped dialogue can't always carry the weight of the themes, and the nobility of the upper-class couple gets a bit wearing, but there are fascinating glimpses of a music hall performance and an Edwardian seaside concert party. The film races through thirty eventful years, and one or two of the tragedies are predictable, but the period detail is terrific. The film is well worth catching.
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