An American businessman's family convinces him to buy a Scottish castle and disassemble it to ship it to America brick by brick, where it will be put it back together. The castle though is ...
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An American businessman's family convinces him to buy a Scottish castle and disassemble it to ship it to America brick by brick, where it will be put it back together. The castle though is not the only part of the deal, with it goes the several-hundred year old ghost who haunts it. Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of my all-time favourite British films, this was my 9th viewing and I still think it's marvellous. Frenchman Rene Clair's prints are all over it, a 1930's British film with so much subtlety, wistfulness and originality was ... unique!
Hard up castle owner sells it to American who de-bricks it off to Florida - along with owners' ghostly ancestor. Eugene Palette who only bettered this performance with My Man Godfrey was outstanding throughout, Jean Parker's character as his daughter was a wee bit wishy-washy but she was lovely to look at, and Robert Donat was, as usual, nearly perfect. At this point I have been ordered by my 25 year old daughter to say how gorgeously beautiful he looked - he was a handsome devil to be sure, and you get two for the price of one in GGW. I wonder what kind of films he'd be making nowadays - surely there'd be no character role nice enough! He was so nice in this I even forgive him his Scottish accent lapsing occasionally. There are a few non-laboured sociological points in it too: The generalised commercialism of America, whether crass or not is repeatedly displayed, my favourite bit being Palette's announcement at dinner of the band marching down the stairs playing "traditional Scottish music"!
Not that it matters of course but does anyone know the answer to What's the difference between a thistle in the heather and a kiss in the dark?!
It would be a poorer film without the lush and swelling background music to accompany Murdoch/Donald and Peggy smooching away up on the castle ramparts at night. The atmosphere created in these scenes by the orchestra's romantic strings plus the gleaming and haunting nitrate photography plus the clever and mysterious lighting is literally Out Of This World, and always leaves a deep impression on me. This is one of the few films where watching and therefore listening to the end credits is essential, for the romantically melancholy fade out. If your TV station has butchered those last 5 seconds, complain!
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