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The Osbournes (2002)
We've seen all this before! This is just the 'Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet'(1952) with added cussing and bodily functions. Man of the house who used to be in a successful band and has a laid back approach to life - Ozzy/Ozzie. Woman of the house being more savvy and liking lots of shopping - Sharon/Harriet. Even offspring who go in for a music career - Kelly/Ricky.
Both are ostensibly about the everyday lives of the Nelsons and the Osbournes, saying this is what we are really like but of course that isn't true at all. In the presence of a camera everyone performs, are not themselves, which is why the phrase 'reality TV' is such a misnomer.
'The Osbournes' does have some bright moments but you have to wade through a lot of wadding to get there.
Pin Up Girl (1944)
This is a patriotic flag-waver of a film that could never be made anymore. The emphasis is on pulling together and supporting the armed forces, all in gleaming colour. It is a wartime film that says although the world is in a spin if we work together to beat the foe, things will work out fine in the end. It is sweet as a sugar coated pill, made to cheer the people up in World War 2. And who better to do that than blonde Betty Grable, lively and bright and charming. There are flashes in the film of the classic pin-up picture of her looking saucily over her shoulder.
A formula film then but it does have some bright spots. Joe E Brown and Martha Raye being loud and cantankerous. The dancing Condos Brothers who tap dance like furies. The gorgeous technicolour. Charlie Spivack's band. The musical numbers are OK though the roller skating number and the marching sequence hilarious in the wrong sort of way.
There is a real gem in the film, a number called 'Once Too Often', which is a sour song of love and betrayal, at odds with the rest of the saccharine mood of the film. Grable sings it well then dances it with the great Hermes Pan. In her split skirt showing those million dollar legs, she and Pan do a sexy routine together. It's the best thing in the whole movie.
Zhong hua ying xiong (1986)
This is not at all a bad film and it is a pity that Jet Li has not directed more because even though the plot is simple and unsurprising the film rattles along in an entertaining way. It looks good, colourful but gritty with the white of the U.S sailor's uniforms intruding everywhere as they do in the film, into Chinese society and into the Jet Li's character's life. Jet stands up to them.
This leads to some great fight scenes including a humungous one in a bar (with the rain pouring in through holes in the roof) that ends up with Jet being thrown out of a window. But does it end there? Nope. Jet is great as usual and acts in his intense mode, full of energy and charisma. The rest of the cast are ordinary.
The film score is particularly good and, as all scores should, enhances the action as well as the dramatic scenes. It is not one of Jet Li's celebrated films but definitely worth seeing, to see a real star in the making.
Mortal Kombat (1995)
Not bad...not great
The combat is OK and the scenery and sets are atmospheric. The cast are ordinary and one dimensional but Christopher Lambert is quite amusing in a supporting role. Not a waste of time by any means but not able to transcend its computer game origins.
It has lots of similarities to 'Enter The Dragon'. Chinese fighter out to revenge death of sibling goes to mysterious island on a junk ship. (The Bruce Lee part). Cocky American with lots of luggage goes to same island. (The John Saxon part). Brave black man goes to same island and gets killed valiantly. (The Jim Kelly role.) There is even a villainous fighter from the Antipodes. 'Mortal Kombat' adds blonde police woman to the mix and then its fists and fighting all the way.
The four armed Goro was cute and some splendid martial art skills are displayed in the film but it's not a patch on a good Hong Kong action film.
Follow the Fleet (1936)
Fred, Ginger, Harriet and Irving
One of several musicals about sailors on leave, it is the usual sailor meets girl, complications ensue, sorted out happily kind of plot. It proceeds along smoothly enough but it does drag in places too. The dialogue is not as zippy as 'Top Hat' for example and Randolph Scott seems out of place.
There are compensations. It has some of Irving Berlin's choicest songs including 'Let Yourself Go', 'I'm Putting all My Eggs in One Basket' and 'Let's Face the Music and Dance'. It has Fred and Ginger who when they are dancing take any film into heavenly heights and they don't disappoint here. They do a snappy tap dance, a knockabout comic dance and a swirling graceful dance, all in the same film! Great versatility and artistry.
It also has Harriet Hilliard who is rather good in her role. She had a varied career, becoming the more famous Harriet Nelson with Ozzie. Here she is touching without being sentimental.Her two songs are simply and effectively delivered. She makes a good contrast with Ginger but you can believe they are sisters in the film.
