Made using Rank's "Independent Frame" production system. The system proved a costly flop. See more »
Roy, you haven't told me yet why you broke-up your engagement.
Oh, I don't know. I just knew that things wouldn't work.
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Planes, Train And Automobiles
Sally Ann Howes is a pretty but ordinary girl, reared by her aunt and uncle, Joyce Barbour and John Robertson Justice. What she doesn't know is in the presence of every woman in her family, mechanical machinery stops: trains, planes, automobiles, newspaper presses, it doesn't matter. When her prospective fiance, Nigel Buchanan is informed of this, he runs back to his family clockmaking business in London, and Miss Howes follows, meets Gordon Jackson, and eventually becomes a celebrity.
It's a romantic comedy with a fantasy air, a type of story that became moderately popular in print after the Second World War, with writers like Ward Moore and Jack Finney dabbling in it. The subtext was almost invariably about the fragility of modern civilization and a nostalgic hankering for older, simpler times.
19-year-old Miss Howes is quite lovely. It would turn out that she was also quite talented for musical comedy, in the mode of her father, Bobby Howes. She would replace Julie Andrews on Broadway in MY FAIR LADY, and star on Broadway for several decades. Although her film career dribbled away after CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG with the end of the movie musical, she is still around and, in her 90th year, quite lovely.
Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne are also present in the movie, not playing Charters & Caldicott, but "the mechanicals", a pair of men always present when she stops a bus, as the motorman and conductor, or a train as the engineer and stoker. They look old and worn.
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