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In rural 1840's Scotland, Gavin Dishart arrives to become the new "little minister" of Thrums's Auld Licht church. He meets a mysterious young gypsy girl in the dens and to his horror Babbie draws him into her escape from the soldiers after she incites a Luddite riot. But unknown to Gavin, Babbie is more than she seems. And they must overcome her secret, the villagers' fears of her, and worst of all, Gavin's devotion to his mother's sensibilities, before they can openly declare their love. Written by
my comments are concerned with viewing a film that is now 70 years old
Firstly, the characters are set at a time which is difficult for most to imagine or even understand in 2004 terms. "old style religion" actually did tend to be very much interested in the moral affairs of it's congregation, and particularly of it's minister. the film " how Green is my Valley" also shows a similar insight into the heavier attitudes of people to moral affairs. That gypsies have also not always been peoples favourite visitors is also well known. So when we meet up with a light and easy 'gypsy' in the shape of Katherine Hepburn we are instantly drawn to her (with an unknown playing the part we would have needed to be won-over). But in the early 1930's Hepburn was almost an 'unknown', but in 2004 we are already biased in her favour, and so we should, she's still learning her trade as an actress, and shows immense presence, wit, and is eminently enjoyable.
The character of Gavin by contrast needed to be somewhat subdued and so it was that the film and it's characters are displayed to our enjoyment. For a film made when many were still learning how to make films, how to cast off the attitude that 'we are on stage', when cameramen and directors were making real entertainment based on a good story, fine acting, NO computer gimmicks it's one of those many 1930's in retrospect feel good movies that older folk can relate with.
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