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. ...
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Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college ... See full summary »
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
Larry Adler's name was removed on prints released in the US due to his blacklisting following the House Un-American Activities Committee's hearings into supposed Communist infiltration in Hollywood. When the film was nominated for a Best Score Oscar, musical director Muir Mathieson received the nomination credit. This was eventually corrected by AMPAS. See more »
When Alan is cleaning his teeth in the steamy bathroom the window he hits to open is pre-cracked and breaks where the lines are visible. See more »
At the end of the opening credits: For their patient co-operation 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 »
This is one of those films I can just watch time and time again, as indeed we did this evening. It must be 25 years since I first saw Genevieve as an kid; I daren't guess how many times I've seen it since. But every time it still works its magic.
It's a comedy, but a gentle one - there's a few real belly laughs to be had, but mostly I'm left with a beatific smile of pure pleasure throughout. The one exception is the scene where dear old Arthur Wontner stops the McKims to admire Genevieve at a crucial point in proceedings; that scene has me welling up with tears every time.
The script from William Rose is perfectly judged and paced, and there's enough detail in there to reward multiple viewings. It's quite risqué for 1953, but done in a splendidly subtle way that can only be described as a forgotten art. And as usual, I shall be whistling Larry Adler's magnificent score for days after viewing.
I laughed, I cried, I loved the old cars. What more could you ask from a movie? Quite possibly the closest thing to perfection you're likely to see in a movie - and it didn't need special CGI effects and a cast of thousands, just four extremely talented actors, a few old cars and the glorious post-war English countryside.
11 out of 10. No, 12! 13!
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