More tightening up have made the film even better. Pretty good though.
Peggy Su! (1997)
A small gem
It is a familiar tale, Jane Austen in 1960s Liverpool, where the colours and costumes are as gorgeous as any period drama. It is about marriage and family and obligation and ties and yearnings for freedom, and it works well in this setting. Most of the characters are Chinese but they might as well be Brazilian or Icelandic or Nigerian.
The main character is Peggy, played with great charm and humour by Pamela Oei, who wants to be married and several men come into her orbit, some more suitable than others. Her story unravels in a sweet but not cloying way, surrounded by lots of likeable characters. The rest of the cast are fine too. The great Burt Kwouk is...well great.
The film moves along nicely, directed with just the right amounts of laughter and tears. The wedding scene is very well done. The music score is interesting and thankfully not a series of 60s pop songs. Like the character of Peggy, the film is a small gem and there is much more to it than meets the eye.
Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
A great Hammer film
A lot of nonsense is written about the significance and meaning and quality of Hammer Films, whereas mostly they were pedestrian and derivative. There were some gems in their output and this film is one of them. The science may be wayward but it unfolds plausibly from the initial discovery of the thing in the pit to mayhem and madness in the streets of London. The opening credits are sparse and it goes straight into the story and never lets up.
It has a clear narrative and each new discovery pushes the envelope of fear and amazement further out. There is no romantic interest (though I must declare the Miss Judd character is pretty darn attractive) to hold up the driving plot. If there is a fault it is that the story can scarcely contain the wealth of material that Nigel Kneale puts in the script. Presumably there isn't a longer director's cut in some film archive!
With limited resources at hand the director, Roy Ward Baker, directs some great scenes, weird and strange and scary. He is served well by the acting of James Donald, Andrew Keir and Barbara Shelley, which is perfect for their roles. As the alien presence become stronger you believe it when it affects the characters. The scene at the pit where Miss Judd has her visions recorded is excellent. The special effects are varied but the green arthropods and the space ship look quite malevolent. The ending is great and somehow disquieting as the closing credits slowly roll.
This is a good example of an interesting intelligent film, costing less than the catering budget of the elephantine mega-budget film we have these days, but much more effective and memorable.
Mr. Skeffington (1944)
Good but not great
Once you get past the fact that the character 'Johnny Mitchell' is played by a Johnny Mitchell and another character has the wonderfully evocative name of 'Trippy Trellis' this is a pretty good Warner Bros picture.
Bette Davis and Claude Rains are as always very watchable, she playing broader than him as usual, but both dovetailing neatly. They are supported by a good cast, Walter Abel is particularly able as the cousin, and a romantic Franz Waxman score sweeps around nicely in the background. The movie has good lines of dialogue. The early scene where Mr Skeffington arrives just before a Trellis dinner party is excellent. The film loses momentum about half way through however.
There are a couple of world wars going on in the background and hints of anti-semitism but the mindset of the movie is the Bette Davis character's, who sails through life pleasing herself, being admired and worshipped and forever breaking lunch engagements with the always unseen Janey Clarkson. The last scene is a cliche but Davis and Rains pull it off like the professionals they were. We won't see their like again.
Still stands the test of time
Despite our modern violent and visceral cinema, this film stands the test of time as a harrowing and compelling film of four men taken out of their world and plunged into another one, where beauty and excitement are blotted out by death and destruction. Yet it is more than simply that. The men of the mountains do prey on the men of the city but in the end are destroyed themselves. The flooding that will come anyway will obliterate everything, the dead bodies, the scene of the crime, the wilderness itself. There is a strange melancholic and apocalyptic feel to the film.
It is filmed brilliantly. There is nothing unreal about the canoeing scenes. The actors are there fighting the currents and the rocks. You can feel their exhilaration as they paddle along. Then it all comes unstuck and each man reacts accordingly. The four male leads, John Voight. Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, are all solid and believable, possibly Reynold's finest screen performance.
The music is sparse and based on the 'Duelin' Banjos' theme that is as memorable as the zither tune from 'The Third Man'. The scene where it is introduced is rightly hailed as a classic. There is so much going on in that scene on so many layers.
John Boorman is a director with a raft of interesting films to his name and this is one of his best.
