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A mixture of a psychological study of a ten-year-old boy, an English domestic comedy and a satire on psychologists finds young Johnny Brent, the only child of a pair of psychologists, trading an "invisible watch" to a much-younger child for a large magnet. His nurse/nanny accuses him of stealing and scolds him and he runs away. He soon convinces himself that the police are after him and following several unsuccessful attempts to get rid of the magnet, he presents it to an organizer of a fund-raising campaign for acquiring an iron-lung for the local hospital. The magnet is one of the auction items and finally is mounted on the iron-lung as a tribute to the unknown donor. Meanwhile, the father makes a completely inaccurate diagnosis for the mother of the boy's worries. In the end the boy meets the child he thought had died as a result of losing the magnet, and trades the boy back for the return of his "invisible watch" the gold medal the town mayor had given him for his part in the ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
I bought this black & white video recently from a street vendor in St Albans market, Hertfordshire as part of a job lot of three Ealing comedies he was selling for £15.The others were "Whisky Galore" and "Passport to Pimlico".The other comments written below adequately deal with the basic plot, so I shall not elaborate further on that.What is interesting is to see the young William Fox play the juvenile lead small boy and whose later stage name was changed to James Fox (brother of Edward Fox) who later became well known in the film "The Servant" and "Performance".I was born in 1946 and this film was produced in 1950 so those scenes shown of early post war Britain have a reminiscence for me, when I remember those bomb sites, school dinners, food rationing which extended up to 1955, and an altogether more simple life.In those days children went "out to play" with their friends much more than todays TV/computer bound generation.
The jokes about the Labour Government and psychiatry give the film a distinctly middle class feel which Ealing Studios did not usually portray in their comedies but which was firmly entrenched in the mainstream British film industry at the time.It would be some time before genuine British working class actors exploded onto the screen.The dockside gang the small boy befriends appeared to be genuine working class and so those scenes were the highlight for me.Of course this film being produced in 1950, there has to be a morality tale in the script.Here the evils of cheating someone bring inevitable feelings of guilt until assuaged by an equal measure of generosity by the little boy to the aggrieved party, a handicapped boy of similar age.
I had never seen this Ealing comedy before so was delighted by the unexpected twists and turns in the plot.If you are a fan of gentle Ealing comedies, you may want to seek out this long forgotten (by the major TV networks) film and you will be entertained I feel sure.
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