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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    It seems that Associated British weren’t sure what to do with Hand in Hand after it had been filmed as The Star and The Cross in 1960, because, although it was a children’s film and had been beautifully directed by Philip Leacock, who had given us The Kidnappers and The Spanish Gardener, it wasn’t exactly your usual kids picture, being, as it was, about religious intolerance between those of the Catholic and Jewish faiths. So they left it on the shelf for three years before changing the title to Hand in Hand and slipping it out on an ABC circuit release as the support to the Tony Hancock comedy The Punch and Judy Man and, after that initial release, it seems to have sunk without trace...although I did show it as a children’s Saturday matinee film at the Plaza, Fenton, in September, 1969 and the young audience adored it. That was the last time I saw it until Network released a beautifully restored version of it on DVD in recent times.

    Two seven and a half years old children, Rachel and Michael (beautifully played by nine year olds Loretta Parry and Philip Needs), fall in love at school and become inseparable. Their relationship is frowned upon by their respective families because Rachel is Jewish and Michael is a Roman Catholic. Worried by this, Rachel and Michael decide that the best thing to do to see if God approves of their friendship is to visit each other’s places of worship during the respective services and, if God strikes them dead, they’ll know that he didn’t approve. So Michael, feeling and looking like a fish out of water, goes to the synagogue to observe what to him is a very strange service and Rachel does likewise at Michael’s church. They get some very strange looks from the different congregations, but, as God didn’t strike them dead, they decide that he approves of their friendship. These scenes are beautifully done and a memorable scene occurs when Philip, on entering the synagogue, takes off his schoolboy cap as a mark of respect as he would do in his own church. One of the congregation is so incensed by this that he snatches the cap from Michael’s hand and rams it firmly back on the boy’s head. He finds himself taking part in the service simply by copying what the others do. When Rachel’s parents decide to move away from the area and it seems that the two sweethearts will not be able to see each other again, they decide to run away together, a decision that nearly ends in tragedy. Beautifully acted; directed; photographed and scored, this is an excellent film that won many international awards and deserves to be revisited. Below are scans from the
    ABC Film Review magazines for August, 1960 and April, 1963, and a link to an edited version of the trailer and stills from the film.







    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbPqqR_AYig







  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    The last snap looks like Ridge Hill, between South Mimms and London Colney, there used to be a Pub there called the Waggon and Horses, demolished to build the M25 motorway.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I'll take your word for it, Mark. There is a lot of location filming in the picture, including street scenes with London Transport buses.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    I'll take your word for it, Mark. There is a lot of location filming in the picture, including street scenes with London Transport buses.

    Cheers, I like these 50's/60's britmovies when they go on location, to compare then and now, a lot of these type of films are being shown on the Talking pictures channel, this one looks a good one, though some are pretty awful.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    The Network DVD, released last year, is an excellent transfer with a nice clear image and is 16 x 9 enhanced. So the location scenes look like they were filmed recently picture wise, instead of over 55 years ago. I've no idea what town it was filmed in though. Perhaps somewhere in north London, which would then have covered Hertfordshire and Middlesex.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    The Network DVD, released last year, is an excellent transfer with a nice clear image and is 16 x 9 enhanced. So the location scenes look like they were filmed recently picture wise, instead of over 55 years ago. I've no idea what town it was filmed in though. Perhaps somewhere in north London, which would then have covered Hertfordshire and Middlesex.

    Now on my order list David, reminds me a bit of 'John and Julie', another with many outdoor locations, I take an interest in the Elstree made as I still have family living in South Mimms, going there for Christmas.

    On a separate note, the opening scene of 'The Scamp' is exactly the same as 'Mutiny on the Buses', zooming in on the tower block in Borehamwood, sometimes seen in Eastenders, not that I watch it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Prices for the Hand in Hand DVD start at �4:62 for new copies on amazon uk market place, Mark.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hand-DVD-Joh...ct_top?ie=UTF8

    THE NETWORK REGION 2 DVD. This is a beautifully restored transfer of the film with excellent image and sound quality and is enhanced for 16 x 9 computers and televisions. Extras include a chapter selection; a gallery, oddly composed only of American publicity material (maybe Network couldn’t get hold of an original set of British Front-of-House stills for it) and the original 2 minutes and 35 seconds theatrical trailer. This runs longer than the trailer on amazon uk and on the Network and YouTube sites, as it had to be cut to fit into a two minutes time slot. So the full trailer is only available on the DVD.
    Last edited by darrenburnfan; 20-10-15 at 08:56 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK Joe Fraguela's Avatar
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    From my film poster collection here is the quad poster for Hand in Hand

    [IMG][/IMG]

