I’ve watched so many old movies this year, re-run upon re-run upen re-run, and I’d love to say I’ve loved them all but… well…OK, maybe not all. Not all have survived my continued enjoyment, some have fallen by the wayside and some have simply become lost in translation across the years. But some have definitely stood the test of time and certainly deserve a special mention, so here is a very non-comprehensive list of five British-made oldies-but-goodies from my past I’ve watched on TV in the last few weeks…
This Happy Breed (1944) starring Celia Johnson. It’s based on an ordinary terraced house, on a working class family living in the house in the years between the two wars. It follows their fortunes and misfortunes, their lives and loves and the history that happened during those years. The story starts when they first move in, and ends when they leave. There is no huge plot, no amazing denuement, just family life in one house. I was ill a lot as a child, and watched a lot of old movies, and this one is just lovely.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) starring Maggie Smith and Gordon Jackson, set in an Edinburgh girls school in the 1930s. Actually, come to think of it Celia Johnson is in this movie too. I’ve loved this movie since childhood – well, teenagehood, anyway – and I watch it every time it’s on TV. It’s about… well amongst other things, it’s about the dangers of impressionable childhood and burgeoning womanhood and sex and love… And schooldays, it’s about schooldays. Did I mention I love this movie?
The Italian Job (1969) starring Michale Caine and the good old British Mini, is about the planning and execution of a robbery in Italy by a two-bit crook trying to make it big. And after a spectacular extended car chase sequence it has the perfect ending where they neither quite get away with it, nor quite get caught… You could say it ends on a complete cliffhanger… 🙂
Restless Natives (1985) starring Vincent Friell, Joe Mulaney and Terri Lally, is set in Edinburgh, but also in the beautiful landscape of the Scottish Highlands, telling the tale of the Clown and the Wolfman, two young men with no real future to look forward to who take to robbing tourist coaches on their motorbike… Then becoming temporary modern-day Robin Hoods before disappearing off a cliff… Hmmm, my description really doesn’t do it justice!
Shirley Valentine (1989) starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti, is about a bored middle-aged housewife who on the spur of the moment agrees to go on holiday to Greece with a girlfriend, leaving her taking-her-for-granted husband Joe at home alone. She has a little holiday romance, decides to stay for a while and ultimately she finds herself, becomes Shirley Valentine again… And in the end, when her husband Joe comes out to Greece to find her too, initially he doesn’t even recognise her…
So there we go, five old movies I’ve watched and enjoyed over the last few weeks, written in response to a ‘Five Things‘ prompt by Salted Caramel 🙂