British diplomat Harrington Brande takes up his new post in Spain accompanied by his son Nicholas. The posting is something of a disappointment to the elder Brande who was hoping for a ...
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When Secret Service agent David Somers is fired, he takes a quiet job with the Fentons at their country estate - cataloging butterflies, hence the title insect. David grows fond of Jess ... See full summary »
Four of Somerset Maugham's short stories are brought to the screen with each introduced by the author himself. In the first story, The Facts of Life, a young man with great potential on the... See full summary »
A clever fortune-hunter with a penchant for murder does in his elderly, supposedly rich, wife and manages to get away with it. After an investigation results in a decision of 'accidental ... See full summary »
An industrialist (Joseph Cotton) and a pianist (Joan Fontaine) meet on a trip and fall in love. Through a quirk of fate, they are reported dead in a crash though they weren't on the plane. ... See full summary »
British diplomat Harrington Brande takes up his new post in Spain accompanied by his son Nicholas. The posting is something of a disappointment to the elder Brande who was hoping for a promotion. That his wife had left him seems to have affected his career. Nicholas sees it all as something of an adventure and soon becomes fast friends with the new gardener, Jose. As Nicholas begins to spend more time with Jose, his father takes offense and is concerned at the boy's loss of affection for him, or so he perceives. It leads him to bar Nicholas from even speaking to the gardener. As tensions mount, another servant frames Jose for theft forcing everyone to review the situation. Written by
The "Spanish Gardener" is a warm-hearted film that entertains, teaches and gratifies all at the same time. Dirk Bogarde is a wonderful actor who never got his due as a great interpreter of character on screen. This is a simple film, but what a film it is! Sometimes simplicity is a more powerful conveyor of truth than complex renditions that lose the audience before they can redeem themselves. So much garbage is being produced currently on film today that I wonder why filmmakers don't just sit back and learn from their predecessors, often English directors, who can teach so much just by simply observing how they craft their films?
Jose helps form a bond of friendship with a young boy that cannot be broken even by the boy's jealous older father who selfishly guards his young son as a prized possession who must not have contact with anyone. This film reminds me of "A Man Without a Face" (1993) with Mel Gibson, another wonderful film.
I cannot recommend this film too highly. It will warm your heart and break it too. But isn't that what films are supposed to do? Touch your heart and get at the universal emotions of people, much like a Beethoven Symphony would, to stir, conquer and triumph! This 1957 film is a victory because of fine directing, acting, story and execution of plot which allows the audience time to absorb and feel the emotions that develop within and between the characters, resolving itself towards a beautifully crafted ending.
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