A charming and ambitious young man finds many ways to raise himself through the ranks in business and social standing- some honest, some not quite so. If he can just manage to avoid a ...
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In 1875 London, young Wheeler (who lives by scavenging) finds a cameo of Queen Victoria which he thinks so beautiful he risks his life to save it. Possessed of a desire to see the Queen, he... See full summary »
A charming and ambitious young man finds many ways to raise himself through the ranks in business and social standing- some honest, some not quite so. If he can just manage to avoid a certain very predatory woman... Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
This terrific 1952 British black and white movie directed by Ronald Neame (with an inspired casting of a young Alec Guinness as Arnold Bennett's wonderful character, the upwardly-mobile Denry Machin), loses none of the story's magic and captures the flavour of the period (from about 1888 and onwards) and the Potteries (North Staffordshire, England) absolutely perfectly. The ballroom scene (among many others) is an utter delight.
The beautiful Valerie Hobson as the "Countess of Chell" is enchanting. Glynis Johns as the frivolous and extravagant social-climbing dance instructress is equally lovely. Edward Chapman as Mr Duncalf is at his usual pompous best. A marvellous supporting cast puts in a stalwart performance and are all on top form, and the acting by all involved is superb (although Petula Clark is a little too reserved and somewhat bland), but after all that, the star of the show surely has to be Joey the Mule.
I don't intend to give you the storyline as enough reviewers have done that already. Suffice it to say that of all the transferences of classic stories to the screen, this must be one of the best, and I defy anyone (young or old) who may watch it, not to enjoy it (even though it is in black and white), and unfortunately, even with colour and much improved modern techniques, marvellous movies like this just aren't made anymore.
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