HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
   
 
  Half a Sixpence Different Class
Year: 1967
Director: George Sidney
Stars: Tommy Steele, Julia Foster, Cyril Ritchard, Penelope Horner, Elaine Taylor, Grover Dale, Hilton Edwards, Julia Sutton, Leslie Meadows, Sheila Falconer, Pamela Brown, James Villiers, Christopher Sandford, Jean Anderson, Allan Cuthbertson, James Bolam
Genre: MusicalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Arthur Kipps (Tommy Steele) was a boy, he was orphaned at an early age and was forced to leave school to go to work as an apprentice draper. The main reason he did not wish to leave his old village was that he was abandoning his childhood sweetheart Ann, but she told him she would keep in touch through their letters, and gave him a kiss on the cheek before he was escorted all the way to the clothes shop of the strict and overbearing Mr Shalford (Hilton Edwards). Ten years went by and Arthur was still working there with his fellow assistants, people he had grown up with, but what had happened to Ann (Julia Foster)?

This class-obsessed musical was based on the book Kipps by H.G. Wells, and had already been filmed straight in 1941 with Michael Redgrave, although this was probably the most famous version which stuck pretty closely to the story, the production numbers apart. This is something of a problem that would not be so apparent in its long-running stage incarnation, as on film it becomes apparent that few of the songs do much to further the plot, and many seem to be there for the sake of filling up the far too substantial running time. Not that this is a bad thing, it's simply that the filmmakers make a meal of what might have been better as a lower-key story.

So if you don't mind setting apart two and a half hours to indulge yourself in a musical that is not quite top tier, not on Oliver! level at any rate if you're talking about British musicals, then what is there to hold the attention? Well, there's always the perfectly cast Tommy Steele, finding his niche as a song and dance man after his spell at the top of the U.K. rock 'n' rollers tree in the previous decade. He seems to be grinning even when something miserable is happening to Arthur, such is the wattage of that toothy beam, but his working class pluck and vigour come across as the ideal personality for what in other hands could have been a long slog through some increasingly elephantine setpieces.

When Arthur does meet up with Ann again after ten years apart, their youthful romance is sparked once more and he gives her half of the sixpence she gave him that decade ago as a token of his love, but there will be obstacles in the way to their happiness. First up, their second date has to be postponed because Mr Shalford orders Arthur to attend a woodwork class to please a client, but he barely makes it as he is waylaid by a flamboyant actor, Harry Chitterlow (Cyril Ritchard, alas not offering any musings over roulette), who will become important for the ending but as it is looks like another excuse for a tune when he takes Arthur to his theatre. Anyway, the daughter of the wealthy client is Helen (Penelope Horner), and he misguidedly falls for her.

This is all about waking the main character up to the fact that he cannot escape his standing in life, so when he inherits a fortune from his long lost relative it is not the cause for celebration he would have thought as he loses his friends, Ann and his dignity in his pursuit of Helen. She is a snooty type so it appears that Arthur is interested in her mainly because she is something he feels he should be aspiring to, and anyone could have told him leaving the more sincere Ann in the dust (or the rain, in this case) was a bad idea. If this does not move quite as much as it should, it might be down to Steele not coming across as the kind of person who would tolerate an unhappy finale for one of his tales, and perhaps also because the whole thing is somewhat exhausting, but it is worth watching at least for the most celebrated number, "Flash Bang Wallop! What a Picture!", cannily placed to wake us up when we're two hours in and all too aware of it.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3653 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: