Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 47
  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    In the autumn of 1948, Sir Alexander Korda’s London Films released two big Box Office hits in the shape of Carol Reed’s The Fallen Idol, and Anthony Asquith’s The Winslow Boy. Asquith’s film was based on the play of the same title by Terence Rattigan, which in turn was based on the real life 1908 case of 13 years old George Archer Shee, a cadet at the Royal Naval College, Osborne, who was accused of stealing a five shillings Postal Order from a fellow cadet and, after a brief hearing, was dismissed from the college. His father, Martin Archer Shee, believed in his son’s innocence and set out to prove it by engaging for his son’s defence Sir Edward Carson, the leading King’s Counsel of the day.

    At first the government would not allow the case to go to court, claiming that it would set a dangerous precedent to allow a commoner to sue the King, but after a long fight, during which the case captured the attention of the press, they eventually relented and, after a four day trial, the boy was acquitted of the charge and his father compensated. Tragically, George Archer Shee was killed in action during the First World War at the first battle of Ypres in 1914 at the age of 19.

    Asquith’s film, as with Rattigan’s play, kept all the main ingredients of the story, the main exception being the change of the family name to Winslow, with George becoming Ronnie and the name of Sir Edward Carson changed to Sir Robert Morton (superbly played by Robert Donat). There were exemplary performances also from Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Mr Winslow; Marie Lohr as Mrs Winslow; Neil North as Ronnie Winslow and Margaret Leighton as Ronnie’s older sister, Catherine. Mr Winslow, in a supreme effort to clear his son’s name, uses every penny he has and the end of the film sees him victorious, but flat broke and in poor health, waiting for the compensation to come through. As well as being superbly directed and photographed, this film is definitely an actor’s piece and the actors and actresses in it really do justice to the superb script. One particular scene is superbly acted. Sir Robert Morton, visiting the Winslow’s house before he decides to take the case, cross examines Ronnie in front of the boy’s family in such a bullying and verbally violent way that the boy, protesting his innocence, breaks down in tears and sobs in his mother’s arms. It is at this point that Sir Robert tells them that the boy is clearly innocent and that he accepts the brief. Neil North is simply wonderful in this scene, a scene that is truly stunning and, in the parlance of the publicists, sets the screen ablaze.

    Anthony Asquith was the son of Herbert Asquith, who was Prime Minister at the time of the George Archer Shee trial. So he had a personal interest in the film version.















    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 12-02-15 at 06:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    BELOW: The real Winslow boy, George Archer Shee with his father and two scenes from the 1948 film,
    with Walter Fitzgerald; Robert Donat; Neil North and Kathleen Harrison.




  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England Johnallan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    577
    Liked
    17 times
    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    One particular scene is superbly acted. Sir Robert Morton, visiting the Winslow’s house before he decides to take the case, cross examines Ronnie in front of the boy’s family in such a bullying and verbally violent way that the boy, protesting his innocence, breaks down in tears and sobs in his mother’s arms. It is at this point that Sir Robert tells them that the boy is clearly innocent and that he accepts the brief. Neil North is simply wonderful in this scene, a scene that is truly stunning and, in the parlance of the publicists, sets the screen ablaze.
    I absolutely agree that this is an excellent film and the scene you mention above is superb. I've not seen it on television for many years and I've never seen an official release but I remember particularly the rigorous way Robert Donat tests the boy's veracity. Wonderful stuff.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    Thanks, John. Someone has uploaded the famous scene on YouTube, but I haven't provided a link to it because they cut the scene short and the part where Robert Donat looks at the sobbing Neil North and says "The boy is clearly innocent...I accept the brief" is missing, which makes it look as though Neil is guilty.

    It certainly runs rings around the same scene in the 1999 remake, in which Jeremy Northam as Sir Robert and Guy Edwards as Ronnie play the scene with an absolute lack of any passion whatsoever, as if they are phoning in their performances and Guy Edwards is clearly out of his depth playing a such a crucial scene that is clearly beyond his range as an actor. The whole scene comes off as quite dreadful and makes one wonder why on earth they bothered to film such a poor remake. All it has that the original hasn�t got is colour and somewhat palid colour at that.

    By the way, the 1948 version is available on Region 2 DVD and it's an excellent transfer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: England Johnallan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    577
    Liked
    17 times
    Thanks for the DVD tip - I intend to track it down.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    Here's the DVD cover from Studio Canal, John.


