Bond Street (1948)
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One scene in one of the three short films brought a tear to my eye.Hard working seamstress, Kathleen Harrison (in one of her typical working class roles), wants to have an hour off work to visit her very ill daughter in hospital but finds she cannot as a rich, haughty lady customer wants her dress ready that evening for an important engagement.The manageress tells Kathleen she will have to stay and finish the dress first so missing the hospital appointment.In a fit of pique Kathleen purposely then rips the dress.The audience sympathy however switches to the "haughty lady" when she informs Kathleen her important engagement is in fact an emotional reunion to see her son blinded at Arnhem (1944).When she learns about Kathleen's problems she becomes very sympathetic and takes her for a champagne drink and they become friends.The girls in the work room rally round Kathleen so she can make her hospital appointment to see her daughter.Kathleen also has good news once she arrives there and it all ends happily for her.
There are two other watchable films in this compilation DVD, one with Derek Farr and Jean Kent but I found the story line rather far fetched and it ended too suddenly.I consider my grading of 6/10 fair.
It is not a great film by any means. The main reason for watching it today is the glimpse of fashionable Bond Street just after the war when it was still its Victorian self (today it's almost unrecognisable) and for the stream of famous British character actors, some credited but many not.
Roland Young came back from Hollywood for this and is as dapper and amusing as ever. He died 5 years later, much too soon, aged just 65.
Portmanteau films were (as others point out on this board) very popular in the 1940s. I believe the first one, TALES OF MANHATTAN (1942) which spawned the cycle, may have given Anatole DE Grunwald the idea for BOND ST. In the earlier TALES, the stories are all strung together by the fate of a formal evening suit and the people that own it. Its all-star cast included Edward G Robinson in one of his most subtle performances.
BOND STREET uses a wedding trousseau in much the same manner, but it cannot compete with a starry cast.
Yet it's still very entertaining and the location shots as I say, are quite wonderful.
The scene in the posh restaurant where, thanks to wartime rationing still being in force, only fish cakes are on the menu, is priceless.
A wallow in nostalgia that is well worth a look!