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Mr. Lord Says No More at IMDbPro »The Happy Family (original title)

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A Small Shopkeeper takes on the Government during the Festival of Britain

Author: MIKE WILSON (mikewilson61720@yahoo.com) from United Kingdom
29 March 2003

A wonderful look at life in London during the early 1950's. Stanley Holloway and Kathleen Harrison play Mr and Mrs Lord, who run a small corner shop in the middle of a bombed out street. When the Government decide to build an exhibition site, to celebrate the Festival of Britain, the building work is well advanced, until somebody sees that the Lords shop is right the middle of where the main road, and the pedestrian underpass should be. The Lords try to contact their local MP, the mayor, and anybody else who can help them, finally having to barricade themselves along with the other family members inside the shop, until somebody can come up with a solution. Holloway and Harrison are superb as usual, as is a young George Cole, long before his days as Arthur Daley, also giving good support is Dandy Nichols Eileen Moore, and Naunton Wayne as the Government Minister, who has to come up a solution to keep everybody happy.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Cruel Fete

7/10
Author: writers_reign from London, England
17 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It was slightly surreal to watch this film at the National Film Theatre given that the NFT was itself part of the Festival Of Britain so that today's audience may well have been sitting on the site of the corner shop that was discovered to be right in the path of the development. The drama, such as it is, surrounds the idea that an Englishman's home is his castle - rather timely in the present political climate - so that when the House of Lord's, the quaint name given to their corner shop by Mr (Stanley Holloway) and Mrs (Kathleen Harrison) Lord is threatened with demolition the family barricade themselves in and resist all attempts at eviction. Muriel Box writes and directs well enough and there are sufficient familiar faces - George Cole, Margaret Barton, Naunton Wayne - on hand to provide a warm glow for nostalgics.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not quite Ealing

5/10
Author: David Frieze from Massachusetts, USA
15 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the 1940s and 1950s, Britain's Ealing Studios specialized in wonderful comedies ("The Titfield Thunderbolt", "Passport to Pimlico", "Whisky Galore", et al.) in each of which a group of quirky individuals in a small community would band together against a common threat. If Ealing had made "The Happy Family (Mr. Lord Says No)", it might have been much more fun than it is. Unfortunately, once the basic premise has been stated - a family refuses to sell its house to the government, which wants to demolish it and build a road to the Festival of Britain site - precious little is done with it. The family members (and a housecrashing BBC reporter) barricade themselves in. The government lays siege to the house. The family fights back. The government gives in. That's it, folks. While most of the actors are predictably good, particularly Stanley Holloway, Kathleen Harrison and Dandy Nichols, none of the characters is terribly interesting. There is some toothless satire of the British civil service and of the BBC (both of its representatives come off as queenishly gay, which tells us something of the filmmakers' attitudes to the BBC at the time). The most interesting thing about the film is its literal glimpse at postwar London under construction for the Festival of Britain. Nothing starring Holloway and Harrison can be all bad, and "The Happy Family" is by no means awful, but there's not much to it - and the final moments of the film are too bizarre even for a gag.

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