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J. Lee Thompson
James Robertson Justice
Four of Somerset Maugham's short stories are brought to the screen with each introduced by the author himself. In the first story, The Facts of Life, a young man with great potential on the... See full summary »
While Lady Christabel Beauclark, a bird fancier, is scurrying about demanding certain territorial rights for British birds from other countries, Her Ladyship's niece is falling in love with the family butler, Tom Gilbey. The birds are forgotten when war breaks out, and Gilbey now finds himself in love with the niece whose love was previously unrequited. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Joan is 16, and in love. The only problem - he's their butler! And while you can love the butler, you can't LOVE him.
About 5 plots seem to be going on at once here, and everything is introduced in a very roundabout way, not coming together until the final minutes. Surely the best part of the film, apart from Tom the Butler, is Brigid the translator, who adds a lot of charm and wit to the story.
Tom goes away to join the army, and comes back an Officer, and in love with Joan - who is older and has of course moved on! So what is a guy to do? She's now teaching English to foreign soldiers, half of whom have crushes on her, but Tom ain't gonna be licked..
An hour and 20 minutes in length, but English Without Tears at times feels a lot longer. It has its moments (don't miss the caricaturist near the start, and the Aunt's crying over the poor defenceless murdered Thrush..) but gets dull at times. It is worth it to stay tuned to the end though. 7/10
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