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  1. #1
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    Posted this on IMDb and got a total of 1 response on the Classics Board there



    The end or the beginning?







    Britain, World War II.



    A symphony conductor who has a few months to live.



    A war profiteer.



    A husband and wife coming to the end of their marriage, their daughter desperate to keep them together.



    An elderly couple conflicted over the death of their son in the line of duty.



    All of them wind up together at the Halfway House, a beautiful, yet strange Welsh country inn. Their hosts are Rhys and Gwyneth, the place appears to be stuck in a time warp, all the visitors here are here for a reason, a reason that will changed all their respective lives for ever.



    Based on the Denis Ogden play, The Halfway House is brought to us from the wonderful Ealing Studios, it is, all things considered, an under seen gem from that particular Studio. There really is no great surprises as regards how the film unfolds, the makers, by way of Mervyn Johns first appearance, are not trying to bluff the viewer in any way, this is a halfway house after all!!!!. What drives the picture on is the unflinching stubbornness of the characters, despite the overwhelming evidence available to them, they all refuse to accept the mysterious hammer hitting them over the head. This makes the film a highly enjoyable piece, the mixture of comedy and mystery going hand in hand with it's fantasy led core, come the final reel the viewers should be in a state of warmth because in my honest opinion the film has undoubtedly done its job.



    It's one of those films that wouldn't be out of place on Rod Serling's Twilight Zone show that aired some 15 years later, so enjoy the fantasy and the mystery unfolding, The Halfway House is a lovely little picture. 8/10




  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    I think it's a fabulous film; a roll-call of the first-rate British (And French) character actors of the day. And I still haven't worked out how they got Glynis across the lawn without casting a shadow.....

  3. #3
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Yes, this is terribly underrated and IMHO is on a par with the far more widely known Dead of Night

  4. #4
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold
    I think it's a fabulous film; a roll-call of the first-rate British (And French) character actors of the day. And I still haven't worked out how they got Glynis across the lawn without casting a shadow.....
    It was very cleverly done wasn't it



    It's also the only time she worked on film with her Dad



    Steve

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    This is one of my favorite films; it is a modest and under-rated small-scale drama that mixes fantasy and mystery. I found that this was an Ealing production. I didn't realize they produced films of this type. The cast is excellent: Mervyn Johns and daughter Glynis; Sally Ann Howes, Francoise Rosay, Valerie White, Tom Walls (unknown to me elsewhere and very good) and Esmond Knight.

    Mervyn and Glynis Johns play inkeepers at a Welsh inn; the others are guests who are brought together for various reasons.

    I don't want to play it up too much because it is a modest film, but I think it is definitely worth seeing. I don't know how well known it is in Britain. It is almost unheard of here. I gew up hearing about it because my mother had seen it as a girl and never forgot it. When videos became available she waited until it was on, and taped it.

    It is one of the very few films that succeed in capturing a numinous atmosphere, and it is done very simply; the drama is kept at a low key. That and the cast make it memorable.

    I think Esmond Knight's career and character are fascinating; he was an admirable man. This is the best and largest role I have seen him in.
    Last edited by TimR; 24-01-11 at 07:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Scandalous that this fine film has never had an official release on either VHS or dvd, even though most of the Ealing catalogue has now been released by Optimum. One hopes that this might be rectified in 2011, but why do distributors give this one the thumbs down?

    MrT

  7. #7
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Could there be rights issues stopping it's long overdue release ?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    It's a film that never quite seems to achieve its goal, falling between slushy sentimental drama and supernatural moralistic tale, when Ealing we're probably hoping to recreate the success of Dead of Night. Still, it does possess a certain charm and is far superior to They Came to a City.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DB7 View Post
    It's a film that never quite seems to achieve its goal, falling between slushy sentimental drama and supernatural moralistic tale, when Ealing we're probably hoping to recreate the success of Dead of Night. Still, it does possess a certain charm and is far superior to They Came to a City.
    Doesn't take a lot to be better than They Came To A City.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpgmel View Post
    Doesn't take a lot to be better than They Came To A City.
    Even with John Clements' completely convincing turn as a Cockernee sailor?

  11. #11
    Senior Member dpgmel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett View Post
    Even with John Clements' completely convincing turn as a Cockernee sailor?
    That's the best thing about the film....

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    I've been waiting for a DVD release for this one. Not seen it in over thirty years.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England phil's Avatar
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    Amazon has it due out in June.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Play.com is also listing it for release on June 13th

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England Santonix's Avatar
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    At last! I've been waiting for this to be released, on DVD for a long time. I hope it's been taken from a good print.

  16. #16
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    There's a sale here. :)

  17. #17

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK Windyridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    It's also the only time she worked on film with her Dad Steve
    Actually, they both also appeared in The Sundowners. I seem to remember, somewhat creepily for father and daughter, he played an ex suitor or would be suitor.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: England Elaine's Avatar
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    I have just posted about this film, Halfway House, on what I watched last night. I hadn't heard of it before I bought it, but it turned out to be a very unusual, and a very good film. It was a beautiful clear print.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Dean Williams's Avatar
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    It's a great film! I rewatched it about a month ago along with Dead of Night. Although Dead of Night is better made I slightly prefer The Halfway House myself as the slightly better story.

    Tom Walls, Guy Middleton and Alfred Drayton, usually in comedies, aren't too comedic to spoil the tone of this one whereas Radford & Wayne's comedy golfing section in Dead of Night, although amusing, rather spoils the mood and atmosphere of that film and would have been better suited to a different film.

    And, of course, The Halfway House has the lovely Glynnis Johns!

    But both are excellent films.
    Last edited by Dean Williams; 01-03-12 at 10:01 PM.

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