Note: To celebrate Allan’s departure from the ICU -glowingly reported today by his dear maternal Aunt Anne Cafferkey- I offer you one of Allan’s own favorite reviews of all time of a film he holds closest to his heart of them all. This is the eighteenth entry in the series. Enjoy!
by Allan Fish
(UK 1943 163m) DVD1/2
War starts at midnight!
p Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger d Michael Powell w Emeric Pressburger ph Georges Périnal, Jack Cardiff (and Henry Haysom, Geoffrey Unsworth) ed John Seabourne m Allan Gray art Alfred Junge
Roger Livesey (Maj.Gen.Clive Candy), Deborah Kerr (Edith Hunter/Barbara Wynne/Johnny Cannon), Anton Walbrook (Theo Kretschmar-Schuldorff), John Laurie (Lce.Cpl.Murdoch), Roland Culver (Col.Betteridge), James McKechnie (Spud Wilson), Albert Lieven (Von Ritter), Arthur Wontner (Embassy Counsellor), Ursula Jeans (Frau Von Kalteneck), Muriel Aked (Aunt Margaret), A.E.Matthews, Valentine Dyall,
There is something about the most ambitious of Powell and Pressburger’s wartime masterpieces that is rather nostalgic, even after all these years. Sixty years on, it seems to belong to another age, an age and way of life also encompassed in a more insular way by TV’s later Upstairs, Downstairs. Just as that series presented all that was most peculiarly English about us in the first third of the twentieth century, so does this 1943 masterpiece. Yet it does so much more that that, for it encapsulates the very soul of not only England but what it is like to recognise your own nationality. I am certainly no patriot, but even I feel my heart warmed by the timelessness of this film, a feeling increased by the fact that, in one of its numerous subtexts, it is not a patriotic film at all, but rather a study in the triumph of the human spirit, overcoming tragedy, heartache and more besides through inherent decency and affection for one’s friends, whatever their nationality. (more…)