It's time for the annual London to Brighton antique car rally, and Alan McKim and Ambrose Claverhouse are not going to let their friendship stop them from trying to humiliate each other. ... See full summary »
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It's time for the annual London to Brighton antique car rally, and Alan McKim and Ambrose Claverhouse are not going to let their friendship stop them from trying to humiliate each other. Along the way, some old jealousies are kindled to the point where the two men decide to have a "friendly" wager on who will be the first back to London. Once the competitive juices get all fired up, however, it quickly becomes a nasty, hotly-contested affair. Ambrose's companion must suffer through her "maiden voyage" on the rally, while Mrs. McKim, on the other hand, is a long-time sufferer of her husband's obsession. Written by
Despite being one of Britain's most well-loved films, this was apparently hell to make. Director Henry Cornelius was vetoed on most of his first choices - Dirk Bogarde turned him down, as had Claire Bloom - and he was forced to make it at studios he didn't want to work at. Cornelius' displeasure was acutely felt by cast and crew as he didn't hide how unhappy he was. He was also seemingly highly lecherous. Consequently both Dinah Sheridan and Kay Kendall carried whistles on them at all times in case they ever found themselves alone with him. Olive Dodds, Rank's head of contract artists, later testified that every leading cast member came to her at one point and said they wanted off the film. See more »
En route to Westminster Bridge, the McKims pass the same blue police box and red telephone box at different points in the race. See more »
At the end of the opening credits: For their patient cooperation the makers of this film express their thanks to the officers and members of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain. Any resemblance between the deportment of our characters and any club members is emphatically denied - - - by the club. See more »
I grew up with this enchanting film as it was one of my father's favourites
I can see why...
One of the enduring, and charming features of "Genevieve" is its love affair with the characters (the cars included). The relationships between all the principals are tested repeatedly throughout the film, but never in a threatening manner - typical of the British reserve.
Stand-out moments have to include Rosalind's trumpet solo in the club ("I'll show them how to tray the plumpet!"), the wonderful cameo by Joyce Grenfell as the hotel receptionist, Ambrose's raucous 'Woody Woodpecker'-style laugh and the heart-warming finale seeing Genevieve rolling off under her own magical steam towards the end.
The score by harmonica supremo Larry Adler does wonders to enhance the sentiment in the film, with the jostling waltz theme and the lyrical ballad interludes. The use of the countryside is great too, and here the colour film is saturated perfectly - although, I have seen it in black and white as well, so it is not essential colour-viewing.
The race back to London is memorable for the many pranks and down-right rude goings-on between the two men and their long-suffering partners. This is superb film comedy, and its gentle tone is suitable for all members of the family - the ridiculous size of Suzie the St. Bernard, the 'flask' incident (filmed by the BBC, of course) and the ringing of the clock tower bell are all wonderful highlights.
No wonder my Dad liked it so much... :o)
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