|Index||4 reviews in total|
The story revolves around three people:Wanda, James and
Wanda is a lonely musician living in a rundown boarding
and she meets Mickey a struggling music writer who lives
downstairs; while Professor James lives next door to her and
fact their rooms are only separated by a connecting door...thus
the title of the movie.
She lost the love of her life and now that's she's getting older Wanda
gives her heart to Mickey with the hope of loving again,but he's only
interested in becoming famous and getting whatever he can from Princess
(what he calls her)
In the meantime, the Professor loses his job, because he stands up for his
belief...but he keeps it a secret from everyone.
Wanda realizes that the Professor is tortured and tries
become a friend. In time their friendship develops, not to the liking of the
nosey landlady, and Mickey who's failing at everything and now wants to make
up for all of the times he'd ignored Wanda or simply used
Wanda finally say her goodbyes to Mickey, much to his
and turn her attention to the fragile, but kindly Professor...in spite of
the fact that she's found out his secret.
He too gravitates towards her warmth as a wonderful person.
The professor then ask to see her performance...at first
refuses, but recants,because she realises that in order for their
relationship to progress, he needed to find out her secret...which he does. She wasn't a musician on stage, but rather a street
musician who lived on whatever was thrown her way.Neither
comments,but rather wholeheartedly embraces each other for what they were.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Given the superstars appearing here it's hard to understand why this film has not been released on DVD - are artistes allowed to veto such releases as I understand they are with proposed television screenings? The film was last broadcast in 1995 or 6 as part of ITV's "Nightscreen" strand and I had the presence of mind to VHS it as it is a favourite of mine. Alexis Kanner as "Mickey Hollister" lets his incredible sideburns do the acting - as he did in the film Crossplot and as "the kid" in The Prisoner episode Living In Harmony - and they almost steal the show from Bette Davis - who is amazing - almost impossible to believe you are watching the same actress who made All About Eve (1950) and Whatever Happened To Baby Jane (1962). Michael Redgrave is also excellent value - you can almost smell his filthy old raincoat. Also appearing here as a topless model is the delightful Gabrielle Drake as Kanner's unfortunate girlfriend - dumped as you know she will be when she tells Mickey she is pregnant. All told then, this film's a good one - not slow but measured - containing elements both predictable and unpredictable, and deserving to be witnessed by a larger audience. I am able to supply DVDs. My Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or text me on 07949 792 498
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
More than 25 years after her death, Bette Davis remains perhaps the
greatest legend in the history of movies, but even a legend must have a
period of adjustment. Her career took a slump after a series of "hag
horrors" ("Baby Jane", "Sweet Charlotte", etc.) and the great Ms. Davis
took pretty much everything she was offered just to keep working.
Several of her films barely saw the light of day, and one of them is
this interesting British drama where she plays a sort of earth mother,
a kind, aging woman who lives in a boarding house and seems to be a
confidante to everybody.
When the quiet Michael Redgrave moves into the room next to hers, they begin a friendship that helps them deal with their obvious loneliness. He's at first reluctant to let her in, but as he realizes what life without people is like, he makes her a special friend. However, a young man (Alexis Kanner) who lives in the building professes jealousy, claiming that Redgrave is only after her money. But clues are dropped which gives the indication that it is Kanner who the real gold digger is, referring to the much older Davis as "princess" even though he's seeing younger women without her knowledge and lying to her about his whereabouts.
"Without convictions, life is just a banana. Life is just a coffee grinder, and we're the coffee bean", is one of the pieces of advice Davis gives Kanner, and indeed, their relationship seems as strange as the literary quotes she drops. It's obvious that Davis's lovely character is suffering from desperate loneliness, and it's very parallel to her real life that she utilized as the title of one of her autobiographies, "The Lonely Life". Davis herself said in her old age that if she were to become involved with a man again, it would be a much younger one, and that is a very interesting comparison to her life here. Veteran British leading lady Kay Walsh is memorable as the owner of the building, while Olga Georges-Picot is lovely as the young lady Kanner is involved with whom he also betrays. It's just a shame that this really didn't see the light of day other than a few brief showings (most likely overseas and not in the states) and is a sweet artistic gem that deserves to be re-discovered.
Connecting Rooms' is a bleak chamber drama, similar in mood and setting to
Separate Tables' but nowhere near so interesting as that film. I'm not
aware that Connecting Rooms' was ever released anywhere: I saw it at a
trade screening, and not one of the cinema exhibitors in the audience showed
any interest in booking this movie
despite the box-office value of Bette
Davis and Michael Redgrave.
James Wallraven (Redgrave) is a schoolmaster who has been dismissed for sexual misconduct with one of his students: the script is careful to let us know that Wallraven was unfairly accused (unlike the equivalent character in Separate Tables', played by David Niven in his Oscar-winning performance). The disgraced Wallraven lives in a dilapidated rooming house in Bayswater, hoping that no one here will learn his shameful secret. He meets Wanda Fleming, a repressed cellist (Davis). This film was based on a (flop) stage play called The Cellist', and Davis's role is clearly the central character in this film. A tentative relationship develops between Wallraven and Wanda.
Wanda's student is a scruffy young man named Mickey Hollister (Alexis Kanner), who lusts for fame as a songwriter. Mickey also lusts for Wanda, even though he's a lot younger and better-looking than she is. Jealous that Wanda is giving her attentions to Wallraven, Mickey reveals Wallraven's secret without revealing that Wallraven is innocent.
This whole thing is a soap opera. Leo Genn and Kay Walsh give good performances in supporting roles. Redgrave's role would have been much more interesting (and his performance more challenging) if his character had actually been guilty of the sex crime. By far, the best performance on offer here is Alexis Kanner's. Although Kanner is an extremely pretentious actor, he's also a very physical actor who takes risks. In many of his TV and film roles, what Kanner does onscreen is wrong but he nearly always does something interesting and unexpected. He's vital, virile and primally evil as the covetous Hollister. If Kanner had channelled his talents more intelligently, and disciplined himself, he could have been the British version of James Dean.
At the end of the film, Bette Davis and Michael Redgrave walk past a theatre poster for a play starring an actress named Margo Channing (the character Davis played in All About Eve'). This wasn't a very good in-joke, as it reminds us of a film that's much better than Connecting Rooms', in which Bette Davis gives a much better performance than she does here. I'll reluctantly rate this movie 2 points out of 10.
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