|Index||8 reviews in total|
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
*** This review may contain 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.
It is always easy to make fun of fifties British films of this genre. If
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.
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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