A celebration of working class leisure activities at Hindle, Lancashire, during "Wakes Week", an annual week still observed in parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire when all factories and ...
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A celebration of working class leisure activities at Hindle, Lancashire, during "Wakes Week", an annual week still observed in parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire when all factories and schools take a holiday.Written by
Michael Crew <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Maurice Elvey's version of the regional classic is possibly the best surviving British silent movie.
The twenties version of the once sensational Stanley Houghton play must be considered central to it's makers' work and the British film of the pre-WW2 era. Both director and producer filmed it twice, Elvey shortly after the first stage performances in 1918 and Saville after the coming of sound. Mc Kinnel as the mill owner, who originated the part in the theatre, is in all of the productions and John Stuart played this son in the twenties and thirties films.
The work was notorious for showing a mill girl heroine, for who casual sex was as normal as it was taken to be for men - one of the most intelligent representations of the then celebrated "Single Standard."
Until we get a look at his first try, we must take Elvey's twenties version as the most important. It is remarkable that Elvey regulars Humberstone Wright and Marie Ault register more effectively than Saville's imposing Edmund Gwenn and Sybil Thorndyke doing the parent rôles with sound. The scene in Blackpool's Tower Ballroom is a quite hallucinatory climax to the extraordinary, protracted Hindle Wakes holiday sequence which outclasses similar material in the King Vidor THE CROWD.
Indeed the Elvey HINDLE WAKES may be considered the best English silent film surviving, more imposing than the Asquith and Hitchcock films that have been thrust at us down the years. With his recently recovered LIFE OF David LLOYD GEORGE this marks Elvey as the most important English film maker of the period and one of the most important in Europe. We can only wonder about an industry and its commentators who did so little to nourish his output and allowed him to die in obscurity.
Has anyone seen his Berlin and Hollywood work?
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