Early 20th century England: while toasting his daughter Catherine's engagement, Arthur Winslow learns the royal naval academy expelled his 14-year-old son, Ronnie, for stealing five ... See full summary »
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Early 20th century England: while toasting his daughter Catherine's engagement, Arthur Winslow learns the royal naval academy expelled his 14-year-old son, Ronnie, for stealing five shillings. Father asks son if it is true; when the lad denies it, Arthur risks fortune, health, domestic peace, and Catherine's prospects to pursue justice. After defeat in the military court of appeals, Arthur and Catherine go to Sir Robert Morton, a brilliant, cool barrister and M.P., who examines Ronnie and suggests that they take the matter before Parliament to seek permission to sue the Crown. They do, which keeps Ronnie's story on the front page and keeps Catherine in Sir Robert's ken. Written by
In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit right off that I have never read the Terence Rattigan play from which this film is derived. Therefore, my evaluation of it purely concerns the film itself. I saw the movie during its brief stint in American theaters, and I was very surprised. It is the sort of film that I was amazed made it into Anerican movie theaters at all. It is neither fast-moving nor action-packed, and it contains no sexual content or violence. It centers around a functional British family and has very little romance. It does, however, address many issues and has a great deal of sophisticated humor.
Rebecca Pidgeon's performance was particularly memorable. She had the perfect combination of restraint and sarcasm. I have heard complaints about her-that she was too stiff and lackluster, but I found her character very believable. Perhaps this is because I come from a close, sarcastic family myself. The Winslows came off as very attached to each other, but their Britishness prevented them from being mushy.
I would definitely not recommend this movie to everyone. It is a very specific type of film and probably would be enjoyed by someone who is a fan of slow-paced, dialogue-driven period pieces or by someone who is a bibliophile. It is an unusual film, but I personally think it is pure gold.
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