A Boy, a Girl and a Bike (1949) Poster

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Great nostalgia for film & cycle enthusiasts alike!
Marlburian21 September 2005
I try to be objective with my marks for the films I occasionally review on this website, but on this occasion my vote of 9 comes from the heart. The film came out in 1949, just ten years before I started cycling, but it evokes a bygone age,when the postwar roads were free of traffic and cycling was carefree (even if the industrial settings and living conditions portrayed in the film were grim). The film struck a further chord with me because like its hero I came from a posh background and my family frowned on me mixing with those common rough types. It's a gentle film of a long-lost age - even though it starts with what today what would be a road-rage incident - McCallum hoots aggressively at the club run as he motors along, only then for him to stall his car and to be gently mocked by the cyclists as they overtake him; today such an incident would provoke swearing if not physical contact.

The race at the film's end is well-staged, though at a cyclists' filmshow some years ago the close-ups of the competitors against back projection provoked much mirth (but then comparable shots of horse-riders also look artificial in old films, with the riders bouncing up-and-down on saddles in the studio).

Like RitaRisque in her preceding review, I too thought a young Diana Dors looked very nice, as did Honor Blackman. And the supporting cast is a delight for those of us who like to spot British character actors.
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A bit of nostalgia
petshel15 September 2004
I saw the film in our local cinema in Paddington in 1949, when I was nearly 13 and a keen cyclist. All of us young boys rated it highly, not least for the unique way the rear brake cable was routed to the brake via a small pilot tube within the bike's top tube. It was the first time that we had seen the young Diana Dors (I think she was 16 at this time) and a real head-turner. Honor Blackman spoke with a creditable Yorkshire accent and I particularly remember the scene when, after having a puncture, she asks John McCullum to "pass the patches and solution". Years later I met Miss Blackman when she was learning to fly at my flying club, Flairavia, at Biggin Hill in 1964 after having just played the part of Pussy Galore in "Gold Finger" - she couldn't remember saying those (to me) immortal lines from the 1949 film! I think the film has stood the test of time and is well worth viewing to remind us how we all lived.

Peter Woodman.
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Early outings for Anthony Newley and Diana Dors
calvertfan19 May 2002
Didn't Diana Dors look so nice before they dyed her hair and made her into some kind of English Monroe? She reminded me of a very young Lana Turner here. And John McCallum. Whoa, boy! Plenty of nice shots of him in those little shorts and bathers raised my rating of this up to a 9. This film isn't really "a" boy, "a" girl or "a" bike, it's many. Ada and her many admirers, Charlie and his Ginger, Susie and her Sam and David, vying for her affections.. There seemed to be a few minor plots going on before they struck the big one - Charlie being in debt and stealing a bike to cover it, naturally he steals one with unique brake wires that is easily identifiable, naturally David buys said bike and everything ends up pear-shaped - but it's definitely a lot of fun to watch!
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Interesting post-war British comedy/romance/drama
Steve Swayne22 February 2005
Quite a nice film about a long lost past which although sombre for those without much money, was socially rich and enjoyable. Pursuits were predominantly outdoors (no TV), and the Saturday night dances. Others have commented about Diana Dors in this film. I personally thought that the then 22 year old Honor Blackman was the belle of the film, with a passable local accent.

The film has a somewhat rushed ending, with some plot lines not being resolved, while others are brought to fruition. For me, another ten minutes to better resolve the ending would have helped. This is a shame - perhaps the producers ran out of money or a key cast member had other commitments elsewhere?
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Come to West Yorkshire for your holidays
k-ward131 August 2007
This movie has evaded me for a long time, originally seeing it in Skipton, which is featured in the movie. I couldn't remember the title but it turned up in the DVD 'Diana Dors collection'. It has matured like old wine and the little romances within the main theme make me wish I was back there again. It's a pity it is in black and white : the scenes are good in this medium but they would have been stunning in colour. It is a real advert for 'Come to West Yorkshire for your holidays' particularly since much of it has since been cleaned up revealing its natural beauty.

