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The life and times of a Yorkshire mill owner and his family.
Tom Walls plays Simeon Crowther who owns Bankdam Mill.
His two sons, Joshua, played by Dennis Price, and Zebediah, played by Stephen Murray, clash over the running of the mill. Zebediah's reckless attitude causes the death of his brother in an accident at the mill. Joshua's son, played by Jimmy Hanley, sets out to prove his father was killed by his Uncle Zebediah.
As you would expect, he triumphs and gets to run the mill his way.
A potboiler of a story with a lot of mutton chop whiskers and thee and thy dialogue. Likable all the same. Look out for a young Nicholas Parsons in a minor role.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Master Of Bankdam' is based upon a best selling book by Thomas
Armstrong set in Yorkshire and concerning a family in the wool trade
from the 1850's and onwards. The film mixes the commercial and the
personal in the usual family saga way and though there are no surprises
it tells the story well, covering a lot of years and a lot of
incidents. Once you get used to the familiar cast speaking (some more
successfully than others) in the local accent then it is a gripping
story which makes the 1 hour 45 minutes running time go quickly.
The cast is excellent; Tom Walls and Nancy Price as the elder Crowthers, Stephen Murray and Dennis Price as the sons who don't see eye to eye, Linden Travers and Anne Crawford whom they marry and Jimmy Hanley and David Tomlinson as the grandsons, who also don't see eye to eye. Stephen Murray almost steals the film and his character develops most in the film. Murray was not a first rank star but gave some great performances in several films. Covering such a span of time it doesn't seem rushed though and there are some fine dramatic as well as touching scenes. It portrays the passing of time well with subtle make up and costume for the actors and through the props and settings.
There were several Bankdam novels but this was the only one filmed. The saga would make a good television series.
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