A touring variety troupe, the "Dinky Doos" are in financial trouble. An encounter with three strangers - Inigo Jollifant (a romantic, song-writing ex-schoolmaster), Miss Trant (a ...
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Controversial tragicomedy about a brother's obsessive love for his sister. Having left her husband, Hilary moves in with her unbalanced brother, Pink, who uses wit and humor to hide his amorous yearnings.
J. Lee Thompson
A touring variety troupe, the "Dinky Doos" are in financial trouble. An encounter with three strangers - Inigo Jollifant (a romantic, song-writing ex-schoolmaster), Miss Trant (a philanthropic spinster in search of adventure), and Jess Oakroyd (a down to earth, practical man recently made redundant from his job) leads to a change of fortune. Re-launched with Miss Trant's money, they tour England, at first with little success. Inigo falls in love with the troupe's talented and pretty young girl singer, Susie Dean. The troupe is threatened with disharmony, but, due to Inigo's intervention, and the marriage of the principal dancer (Jerry Jerningham) to Lady Parlitt (whose family "own a chain of theatres"), all turns out well for Susie by the end, when she triumphs in a lavish London revue, with the other members of "The Good Companions" in the audience, cheering her triumph.Written by
Roger Mellor <email@example.com>
Where there's an Englishman / You'll find a pot of tea. / Where there's a Frenchman / A whiff of gay Paree. / And where those hep cats meet, / You'll find a boogie beat / And where there's you / There's always me.
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The 1957 color film is a disappointment (no real surprise), an attempt to produce a big Hollywood musical when the story didn't call for one. The re-do keeps the basic story but loses all the heart and soul of the original film.
Janette Scott (daughter of Thora Hird and a one-time wife of Mel Torme!) is a pallid replacement for the ethereal Jessie Matthews. John Fraser has the John Gielgud role. Celia Johnson has the Mary Glynne role, and Eric Portman the Edmund Gwenn. Others in the cast include Mona Washbourne, Bobby Howes, Rachel Roberts, Thora Hird, Anthony Newley, Hugh Griffith, Joyce Grenfell, Marjorie Rhodes, Fabia Drake, Shirley Anne Field, Beatrice Varley, Alec McCowan, John Le Mesurier and dancers Beryl Kaye, Paddy Stone, and Irving Davies.
Most notable changes in plot include Miss Trant (Celia Johnson) not having a reunion with her one-time flame. The flame here is Joyce Grenfell pursuing the dancer Jerry (Paddy Stone), thus depriving the Trant character of any kind of development. The big night for Susie Dean (Janette Scott) is turned into a comic free-for-all, thus depriving the Dean character of the astonishing sequence enjoyed by Jessie Matthews of singing amid the debris (the show must go on). The finale instead is an interminable sequence of musical numbers that show Scott as a combination Debbie Reynolds/Connie Stevens without the singing or dancing talent (she's dubbed, and her dancing is pretty much limited to being hauled around by Stone and Davies).
Eric Portman serves as a would-be love interest for Johnson, but of course he's married, so that's a dead end. John Fraser seems totally lost in the John Gielgud role of Inigo Jollifant (funny no one ever asks him to repeat his odd name). Most of the remainder have little to do.
Then there's the usually dour Rachel Roberts who explodes in a solo number "The Gentleman Is a Heel." Who knew she could sing? The ever lovable Joyce Grenfell has a great scene with a cake. Her final line there is something like "Take this away, it's of no use now." When this came out in 1957, the original film had likely been unseen since 1933 so comparisons were unlikely. Taking that into consideration this was probably seen as a serviceable musical for the times, and definitely a star vehicle for 19-year-old Scott.
Grenfell had hit stage show a few years earlier in London and New York. Cast members included the film's dancers: Irving Davies, Paddy Stone, and Beryl Kaye.
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