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Captains John Fellows and Henry Wynne-Walton finish their Army training at Sandhurst Military Academy and are sent to the Middle-East. John is to lead a parachute battalion while Henry is put in charge of a platoon of armoured cars of the Household Cavalry. John is constantly being told by his father, an ex-Guards officer that he is not as good as his brother who was killed during the war. Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
Old soldier and young soldier come to terms with each other
Quite a poignant movie if I remember correctly and I've only seen it once, when first released. For some reason I've always thought the title was "Red letter day" and not "The Queens Guards".Maybe someone can check it out or maybe I'm like the Raymond Massey character, just getting old with my memory playing tricks.
Considering it was made at the start of the 60's the generation gap is in full swing here between father and son, both military men, the father played by Raymond Massey is a crippled veteran. The son, played by Massey's real life son Daniel is a Guardsman poised to take the Queen's salute and standard at that day's ceremony. The storyline involves tradition, honour and indeed bitterness and the bickering between father and son on the day of the "Trooping of the Colour", a pageant which takes place every June in London's "Horseguards Parade" in honour of the Queens Birthday. There is a flashback sequence telling of the son's ignominious military exploits over the Suez crisis which the father believes is a blot on the family AND the guards. There is a dead son who the father believes deserves all the family honour.The wrong son died syndrome.
The scene where Massey struggles to get to the window using a cane to pull himself along on bars attached to the ceiling of the apartment overlooking Horseguards Parade.(Now THAT apartment I would love to have) in time to watch his son take the Queen's salute is indeed poignant. It is actually quite a stuffy film but very fine acting from all concerned saves it from complete obscurity.Not Michael Powell's best effort.
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