Chirpy propaganda dressed as soap opera. Charters & Caldicott are rather an odd addition to the semi-naturalistic style and add little to proceedings.
The smoothest of cinematic packaging combining all manner of disparate strands (espionage, suspense thriller, sex, slapstick, mild political comment, magic tricks, etc.) into a coherent and consistent whole. There's little to be negative above with such palpable verve, charm and fun, with all involved on top form. The ease with which it's pulled off just points to the sheer professionalism involved.
Splendid riff on the familiar theme of a community pulling together albeit in the faintly criminal and positively conniving pursuit of liquid loot. However, despite Colonel Wagget being set up as the priggish pivot, in the charmingly waggish hands of Basil Radford you somehow wish the islanders had come a cropper.
Often flat-footed but curiously beguiling. A neat pairing with The House in Nightmare Park for hoary old coals warmed over for the umpteenth time.
An on-going master class in suave, supercilious condescension.
Begetter of a dwindling series of naughty schoolgirl comedies where the machinations of the equally corrupt staff were generally more amusing than the tedious playing-up of freckle-faced brats. Sim is of course the chief delight as the richly overripe Miss Fritton.
Rather meandering early Leigh that leads nowhere in particular except a few riffs on the truths of human social interactions in all the awkward, shuffling and embarrassing shades you rarely see in mainstream television or commercial cinema.
Smooth and very efficient caper-come-farce. It's structure, if not execution, is surprisingly modern but this is true of many an Ealing Studios film whose comedies deftly combine British parochialism with slick Hollywood mechanisms. A model of barely a wasted moment.
Smooth production values even-out an otherwise perfunctory murder mystery with plot mechanics almost as improbable as the women’s holiday outfits. The melange of Porter tunes works surprisingly well.
Contrived fizz. Whilst a comedic departure from recent dramatic plodding is in itself welcome, this is a generally unrewarding outing from this director, with half-hearted farce, uninteresting characters and surprisingly dreary situations.
Fitfully amusing if generally lacking in style and aplomb. The lineage to the earlier Ealing Studios comedies sometimes tacked-on to this film like an undeserved old-age rosette (on account of a shared director) is tenuous with little to compare the two with 'Wanda displaying a coarseness of situation and too much bad language to provide anything other than a bridge to nowhere.
The Sadlers Wells Ballet's (today's Royal Ballet) loss was cinema's gain of sorts, except you can only count two or three decent films to show for a stymied career in dance where her luminesce should have shone longer.
Generally delightful if overlong elongation of Potter's characters if not situations. Ashton's choreography is as deft, fleet and amusing as ever with barely a whisker out of place despite one or two directorial moments of stodge and repetition.
A kind of thinking man's 'boy's own adventure'. Ravishing to the eye and - via Jarre's delicious score - the ear. The thin and unrevealing characterisations are small complaint in the face of such sweep and self-assured grandiosity. The acme of Lean's neatly placed approach.
Fitfully amusing if predictable, this overlong extension of the Hancock character runs more as a stodgy variant on the earlier Ealing model of the little man against the world. The scenes, however, with the landlady - Mrs Cravat - remain a neat summation of philistinism in the face of dubious art.
All the familiar Ealing elements - group action, plucky little Englanders et al - are on sparkling form in this tinkingly twee hymn of sorts to a vanishing way of life. No doubt the eulogised celebration of David and Goliath provided a post-war balm and the rose tinted views are so deftly executed that in overall form this is a small gem of amusement.
Competently assembled but rather pointless rehash of key elements from the first film. A case of diminishing returns if ever there were one, despite a subsequent television version and a film derived from that.
A brisk march through stock British institutions and scenarios played with the expected gusto by Rutherford and Sim. The romantic subplot - fortunately - is barely developed leaving the plot to be driven almost entirely as gentle farce.
Surprisingly nuanced chamber piece marred only by the choice of stodgy film stock.
A pleasant mess with two or three plot threads meandering around, none of which come to anything. The making of Psycho is undercooked, the private life of Mrs Hitch, speculative and the Ed Gein insertions utterly superfluous. It's played with gusto and pads along amiably enough, but feels more like five snatched minutes with Hitchcock rather than getting under his (prosthetic) skin.
A modest exercise in restraint and stoicism in the face of largely buttoned-up emotions. Most of the psychological ramifications are muted, but the playing of Johnson and Leighton remains crisp and nuanced. It lacks the focused charge of the earlier Brief Encounter, but is a decent enough nugget that avoids histrionics and ends on a pleasingly dour and tragic finale.
A stolid sister to Went The Day Well? with the expected thick-ear violence uncercut by the genteel locale. How fortunate Michael Caine's Nazi character was educated in England...
An odd, if not entirely unexpected, marriage of biographical streams (could a modern studio have devoted time entirely to the latter named titular protagonist?) Pleasant as best - an undemanding soak - but revealing little about either character apart from the film-maker's apparent need to frame recent history with a modern device thus splittting the affair into two unsatisfactory halves.
Competent but generally dull plod through homogenised suffering and Disney-esque squalor (Oliver! did it so much better). It adds nothing to a musical whose songs tend to underline an already expressed emotion rather than propelling the narrative.
Sweet, if inconsequential, frivol with a cod nod to Michel Legrand. Chiefly for topographical fans of Hampstead.
A bouncy, if rather timid, evocation of the distant, recent past. All plaid shirts and glistening pecs, it looks nice if not revealing a great deal contextually as well as physically.
A gentle steamrolling of a moderate Marple mystery into an unsuitably glossy and ultimately pallid affair with the casting of stolid Hollywood lumps of wood and signposted camp spats which would be developed further in Evil Under the Sun. Neither approach works nor suits the altogether quieter English locale.
Fellini in a minor key with about half a dozen approaches to the theme of clowning. More hits than misses but not one I'll be returning to in any hurry. The mélange of Rota scores is about as useful a summary of his body of work as you're likely to get.
Essentially mutual masturbation for director and lead actress and to that end an indulgent, if competently assembled, affair to forget.
A gentle and rather elegiac meander around Russell's own former boarding house. It leads nowhere in particular, apart from up to the attic, but has a oddly beguiling blend of realism and fantasia that would mark out much of Russell's later television work.