A disaster all right
The name Samuel Z Arkoff appears first on the credits. This could be interesting or it could be terrible. Keep watching. The cast includes Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Brian Keith, Karl Malden, Martin Landau, Trevor Howard and Henry Fonda. Now there is a decent bunch of actors, all usually good value. Keep watching. Directed by Ronald Neame, a distinguished British director by any standards. And then follows a disaster of a disaster film.
There is a strange dichotomy between the high quality of the cast and the low quality of the other elements in the film. The painfully meagre special effects, the shrill music, the leaden plot. It seems a strange brew and even a reviewer like myself who will always try to pick out some good points in a film am at a loss. The thing that distracted me the most was that the meteor itself, a wide lump of pitted and gruyered rock seemed to have a sound effect, like an engine! Perhaps it was my imagination.
This film is not good enough or bad enough to be a cult film. It is just tepid and flat and makes 'the Towering Inferno' look like the 'Citizen Kane' of disaster movies.
Ice Cold in Alex (1958)
Red hot in Alex
'Ice Cold in Alex' is an absorbing story of a British ambulance trying to get to safety in the North African desert. There is the heat, minefields, enemy troops, more heat, shifting sands and human weaknesses to contend with and at the end of the film (over two hours)one feels exhausted. The main characters are an army captain on the verge of a breakdown, a determined nurse, a solid sergeant major and a South African soldier whom they pick up on the way. With simple heroism they try making their way to their goal, which in this case is a glass of ice cold beer in Alexandria on the coast.
The interplay between the characters and the growing bond they have in adversity is well played by the actors. John Mills' deeply troubled captain is particularly well acted. Harry Andrews, Anthony Quayle and Sylvia Syms are fine too. The other main character is the ambulance itself, gradually coming to pieces on the way, steaming and bumping along.
J. Lee Thompson was a very able director and there are some excellent scenes here. The minefield scene near the beginning and the hill scene near the end are great, tense and emotional. The beer scene is moving and uplifting. The best British films about the Second World War are generally about a small group of ordinary people who faced with crisis and peril just get on with it.
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)
Ray's the best
The plot is unsurprising, the acting average (Hugh Marlowe does his 'scientific' dialogue as if he is reading it from the back of a cereal box) and the music dull.
But the flying saucers! SPFX wizard Ray Harryhausen is the best. The saucers are seamlessly woven into the scenery. Simple shots of the saucer on the beach or half submerged in water or gliding past Washington monuments have not been surpassed by subsequent special effects. They look authentic as a documentary due to being filmed in black and white.
The film moves quick enough to leap over narrative and scientific gaps to the splendid climax. I gave this a 7 out of 10 mainly due to Mr Harryhausen.
The Big Country (1958)
A Big Film
There are many things to enjoy in 'The Big Country'. The landscape itself is a character that seems overwhelming. There are many panoramic shots of it, sweeping out to a misty horizon. All beautifully photographed. This big country seems to glow and the film gets an appropriate music score, sweeping and colourful. It must be one of the most perfect film scores written.
In this breathtaking landscape the story of the characters unfold with their prides, jealousies, fears, loves, pretensions, hopes, disappointments. The actors are first rate and convey lots of feeling not just in dialogue but in looks. It is worth seeing more than once to catch the emotional nuances. This is a film with space in lots of senses and it gives the cast time to flesh out their characters. In all the splendid acting I have a particular admiration for Chuck Connors in a performance of a lifetime. His Buck Hennassey is a coward and a bully yet you can't help feeling sorry for him in the end.
There is also the political undertones, the oft quoted Cold War parallels, embodied in the confrontation between Bickford and Ives of mutually assured destruction, that was an ever present issue in the late fifties. Bickford and Ives have narrow self interested vision that portends destruction, while the Peck character has a wider view of co-operation and fairness. (In an illuminating exchange at the engagement party a guest asks Peck if he has seen anything bigger than the 'big country' and Peck replies to the guest's astonishment that he has, a couple of oceans!) It is the outsider who sees clearest.
William Wyler was a great director and made a great film to be enjoyed on many levels. It is an aural and visual treat but the film also has believable characters performed by a superior cast. And I can't stop humming that theme tune....
Modest and successful
Part of the continuing Michael Crichton 'science is fallible' continuum, 'Westworld' is the sort of intelligent film that couldn't be made today without elaborate special effects, lots of noise and a loud hip hopping metallic score. It is a straightforward film that slowly exerts a grip, not unlike 'The Andromeda Strain'. The texture is miles away from the lumbering 'Jurassic Park' and subsequent clones.
