A gang of street boys foil a master crook who sends commands for robberies by cunningly altering a comic strip's wording each week, unknown to writer and printer. The first of the Ealing ... See full summary »
A mixture of a psychological study of a ten-year-old boy, an English domestic comedy and a satire on psychologists finds young Johnny Brent, the only child of a pair of psychologists, trading an "invisible watch" to a much-younger child for a large magnet. His nurse/nanny accuses him of stealing and scolds him and he runs away. He soon convinces himself that the police are after him and following several unsuccessful attempts to get rid of the magnet, he presents it to an organizer of a fund-raising campaign for acquiring an iron-lung for the local hospital. The magnet is one of the auction items and finally is mounted on the iron-lung as a tribute to the unknown donor. Meanwhile, the father makes a completely inaccurate diagnosis for the mother of the boy's worries. In the end the boy meets the child he thought had died as a result of losing the magnet, and trades the boy back for the return of his "invisible watch" the gold medal the town mayor had given him for his part in the ...Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
At the time of the film's release, James Robertson Justice was standing for Parliament as a Labour candidate in Angus and Kincardine. This is was the reason for his choice of a pseudonym when appearing in this film. See more »
Near the start of the film, Johnny chalks a diamond shape on a gatepost. When a tramp appears moments later, the diamond is lower down and the corners are much sharper. See more »
After a characteristically stressful Physiology exam, decided to settle down with a movie, and what better than an offering from that beloved British institution, Ealing Studios? 'The Magnet (1950)' is one of the studio's lesser-known comedies, but ranks among their most charming efforts. The film is directed by Charles Frend, who also commandeered the excellent 'A Run for Your Money (1949)' – which succeeded despite being a veiled reworking of Capra's 'Mr Deeds Goes to Town (1936).' In 'The Magnet,' resourceful youth Johnny Brent (William Fox) cheats another boy out of an expensive magnet, before realising that this sin might eventually catch up to him. His attempts to dispose of the magnet are humorously futile, until he unloads the stolen object onto a kindly engineer, who interprets the gift as a noble gesture of Dickensian kindness. While little Johnny worries that his crime will be the death of him, his anxious parents (Stephen Murray and Kay Walsh) become concerned about his odd behaviour. The father, a trained psychiatrist, attempts to apply Jungian psychoanalysis to his son, and smugly reaches an entirely erroneous conclusion. This pleasant, easy-going film has all the hallmarks of an Ealing classic, with a particularly excellent and likable performance from its young star.
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