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The Crowning Touch (1959)

| Comedy | June 1959 (UK)
Several stories linked by a hat.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Ted Ray ...
Bert
...
Rosie
...
Mark
Sydney Tafler ...
Joe
Dermot Walsh ...
Aubrey Drake
...
Julia
...
Stacey
...
Bebe
...
Philip
Diane Hart ...
Tess
...
Daphne
Maurice Kaufmann ...
David
Richard Pearson ...
Roger
Shaun O'Riordan ...
Ricky
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Storyline

Several stories linked by a hat.

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Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

June 1959 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Great cast, small movie!
18 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

"The Crowning Touch" was made in 1958 but not released until June, 1959. It was made at a time when portmanteau films were suddenly (but briefly) popular. Perhaps that explains why such a moderately distinguished cast was assembled for what is in effect a C-grade quota quickie – and one that aside from the players (and to a lesser degree, the script) has all the earmarks of the quota production. The sets are uncommonly drab, the photography (sad to see it is the work of Ernest Palmer) uncompromisingly flat, the music pedestrian, the film editing lifeless, and the direction static and dull. But at least the crowning touch hats are adequate! The film tells three stories in the frame of yet another little story. The first is the best, not only because of its show biz background but because it has Griffith Jones ideally cast for once. Odd that he should give one of his very best performances in a film of this caliber! And he gets able support from Alfred Burke's publicity man. (For some odd reason, Burke is not listed in the credits, but it's possible the reason is simply that he didn't want to be identified with a quota quickie from Butcher's of all distributors). The other stories don't even approach this standard, albeit they are capably acted by Maureen Connell (we wish she would remove that silly cape) in the second story, and Ted Ray, would you believe – what's he doing in a quota quickie? – who makes his commissionaire a genuinely pathetic figure, despite the fact that we never actually see him at work because the slim budget simply didn't run to half-an-hour's location filming. On the other hand, Greta Gynt (what's she doing here?) overacts. Both the second and third stories are too talky and too melodramatic. Aside from its cast, the movie's production values are meager. Colin Gordan and Joan Benham figure in all four episodes, and both of them tend to over-act, but they are much less awkward and far more more professional – admittedly they have lines they can play for laughs – whereas Miss Gynt is tied to the strings of triangle melodrama.


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