The early scenes are fun with the characters Peter Martin and John Blane immersing themselves into the fantasy of the American West. Richard Benjamin as Peter Martin is very good, an ordinary guy initially sceptical, then plunging into the play with gusto, then frightened as the fantasy and fun turns to terror. He is completely believable.
The later scenes are basically a chase but what makes it worst is that he is being chased by a robot played by Yul Brynner. Yes, it's heroic Chris from 'The Magnificent Seven' turned into a relentless inhuman killer! It's a great piece of casting.
With atmospheric music to propel the story along this modest film is a real sci-fi jewel and deserves recognition as the fine forerunner of later but not better films.
The Card (1952)
Very well adapted from the novel by Arnold Bennett, this is a warm and witty comedy about the rise of a washerwoman's son from obscurity to becoming the Mayor. In a series of episodes Edward Henry (Denry as his mother called him) Machin demonstrates his acumen in business, his eye for the main chance, noticing what Shakespeare called the 'tide in the affairs of men that leads on to fortune'. (Literally in one episode!)
In all of his this you can not help liking Denry, especially as he is perfectly played by Alec Guinness. As the narrator says, he is not dishonest, he just likes to give providence a helping hand. As Denry grows older Guinness wonderfully captures each facet of his character. He is well supported by the other cast members, each one also perfect for their roles. It is hard to think of a better cast film, even down to the small roles.
The film captures well the look of the Potteries. The small houses, the pottery kilns, the canal. This place is living and breathing, populated by interesting people. An excellent film, splendid in all departments and well worth seeing many times.
Blade Runner (1982)
Lovely to look at....that's it.
'Blade Runner' may be the most over rated film of 1982. It is lovely to look at, and all without the use of CGI. The Tyrell Building is a real eye opener. The rain washed streets, the colours and shadows, the flying cars and the floating advertisement craft, the light lancing through broken rooves, the smashing of glass and so forth. It all looks great. It is a truly realised environment.
Within this is a story as thin as a blade but without any bite. The director's cut without the noir-ish voice over is hardly any better. Harrison Ford is an ordinary actor and his performance here is dull. He is overwhelmed by the scenery. It is Han Solo re-cycled and doesn't convince for a minute.
There are excellent actors in it but have very underdeveloped roles. Interesting actors like Edward James Olmos. M Emmet Walsh, Joanna Cassidy and Joe Turkel are wasted. Rutger Hauer is splendid however and gives a powerful and oddly touching performance. To see his film decline the way it did was sad to see. Good roles like this one came to him too infrequently.
The film is the usual Ridley Scott product. Lovely to look at and that's it. I can't imagine why some people rave about it as they do.
This old BBC serial from the 70s is a slow ramble through one of Jane Austen's great novels. Like all slow rambles there are lots of incidental delights on the way. Time is given for the development of character and the unravelling of the plot. The later film with Gwyneth Paltrow is faster but shallower. This is plainly filmed and there is none of the gorgeous lighting effects that decorate the Paltrow film. Some of it is shot outdoors, notably the Box Hill scene, but it is mainly unfussy interiors.
Doran Godwin's performance as Emma is fine. She brings out the contradictions and weaknesses in her character as well as her many strengths. Jane Austen wanted a heroine that no one would like but herself, then proceeded to create a fully rounded character who is very likeable. The length of the mini-series enables there to be many scenes between Emma and Harriet and Emma and Mr Knightly that illustrate all their characters well. Debbie Bowen and John Carson give excellent support.The rest of the cast of British actors are good. Constance Chapman as Miss Bates is touching and Fiona Walker rips into the part of Mrs Elton with great relish. Donald Eccles is perfectly tiring as Mr Woodhouse.
There seem to be two ways to film Jane Austen. The slower but more complete version like this film and 'Sense and Sensibility' (1971) or the modern upbeat shorter film like 'Emma' (1996) or 'Mansfield Park' (1999). Perhaps only the BBC's 1995 mini series of 'Pride and Prejudice' created the perfect fusion.
This 'Emma' is well worth seeing. If you adjust yourself to the gentle pace there is plenty to enjoy
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)
A good romp
'Golden Voyage' is much better than the later 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger' and equal to the earlier 'Seventh Voyage of Sinbad'.
