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Archive for May 3rd, 2011

by Allan Fish

(UK 1947 101m)DVD2

Aka. I Became a Criminal

Appointment at the Valhalla

p  Nat Bronsten, James Carter  d  Alberto Cavalcanti  w  Noel Langley  novel  “A Convict Has Escaped” by Jackson Budd  ph  Otto Heller  ed  Marjorie Saunders  m  Marius-François Gaillard  art  Andrew Mazzei

Trevor Howard (Clem Morgan), Sally Gray (Sally Connor),GriffithJones (Narcie), Mary Merrall (Aggie), Vida Hope (Mrs Fenshaw), Ballard Berkeley (Inspector Rockcliffe), René Ray (Cora), Peter Bull (Fidgety Phil), Maurice Denham (Mr Fenshaw), Charles Farrell (Curley), Eve Ashley (Ellen), Jack McNaughton (Soapy), Michael Brennan (Jim),

It was the most creative and productive period in British cinema history, the era when Powell & Pressburger, Lean, Reed, Jennings, Launder & Gilliat and the Boultings were all doing their best work, when Ealing studios, though not entering their classic comedy phase, were coming to the fore.  At that self-same studio Cavalcanti had made Nicholas Nickleby in response to the success of Rank’s David Lean classic Great Expectations.  A few performances aside (Alfie Drayton’s Whackford Squeers and Cedric Hardwicke’s villainous Uncle Ralph especially), it wasn’t a success, and followed in the tradition of English nostalgia Cavalcanti had mined previously.  They Made Me a Fugitive, released the same year as Nickleby, could not have been a bigger departure.  It was that rarest of beasts, a truly British, ultra-pessimistic thriller that gets better and better with age. (more…)

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