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The gems of old British cinema

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The gems of old British cinema

Old 19th Jun 2019, 04:28
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The gems of old British cinema

Tucked into two oldies this past week that I had, surprisingly, never seen before.

The first was In Which We Serve with Noel Coward and Sir John Mills among other noteworthy actors. I was trying to guess the speed of the vessel at the beginning--filmed looking aft at the wake. Any guesses? Good old family man Noel Coward...flashing back to the time with the wife and children.

The second was a real corker called Carrington VC with David Niven. Very sparse--as if it were a stage production. Sometimes this is listed as Court Martial, but not sure why. Sure the plot line might not be the most robust, but I enjoy watching when actors had the camera on them for quite some time and had to deliver their lines uniterrupted but constant cuts, takes, and different camera angles.

Really enjoy stumbling on these gems. In Which We Serve is of course well known, but there was the matter of having found the time. That and the fact that now, as opposed to years past, you can be anywhere and stream these for viewing.

I wonder how many are out there that I have not seen.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 06:51
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Plenty of them on Freeview Channel 81, I've watched loads this year. Mainly black and white, and a refreshing change to have judicious use of music, cameramen that didn't have the DT's and fight scenes where the clips were more than the 0.7 seconds of modern films.

Lots from the '60s too, Battle of Britain, Angels One Five, The Killing of Sister George (featuring a steamy lesbian sex scene that I don't remember from the original), The Cruel Sea.

Also re-runs of older series and sit-coms - Juliet Bravo, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, Kavanagh QC, Rumpole, Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre etc.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 07:03
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Uncle Fred, well worth searching YouTube by actor. Also James Mason, John Gregson, Dennis Price, Alistair Sim,, Any one you can think of really.

There is a John Mills one shot during the war, a submarine operation to sink the German battleship.

The film with Syd James playing a straight part (almost) about Buster Crabb is good too.

For a war film shot in a studio find Yesterday's Enemy. One jungle scene, waist deep in swamp, the floor is suspiciously smooth.

Remember this was not long after talkies 😃 but much more limited film and camera capabilities compared with modern cinema where the visual replaced the dialogue.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 07:26
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Originally Posted by UniFoxOs View Post
Plenty of them on Freeview Channel 81
Aka the Talking Pictures channel - also on Freesat 306.

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Old 19th Jun 2019, 07:48
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Uncle Fred, well worth searching YouTube by actor. Also James Mason, John Gregson, Dennis Price, Alistair Sim,, Any one you can think of really.

There is a John Mills one shot during the war, a submarine operation to sink the German battleship.

The film with Syd James playing a straight part (almost) about Buster Crabb is good too.

For a war film shot in a studio find Yesterday's Enemy. One jungle scene, waist deep in swamp, the floor is suspiciously smooth.

Remember this was not long after talkies �� but much more limited film and camera capabilities compared with modern cinema where the visual replaced the dialogue.
Probably ‘Above us the waves’. Tirptiz.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 07:56
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Dennis Price.
His performance in Kind Hearts and Coronets is one for the ages. Truly a master class in the dry humour we all enjoy.

Wife made a comment that was quite accurate. The gents they had playing many of ratings/soldiery/etc actually looked more authentic than what they use today--which is 28 year old handsome and famous actors to play what often were just late teens in many cases. That and, was mentioned, the cameras with DTs and it all can look rather weak at times.

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Old 19th Jun 2019, 08:05
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Well unless you have a penchant for dire acting, stereotyping characters, an abundance of jingoism and watching the same faces, time and again, then your time could be better spent far more productively.

True, there were a few exceptions from time to time, and some decent actors, but in the main they were kept in gainful employment churning out hackneyed films.

And a special mention for John Mills, whose acting ability was akin to mass ham production.