The Harryhausen creatures are impressive. Stop motion animation does give solidity to the image, more so than the usual CGI effect. There are some fine ones here including a one eyed centaur, a homunculus, a griffin, a six armed statue, a ship's wooden figurehead. The story is standard but the effects, the locations and the plot weave together well. There is also a dry humour in the dialogue which is entertaining. Scenes like the sword fight with the six armed statute (with six swords!) or the final confrontation at the fountain of wisdom (or something like that) are exciting. The great Miklos Rosza's music adds considerably to the atmosphere.
John Philip Law is OK as Sinbad and does attempt an Arabian accent unlike the usual English one, but the role isn't Shakespearean and he does well enough. Caroline Munro looks splendid in her costume, low cut almost everywhere. The rest of the cast support well.
Tom Baker is excellent as the villain Koura. He makes him sympathetic; what drives him is common to all people. He just uses different means to gain his ends. He dominates the scenes he is in and it is a pity that more big screen roles never came his way. He was the best 'Doctor Who' in the BBC series, in my opinion of course.
A good fantasy romp to appeal to the adventurer in all of us. Did I mention Caroline Munro's costume? Oh, I did.
The Long Good Friday (1980)
One of the best British gangster films, no doubt. Not quite reaching the epic heights of 'The Godfather' but you can see its influence on what came after. 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking etc.' for example. The mix of violence with witty one-liners, the colourful characters, the slang, the music. 'Lock, Stock etc.' is more of a violent lark, 'The Long Good Friday' is a much deeper film.
It is hard to fault the acting. Bob Hoskin's performance is justly celebrated. He falls apart at the seams as his 'manor' is assaulted on all sides. He is a gangster and as seen in the film not averse to using dreadful violence but he manages also to be sympathetic in a way that Al Pacino in 'The Godfather' does not. The last scene in the car is excellent. The camera is kept mainly on Hoskins and you can see his life flashing through his mind. I don't know how many takes were done but it is a great bit of acting.
Helen Mirren hold her own besides Hoskins more showy role. She is more than a gangster's moll. The iconic Eddie Constantine was a splendid choice as the Mafia man. His sheer presence spoke volumes. Looking now at a film from 1980 you can spot familiar British actors. Isn't that Derek Thompson from 'Casualty' and Gillian Taylforth from 'EastEnders' and would you believe it, there's Pierce Brosnan looking a mere wisp of a boy.
One interesting aspect is the political and business background. Harold declares he is a new European and discards the USA. The state of change is crystallised by the new building developments in London's docklands, seen in the film as mere steel frameworks but which is part of Harold's attempt to go legitimate. It was a crucial time in London's history and the film reflects that. Similar to the Newcastle in 'Get Carter'.
'The Long Good Friday' is perfectly paced, splendidly acted and has many resonances beyond the story of the decline and fall of a gangster.
Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
There is a flaw in the film in that it looks so amazing. Every scene is so gorgeous that it detracts from the drama. Presumably the superb look is meant to contrast with the human story but it almost overwhelms it. The story is simple and could have done with a plainer look.
That said the story comes alive because of the acting. The children who play Molly, Daisy and Gracie are excellent, quite natural and subdued. Their heroic trek back home is made all the more extraordinary by them being ordinary, not plaster saints. The scene where they are removed from their mother is very disturbing.
As the tracker Moodoo, David Gulpilil is dignified and solid. His presence in the film has a lot of resonances from the history of Australia and the history of Australian cinema. In a small but telling role Kenneth Branagh is very effective. His A. O. Neville is a man doing his duty, a man of his time yet also as human as the three girls.
There is a great moment in the film where the girls first touch the fence and 1500 miles away their mother is also touching the fence. Deeply moving. The image of the fence as as something that can unite but something that also divides sums up the ambiguity of the idea of re-settlement of mixed race children. A very good film, quietly gripping with an ending to moisten the dryest of eyes.
The One (2001)
This is an average film. It looks OK and it moves fast enough to leap over the gaping holes in the derivative narrative but that is about it. It wants to be another 'Matrix' crossed with 'Highlander' but fails to have the impact of either.
Jet Li anyway does not need special effects and CGI. Fighting himself in the film is unfortunately a very thin gimmick. Mr Li's 'Kiss of the Dragon' is far better because it is just him taking on the bad guys, in the raw. His tremendous skills don't need any added extras. We don't watch Jet Li films for the explosions or the FX. His acting in English improves all the time which is good to see. The quality of his films vary a lot these days but the man is still more watchable than most actors, east or west.
Delroy Lindo is solid as usual. Carla Gugino was pretty good in a slight role. The rest of the cast are bland. The music is the usual noisy mish-mash that make up a contemporary movie score.
The Shepherd of the Hills (1941)
Although it has John Wayne in the cast it is not really a western. It is more a study of the Ozarks and the people who live there. Although some scenes are filmed in the studio you do get a feeling of the landscape of the area and the kind of people it produces; sturdy, suspicious, superstitious, kindly, ignorant and wise. Much like any isolated community around the world.
The film is surprisingly good. The acting is solid all round. John Wayne makes a good attempt at the Young Matt role, bringing out well the confusion and conflicts in his mind. Beulah Bondi is riveting as the bitter Aunt Mollie. Harry Carey is good as ever. Betty Field as Sammy Lane is excellent and it is her who holds the film together. It is through her eyes we mainly see things. She is also quite sexy in her tight jeans and short tops.
Some of the scenes are exceptional; when Daniel Howitt is cashing a never seen before cheque, when Granny Becky has her eyes uncovered after an operation, when Young Matt talks about how love is so complicated, when Daniel Howitt takes possession of the old house in Moaning Meadow, when Aunt Mollie cremates her dead son and herself, when Pete the mute brother is discovered in a stream of light pouring through a window trying to catch dust motes. All directed without sentimentality but with real feeling.
It is one of those films which did not promise much from the TV listings but actually delivers much more than one expects.
Swept Away (2002)
It's not my fault. My girlfriend made me watch it.
There is nothing positive to say about this film. There has been for many years an idea that Madonna could act but she can't. There has been an idea for years that Guy Ritchie is a great director but he is only middling. An embarrassment all round.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Viewed today 'The Manchurian Candidate' still stands out as a brilliant film. John Frankenheimer directed some very good films but this is his masterpiece, with a great screenplay by George Axelrod from Richard Condon's book. It is almost like a black comedy but of the darkest kind. The politics, the paranoia, the pathos and the power plays are effectively brewed together to make a heady experience. It is also brave enough to have a bleak ending. The film doesn't lift your heart. It is an insight into the grim undercurrents of life, still relevant after forty years.
There are some justly celebrated sequences that still take the breath away. The dream segment is amazing. The camera movement, the cutting, the decor are all superb. It is a chilling scene because it takes normality and twists it slowly until the two moments of violence almost become acceptable. There is a great fight scene later between Sinatra and Henry Silva that still thrills. The ending of the film at the convention is staged magnificently. One runs out of superlatives.
The same could be said for the acting. Sinatra is believable as the intelligent and haunted major. The possible doubtful casting of Laurence Harvey as Raymond Shaw pays off, even with his accent. His account of his love affair is very moving. He is a rounded character. Angela Lansbury as his mother is amazingly good. She has played unsympathetic roles but never like this. She is unforgettable. And scary! I'm not sure that the Janet Leigh character works but apart from her the smaller roles are well played. Khigh Dhiegh as the smiling Dr. Yen Lo epitomises the ambiguity and treachery of the people in power.
The only very minor quibble is the portentous narration at the beginning which I thought could be dispensed. A magnificent film and unsurpassed.
From IMBd it appears that a re-make is in the offing. Why?
Street Corner (1953)
Directed by one of the few women directors in the 1950s, 'Street Corner' concentrates on several women police officers going about their work. Several negative comments are made by the characters in the film about 'cops in skirts' but the film shows how capable they are. Nothing is mentioned about their home lives, they are people with a job who get on with it. Made in the early fifties it gives a foretaste of the social changes to come. The women policeman are defined by their work not their relationships. Most of the incidents are 'domestic' but there is robbery and violence too in the film.
The film is located in London and it is startling to see in the film early housing estates being used by the characters. It is a cliche in modern British films to have the housing estate as a nexus of crime and poverty. In this film they are look clean and the lifts work. The film has a similar feel to the classic Ealing film 'The Blue Lamp'.
The male actors are bland but the female actors are accomplished British performers, Rosamund John, Barbara Murray, Anne Crawford, Sarah Lawson, Eleanor Summerfield, Peggy Cummins etc. Dora Bryan and Thora Hird are hilarious in bit parts. Films like these from the fifties need re-appraisal as they are more than the sum of their parts. A modest but absorbing film, I'm pleased I picked it up in a sale at a video shop.