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The Amazing Mr. Beecham More at IMDbPro »The Chiltern Hundreds (original title)

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not bad

Author: RitaRisque from Australia
18 April 2002

Tony Pym comes back from the army to run for the town election, as the local member has been in his family for generations. Naturally. he's the first NOT to win! So the family, with the help of his on again/off again fiancee, set about rectifying this.

Watch out for the doddery old Earl, he's the most hilarious part of the movie, stuck in his own little world, not letting anyone answer the phone because the shadow of them crossing the window might disturb the rabbit he wants to shoot...and also for the young girl playing Tony's fiancee - a lovely young Lauren Bacall look-alike!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

My First Film

Author: r-winbow from United Kingdom
10 October 2006

Although I was a child actor from the age of 3 this was my first film, I think I was either 7 or 8 at the time, YET I have only seen bits of it. I do remember though that it came from an era of British Film making that should never be lost, we still make good films but there is to much American influence. If anyone see's this and knows where I can get a copy PLEASE CONTACT ME.The film company came to St. Osyeth near Clacton in Essex and used the priory for a lot of internal and external shots, a lot of the villagers were also used in the crowd scenes. The film comes from that gentle era of British film making now sadly lost when acting and story lines relied on ability and not computers to produce pleasing,relaxing and enjoyable entertainment with out gallons of blood or bare flesh. I'm far from a prude or from being stuffy but I do think ones own mind should be allowed to do the exploration.

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Political comedy

Author: malcolmgsw from london
3 October 2016

There are few films that are based on British politics.Of those that were made few were comedies,and those are are not particularly successful.Regretfully this is the case with this film.One of the main problems is that this is very much a filmed stage play..The fact that is entertaining is very much due to the experienced members of the cast.A.E.Matthews was a much loved somewhat eccentric actor.He spent much of the last year of his life,in his 90th year sitting in a chair outside his home to prevent the council putting up a lampshade.Cecil Parker had already made dozens of films before the war.He was a stalwart comedy performer.David Tomlinson would make his name in Mary Poppins.Helen Backlin,has a likeness to Lauren Bacall.However there seems to be very little information about her.Joyce Carey was one of Noel Cowards favourite actresses..Lana Morris was a very reliable actress of the 1950s..Perhaps political comedy was better done by the television.

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Pym & proper.

Author: morrison-dylan-fan from United Kingdom
24 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Finding out that UK DVD company Network were holding a 2 week sale,I decided to take a look round their site.In amongst the great TV box sets,I was delighted to spot a near-forgotten British Comedy starring Disney regular David Tomlinson,which led to me getting ready to fly a kite.

The plot:

Brussels 1945-

Desperate to get out of National Service in order to spend time with his girlfriend June Farrell,Tony Pym decides to follow family tradition,and stand as a Conservative candidate in the up-coming election.Putting on a less than solid campaign,Pym gets beaten by Labour candidate Cleghorn.

Shortly after entering parliament,Cleghorn is offered the chance to take a seat in the House of Lords,which leads to him having to resign from parliament,and call a bye-election.Fearing that he will soon be called for National Service again,Pym decides that since the town voted for a Labour candidate,that he will go against family tradition,and leave the Conservatives for Labour. Horrified about Pym going against his family tradition,the loyal family butler Benjamin Beecham decides that he will show Pym the tradition that he should be following,by standing as the Conservative candidate.

View on the film:

Before I get to the film,I have to mention that Network have given the title a very good transfer,with there only being the odd drop or 2 of dirt on the film,and each one liner being perfectly heard,in a sharp soundtrack.

Transferring William Douglas-Home's play (which would also be adapted to TV in the same year) to the big screen,director John Paddy Carstairs attempts to break the movie out of its stage confines with smooth tracking shots which fully display the Pym's stunning country mansion.Carstairs also allows the viewer to soak up the atmosphere of the time,with rapid-fire shots of newspaper newsrooms showing the changing post-war political landscape taking place.

Whilst the screenplay by Patrick Kirwan surprisingly does not show Pym win the nomination for the election,Kirwan takes a light satirical approach,which has impressively led to the movie still feeling rather relevant.Placing Pym in a traditional Tory household,Kirwan shows both major political parties to be the same,thanks to Pym and his rivals having to take part in identical rituals in order to get in power.Making sure that the title does not get too politically heavy,Kirwan scatters pin-sharp one liners and hilarious physical Comedy across the film,with Beecham's underhanded tactics being matched by old Tory,Elmer Fudd look-a-like Lord Lister shooting any rabbit that walk in front of front door.

Although he does not break into song here, David Tomlinson gives an excellent performance which hits every note,thanks to Tomlinson show Pym calmness break,as he gets caught up in beating his butler.Joining Tomlinson, Cecil Parker gives a great,very funny performance as strait-laced butler Beecham,whilst Helen Backlin gives the flick a touch of US glamour as Pym's sweetheart June Farrell,in a film that is worth voting for.

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