  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    415
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnallan View Post
    I absolutely agree that this is an excellent film and the scene you mention above is superb. I've not seen it on television for many years and I've never seen an official release but I remember particularly the rigorous way Robert Donat tests the boy's veracity. Wonderful stuff.
    I agree that this is a wonderful scene. I also think that Neil North's performance is more recognizable as a child's response to badgering, than the nineties remake's. (I consider myself an expert, having taught for 25 years.)
    On the other hand, I consider Margaret Leighton a bad choice for Catherine(?). Leighton was much too elegant by nature and fashion, and excessively made up. By text, she's supposed to be something of a crusader. Maybe not militant, as she says, but she talks independently/suffragist. She certainly doesn't look it. Mamet's girl looks the part, and portrays her more accurately, I think. Both Hardwicke and Hawthorne are equally good. I also see the Mamet version as paying much greater attention to detail, as to the diminishing resources of the household. And though I love Kathleen Harrison as the Sim Scrooge's char, she's a bit over the top in this role.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    I don't think Catherine in the 1948 version looked much like the type of suffragette who would have screamed "Votes for women!", or chained herself to railings; thrown bricks through windows or thrown herself under the king's horse. She was more than likely giving moral, not physical support to the cause. But I think you're right, Deb, about Kathleen Harrison's performance being a bit over the top (I presume you're referring to the scene near the end where she relates to the family what went on in court).

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    5,207
    Liked
    44 times
    Don't forget the late 80s TV version with Ian Richardson as Sir Robert and Gordon Jackson as Arthur Winslow. It was the first time I'd seen the play and the other versions didn't have the same impact for me. IIRC Emma Thompson played the daughter.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    I've never seen that version, Windthrop. I will try to track it down to see how it compares to the other versions.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    An original 8 x 10 glossy black and white press still of Margaret Leighton and Neil North as Catherine and Ronnie Winslow.


  12. #12
    Junior Member Country: Great Britain
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3
    Liked
    0 times
    Marvellous pictures with this thread. Thank you to the uploader.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Stylus View Post
    Marvellous pictures with this thread. Thank you to the uploader.
    Another three on the way, Stylus, which I will upload as soon as they arrive from a specialist dealer in America. It's a shame that I've got to send all the way to America for British stills from vintage British films, but there's nowhere in this country that sells them. I expect that they were all junked years ago by the 'throw everything in the skip' brigade who had no idea of the historical value of such things and to whom they were just old photographs.

    For more high quality vintage press stills from British films, see the threads on The Fallen Idol; Hunted and Sammy Going South in the 'Your Favourite British Films' section.
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 24-02-15 at 09:13 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    The latest vintage 8 x 10 glossy press still from The Winslow Boy to be added to my collection shows Ronnie Winslow (Neil North)
    being interrogated by Sir Robert Morton (Robert Donat) in the living room of the Winslow home.


  15. #15
    Member Country: United States Jennythenipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    52
    Liked
    0 times
    Oh I love the Winslow Boy. I love the 90s remake as well. I was convinced that Jeremy Northam was Robert Donat's doppleganger, BEFORE I realized they'd both played Sir Robert. I recently bought the DVD. Such an improvement over the old bootleg I had. Now if they will just release The Young Mr. Pitt and Lease of Life, I will be a happy RD fan.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: England Johnallan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    577
    Liked
    17 times
    Lease Of Life can be found on the Ealing Studios Rarities Collection (The): Volume 11 - see link below:

    http://networkonair.com/shop/1854-ea...626398743.html

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10,453
    Liked
    182 times
    Inevitably "lost" as it was a BBC tv production, Peter Cushing played Sir Robert Morton in THE WINSLOW BOY broadcast on 13th March 1958. I can well imagine the fastidious Cushing in the role. John Robinson played Arthur Winslow and Richard Palmer was Ronnie. Rudolph Cartier was the producer/director.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6,020
    Liked
    98 times
    Although any telerecording of it would have been junked, there's a very slight chance that some viewer or Peter Cushing fan just may have made an audio recording of it on a reel to reel tape recorder at the time of its transmission. There were no video recorders that far back. If so, let's hope it may somehow have survived. I'm sure Peter Cushing would have played Sir Robert Morton with his usual excellence. I wonder if publicity stills of it survived, the kind of thing they would have used in Radio Times at the time.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10,453
    Liked
    182 times
    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    Although any telerecording of it would have been junked, there's a very slight chance that some viewer or Peter Cushing fan just may have made an audio recording of it on a reel to reel tape recorder at the time of its transmission. There were no video recorders that far back. If so, let's hope it may somehow have survived. I'm sure Peter Cushing would have played Sir Robert Morton with his usual excellence. I wonder if publicity stills of it survived, the kind of thing they would have used in Radio Times at the time.
    I think I may have a picture or two from the production. I'll try and look them out later.

  20. #20
    Member Country: United States Jennythenipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    52
    Liked
    0 times
    Thanks Johnallan! I'll add that to my wish list.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. The Winslow Boy touring production
    By dpgmel in forum Off-Topic Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 18-04-09, 08:48 AM
  2. The Winslow Boy
    By CaptainWaggett in forum Latest DVD Releases
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 25-03-09, 01:12 AM
  3. The Winslow Boy 1948
    By A Pemberton in forum Films on TV
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 30-12-08, 06:44 PM
  4. Man on the Run 1948
    By CALF28 in forum Looking for a Video/DVD (Film)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-04-07, 12:41 PM
  5. Neil North, Star of 'The Winslow Boy' R.I.P.
    By julian_craster in forum Obituaries
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 29-03-07, 09:07 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts