A woman dressed elegantly walks purposely through the water gardens at the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, as the music of Vivaldi's "Winter" movement of "The Four Seasons" plays. Heavy red filters... See full summary »
Patsy Brand is a chorus girl at the Pleasure Garden music hall. She meets Jill Cheyne who is down on her luck and gets her a job as a dancer. Jill is engaged to adventurer Hugh Fielding and... See full summary »
It's difficult for me to comment on this movie. My primary reasons for seeing it were to see the ruins of the Crystal Palace before most of the remaining statues (after the fire) were removed. And, to see both Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier in early, and unusual, roles. Both of these requirements are amply fulfilled. It's difficult for me to imagine how I'd react to this movie if it was set somewhere I've never seen, and if I didn't know any of the actors. But, as there are no other comments for this movie yet, I'll try.
As a movie, I'd compared it to other non-traditional movies such as Robinson in Space, or Derek Jarman's The Garden. Except that The Pleasure Garden is very, very dated. Quaint doesn't even begin to describe it. The plot is simple, and knowing the plot ahead of time is no spoiler. A number of characters (and they are definitely characters) meet up in a strange ruined landscape (that this is Crystal Palace is not part of the story), and discover themselves and each other, all clearly heading in the direction of discovering the, shall we say, joys of intimacy. John Le Mesurier's character Col. Pall K Gargoyle rushes around putting up signs banning almost any sort of fun, and admonishing (and even locking in some sort of prison) those who would dare to enjoy themselves. Into this comes Hattie Jacques' character, Mrs Albion. She is some sort of magical fairy cupid godmother figure who uses her magic to liberate people and set them on the road to, it must be said, intimacy. The climax is a battle between the forces of repression and the forces of quaint hedonism.
This movie could be described as a strange mixture of carry on films, Disney, and art house. But, it is dated. Seeing a woman posing in her petticoat is not exactly shocking in the 21st century. And, did I say it was dated? It's more than just the movie not being explicit. The movie has a fair number of songs on the soundtrack, and they are dated. No pulsating rock track here. The dialog sounds dated. The whole concept is dated.
But, if you're interested in seeing a true curio of a movie. Or, if you just want to see early performances of Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier. Or, if you want to see what Crystal Palace looked like in the early 50s, this movie is worth checking out. If you want a Hollywood Blockbuster, you'll be well advised to look elsewhere.
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