PS. We don't really talk like that in West Yorkshire - honest!
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Local stuff
nidge19 September 1999
This film is a very good representation of a northern England mill town of post WW2. The characters although credible are not typical of the peoples found in the area at the time. This movie was filmed in and around my local town and as a historical aid it is valuable though not wholly reliable.
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Good show!
JohnHowardReid3 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A Gainsborough Picture, presented by J. Arthur Rank. Never theatrically released in the U.S. Released in the U.K. through General Film Distributors: 20 June 1949. Australian release through G-B-D/20th Century-Fox: 10 November 1950. 8,468 feet in Australia; 8,251 feet in U.K. Australian running time: 94 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Landowner's son buys a bike to aid him in his pursuit of a pretty cyclist.

VIEWER'S GUIDE: Suitable for all.

COMMENT: This little-known (it isn't even so much as mentioned in Best of British) naturalistic regional comedy gem not only boasts a fine cast of interesting players who are all given excellent opportunities in a fascinating script, but takes its characters firmly out of doors to explore the picturesque Yorkshire countryside (which is cleverly contrasted to the cramped, gloomy, claustrophobic environs of the town). Whether you're interested in cycling or not, this movie is a must. A further bonus is the presence of Honor Blackman and Diana Dors, both of whom are not only attractive in looks and personality (though Diana has a character role), but act with pleasing assurance and total conviction. The script is well- paced and deftly directed, guaranteed to rivet the attention from starter's flag to finish line.

Mind you, it's difficult to believe that Diana Dors of all people would have to scratch around for someone to take her to the local dance. (Admittedly, the film was made before her period of super- stardom when Diana was in brilliant form in character roles, but even at her most girl-in-the-crowdish, she exuded terrific sex appeal). Otherwise the direction and the exterior camera-work with its rapid tracking shots of cyclists along country roads is exhilarating. And it's nice to see Honor Blackman (with a very convincing Yorkshire accent too) even though she is not all that attractively costumed or photographed. Holt rates as fair, Newley, Denham and Blythe come over with appropriate conviction, Hal Osmond and Amy Veness never fail to be amusing (yes, it's a shame they have only the one scene here) and the rest of the cast is more than okay. Music figures attractively and credits ride smooth.
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A modest but pleasing post-war English movie
Wayne Peake8 January 2016
A really nice, modest little movie. It somehow makes the bleak town in northern England where it is set seem cheery and attractive. Notable for the presence of Anthony Newley in a very early role. Also Dianna Dors is there, very beautiful in a platinum blonde way, and Honor Blackman as the female romantic lead is aloof and fetching. Male lead John McCallum has a touch of Keith Miller the Australian cricketer about him. Quite compelling theme music. Overall, a surprisingly pleasant couple of hours - its usually played in Australia in the early morning hours, and thus goes quite well with a cup of Milo and a piece or two of cheese on toast for insomniacs.
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Tired Drama Skids To A Halt
malcolmgsw15 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This was one of the films from the Rank pro-gramme trying to entice audiences back to the cinema.Some hope.About the only people it is likely to please are those interested in cycle racing and picturesque scenery.\the plot is poorly written and in fact it even leaves one major plot line unresolved.Maybe Rank decided that at 87 minutes enough was enough.What is worse is that everyone in the film seems to have their own accent.Anthony Newley as a pilfering teenager stands out with a Cockney accent.Now how did he manage to get that living in Yorkshire?The only interesting aspect of the story is the army deserter who had fled from London.Clearly this must still have been a live issue when the film was made.Only Diana Dors comes out of this with her reputation intact.
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typical classic fifties british suspense
HUNT DAVID20 June 2001
It is always easy to make fun of fifties British films of this genre. If you have patience with it, this film has a lot of social and political messages to impart. The are not of any great relevance today, it is true, but at the time things and life were very different.

It helps that the film was shot on location in Bath - the atmosphere helps enormously.
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