The subject of films from this era has been raised before here on JB.......it would be fair to say not everybody shares my sentiments....
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 08:06
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John Mills = "Above us the waves".
Sid James = "The silent enemy". Set and filmed on location in Gib and Algeciras.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 09:37
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Originally Posted by yellowtriumph View Post


Probably ‘Above us the waves’. Tirptiz.
No, this was circa 1943 and involved a penetration into the Baltic. The battleship name was fictitious to avoid any claim of false news. Just to be clear, it was made in 1943.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 10:20
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I stumbled across the end of “High Flight” there the other day with some great Hunter air to air shots. You could almost almost hear the Top Gun script being picked out of it though with ambitious maverick pilot who’s father had flown in the war with the squadron commander straying in to Cold War communist territory etc.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 10:51
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If you enjoy 1950's commercial aviation and the usual British cast, Out of the Clouds is for you. Caught the end of it the other day.

'A chance to see how Heathrow looked in the 1950s. Basil Dearden's Ealing drama follows the personal tales of the pilots and passengers of a bygone age. There's social drama as lowly duty officer Nick Milbourne tries to prevent his girlfriend Penny from falling for dastardly pilot Gus Randall while romance blossoms for Bill Steiner and Leah Roche.'
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 11:04
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And a special mention for John Mills, whose acting ability was akin to mass ham production.
Staggering remark K & C - a very versatile actor who could turn his hand to any part asked of him. He could do the posh naval officer and the cheeky cockney corporal with equal ease,and he was brilliant in Hobson's Choice. Unlike some much vaunted and overrated actors. Richard Burton, for example, who, other than his voice seemed to possess one talent, and that was to able to scowl. He must have played the part of Richard Burton in scores of films - only the costumes change.

I'm a great fan of Talking Pictures TV, Some tripe, of course, but some gems as well.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 11:17
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Reach for the Sky; always enjoyed the film and Muriel Pavlow is a seriously beautiful woman.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 11:20
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Muriel Pavlow is a seriously beautiful woman.
She was indeed... sadly she died in January.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 11:31
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Richard Burton, for example, who, other than his voice seemed to possess one talent, and that was to able to scowl. He must have played the part of Richard Burton in scores of films - only the costumes change.
Thats what all the most successful actors do. Burton, Harris, Caine, Guinness, even Roger Moore and Terry-Thomas, & more recently Harrison Ford.
Its a little something called charisma.....
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 15:21
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The camera work in old black and white films was so much more intelligent and artistic than the modern microsecond cuts and badly lit close-ups. The best seem to be from France and the Continent generally. My own favourites - Rififi, Wages of fear. The Sheep has five legs and Jean de Florettes/Manon des Sources. Recently the Girl and the Fox and Les Choristes.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 15:34
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
No, this was circa 1943 and involved a penetration into the Baltic. The battleship name was fictitious to avoid any claim of false news. Just to be clear, it was made in 1943.
D'you hear there? This is the Captain speaking.... "We Dive at Dawn".

Jack
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 17:19
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Originally Posted by Union Jack View Post
D'you hear there? This is the Captain speaking.... "We Dive at Dawn".

Jack
Well done for solving that one.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 17:45
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
Staggering remark K & C - a very versatile actor who could turn his hand to any part asked of him. He could do the posh naval officer and the cheeky cockney corporal with equal ease,and he was brilliant in Hobson's Choice. Unlike some much vaunted and overrated actors. Richard Burton, for example, who, other than his voice seemed to possess one talent, and that was to able to scowl. He must have played the part of Richard Burton in scores of films - only the costumes change.

I'm a great fan of Talking Pictures TV, Some tripe, of course, but some gems as well.
TTN, we had the same perceptions last time the topic came up......there was lots of lavish praise for the dire "Ice Cold in Alex " you may recall.....but as I said, John Mills was vastly over rated,..his "character " portrayals were excruciating to watch, almost contemptuous in fact .....he would probably have a regular spot on the "One Show " now.....

I did like Dennis Price though and "Kind Hearts and Coronets " was entertaining.....

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Old 19th Jun 2019, 18:48
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Well, here's a review of John Mills' skills from those in the trade...

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...Kr9APDQic9Yynn

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