The novel opens with Jenny Bunn's arrival at her lodging-house. She's a young, strikingly beautiful, provincial Northern woman who has moved to a London suburb to take her first teaching ... See full summary »
Somerset, 1958. Eva enters adulthood with good humor, keeping house for her absent-minded father, letting her younger sister Janie in on the secrets of growing up, working at a furniture ... See full summary »
The young, bright and decent London tramp Alan Terry accidentally witnesses a mob execution. He gets away, but leaves enough evidence for them to come looking for him among the homeless, ... See full summary »
Karl Foyle and Paul Prentice were best mates at school in the Seventies. But when they meet again in present-day London things are definitely not the same. Karl is now Kim, a transsexual, ... See full summary »
Harold Guppy moves into the Beasley household as a lodger. Before long Mrs. Beasley falls for him and eventually ends up in his bed. Her 13-year old daughter Joyce is aware of what is ... See full summary »
Two complete strangers, Anna and Stephen, are brought together by chance by an elderly man who waits for his wife on a station platform. Their fateful meeting acts as a catalyst for them to... See full summary »
An authentic story from 1983: The young police officer Finn is awarded a medal for the courage he showed in arresting a dangerous criminal. Meanwhile transvestite David Martin is released ... See full summary »
Young couple Jackie and Leo move from North London to a suburban home in the green belt paradise of Southern England. At the birthday party of a neighbor, they soon discover the strict social hierarchies of village life.
Five years between Dors #1 and Dors #2. (Those must have been a brutal 5 years.)
Part 2 of this mini-series just goes to illustrate why the British are not [and never will be] taken seriously in film.
Part 2 probably had the stupidest movie scenes I've ever seen. Hippie Lake and grandma Dors (Dors #2) as their marriage flourished from the swinging sideburns and flower-child 60s to the polyester and Norma Arnold from The Wonder Years of the me-generation 70s. Dors' death scene, with her gagging last breath, mingling with complete melodrama and the abuse of illegal artistic license via the director....all of it had a horribly ludicrous effect.
BUT besides the sham of Part 2, I'd like to express the slick easiness of Part 1. It was quite the charming extended 90 minute episode of Diana's rise [the most interesting part of any biography -- how they go from diamond in the rough to ringmaster of their own historical circus of fame, incomparability and glamour]. Dors #1 was incredible. Perky, intriguing, talented and fresh. Confident and secure in her own body (what a body). The cinematography sets the mood of the 50s with respectable authenticity. It is fun to see Dors #1 comprehending her dream and handling it when it finally arrives full force. Stereotyped personalities in the forms of her mother [happy-go-lucky "Diana" enthusiast] and father [humorless yet harmless suppresser] contaminated some parts, and yet...couldn't help but amplify the overall cuteness of Dors #1 and her youthful solutions to every problem. Sleek and sophisticated and worth the watch.
Part 2, though, should be avoided. It falls into a mountain of hopeless confusion that loses the innocent faith of Part 1. Diana's biography takes control and suddenly children and pregnancies pop up. Husbands come from nowhere, and so do poorly explained reasons to marriages and divorces. An ensemble of events that lead up to...something, yet nothing. Alan Lake didn't seem convincing as being so madly in love with Dors #2 as to justify his own conclusion. Jill became that tedious character that popped up to move the plot along [a tired concept, the "friend serving as the audience" script ingredient]. Decades change. Lake's sideburns change. There are some dinner parties thrown in (what for?). And then that infamous death scene. Her....children? The movie didn't seem to like the fact that she even HAD children, so they conveniently just forgot those little kidlets all together. Actually, Diana's last son was eventually omitted from the entire movie altogether. Of course. Why wouldn't he?
The British filmmakers got lost in their own network of Diana portrayal. Was it fear in not representing the truth correctly? Something was obviously wrong with something, but nobody spoke up and the gears became over-lubricated. The thin slice of elegant pie caked over into a toppled mess of aged make-up and hokey drama. Silly representations that made Diana Dors seem oblivious and in a personal stupor about her own cancer. Didn't anybody tell her she was dying?
Part 2 seems insulting towards Ms Dors. The bio gets transformed into some
audience-demographic, cartoonized, British-stylized soap opera fest that reveals the temperament of the British people an assumed guess of their temperament thanks to the production studio]. This system can only stain England's credibility to their approach of cinema television [and perhaps even film]. But then again maybe a solution is impossible, since 99% of all decent British talent ends up immigrating to Hollywood. Even Diana Dors eventually moved to America.
Maybe she was the one who started the trend.
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