A marvelous compendium of mayhem-- aha, haha, hahahahahaha!
Though you often read about the "quota quickies" made in Britain under a law that required a certain amount of screen time to be allotted to local product, you don't see many of them in America-- and for good reason: most were cranked out cheaply just to comply with the law, and are awful. In a few cases, however, the quota quickie laws provided opportunity for Britain's seemingly bottomless reserve of superior stage actors to be preserved on film-- that's why we have them to thank for Arthur Wontner's very fine Sherlock Holmes in some (not nearly as fine) Holmes movies, and it's also why we have a healthy collection of films starring the splendid ham Tod Slaughter, who toured for years as a ripsnorting baddie in authentic Victorian melodramas (such as Sweeney Todd) and transferred a number of them with minimal alteration to film. The Face at the Window is reportedly the highest-budgeted of Slaughter's films, and thus probably isn't technically a quota quickie at all, but it's still brought to the screen with the smell of fresh greasepaint straight from the provinces-- specifically the provinces circa 1895. Slaughter's larger than life performances give us as good a picture of what Victorian audiences ate up as the D'Oyly Carte company did of Gilbert and Sullivan's productions, because like them he was less reviving the old melodramas than carrying on their tradition intact. You may think you've seen people doing the Snidely Whiplash-style villain, and don't need to see them again, but you haven't lived until you've seen a seemingly sane and proper Slaughter dissolve in maniacal glee-- a-ha, ahahaha, ahahahahahahahahaha!
- Aug 9, 2002
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By what name was The Face at the Window (1939) officially released in India in English?Answer