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    A fantastic quad, Joe. Thanks for uploading it. I reckon there's hardly any British quad you haven't got and you've obviously got more than Network, as they couldn't find one for the gallery on their DVD, not even a British Front-of-House still. Just a few American lobby cards, garishly coloured in by hand.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK SilverTyne's Avatar
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    It really is a super film. I saw it as a child and the synagogue scene really left an impression on me. I'd forgotten the name of it but good old internet helped out [before I was here!] and I managed to get hold of a US copy on amazon a few years ago.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, the synagogue scenes were very impressive. I found that I could identify with Michael's 'like a fish out of water' feelings, because I've never been in one and I'm sure I would have felt like and reacted in the same way as him. Neither of us would have understood what it was all about and that goes for Rachel's visit to the Roman Catholic church, too. In fact, I could understand how they both felt because I am neither a Roman Catholic or Jewish, so both services would have seemed very strange to me. In fact, I have no religion myself, having not been brought up to go to any church or Sunday school and having no religious affiliation. The nearest thing I got to churchgoing was morning assembly at school, which, devoid as it was of any religious trappings such as priests in strange garments, was more of a Methodist service than a Church of England one. But, because I had a very unhappy school life, I don't go to church because the singing hymns and praying reminds me of school assembly. In fact, as I am not a member of any church, I have left explicit instructions that when I die, I want no church service for my funeral, simply because I belonged to none of them in life and I don't want to be hypocritical. Religious bowing and scraping is something you have to be born into, like Michael and Rachel obviously were and if you're not born into it and no one takes any interest in you and explains to you what organised religion is all about, you just never become part of it. I was actually Christened in a Methodist church in Stockport in June, 1947. But, as I was only two months old at the time, I have no memory of it and it has never meant anything to me. I'm sure, though, that reading that, some people will think 'What a shame'.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    Yes, the synagogue scenes were very impressive. I found that I could identify with Michael's 'like a fish out of water' feelings, because I've never been in one and I'm sure I would have felt like and reacted in the same way as him. Neither of us would have understood what it was all about and that goes for Rachel's visit to the Roman Catholic church, too. In fact, I could understand how they both felt because I am neither a Roman Catholic or Jewish, so both services would have seemed very strange to me. In fact, I have no religion myself, having not been brought up to go to any church or Sunday school and having no religious affiliation. The nearest thing I got to churchgoing was morning assembly at school, which, devoid as it was of any religious trappings such as priests in strange garments, was more of a Methodist service than a Church of England one. But, because I had a very unhappy school life, I don't go to church because the singing hymns and praying reminds me of school assembly. In fact, as I am not a member of any church, I have left explicit instructions that when I die, I want no church service for my funeral, simply because I belonged to none of them in life and I don't want to be hypocritical. Religious bowing and scraping is something you have to be born into, like Michael and Rachel obviously were and if you're not born into it and no one takes any interest in you and explains to you what organised religion is all about, you just never become part of it. I was actually Christened in a Methodist church in Stockport in June, 1947. But, as I was only two months old at the time, I have no memory of it and it has never meant anything to me. I'm sure, though, that reading that, some people will think 'What a shame'.
    Not at all David, my School years were absolute hell as well, because of it I was verbally abusive and had 'I wish I was never born' temper tantrums towards my relatively elderly parents, I knew all the basics like reading and writing before I even started School, so it was all a complete and utter waste of time going to School, funnily enough on my town facebook page a question was asked recently about who was your favourite teacher and why, I replied I couldn't care less if any former teacher or fellow pupil is alive or dead, and I meant it.

    As for religion I was baptised in a Catholic Church, the one my parents married in (which was burnt down by a mentally disturbed woman in 1974), and my parents used to go on sunday mornings back in the day, but they gave up trying to coax me to go, but I like visiting impressive Cathedrals in this day and age, whatever a persons beliefs are is no problem to me.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I reckon I'm more of a spiritual person than an organised religion person, Mark. In fact, thirteen years ago, a neighbour persuaded me to go with him to a Spiritualist church and I found the demonstrations of mediumship very interesting. But I stopped going when I found out that I was expected to sing hymns and pray as well. I explained to them the reason why I couldn't go anymore, my traumatic school life and all that, but they didn't understand and I suppose they regarded the fact that I wasn't going again as an insult.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    I reckon I'm more of a spiritual person than an organised religion person, Mark. In fact, thirteen years ago, a neighbour persuaded me to go with him to a Spiritualist church and I found the demonstrations of mediumship very interesting. But I stopped going when I found out that I was expected to sing hymns and pray as well. I explained to them the reason why I couldn't go anymore, my traumatic school life and all that, but they didn't understand and I suppose they regarded the fact that I wasn't going again as an insult.


    You're better of without them, I used to have Jehovah's knocking at the door now and again (not any more, I've a sign in place), I really can't be doing with their stance on not accepting blood transfusions, technology is there to be embraced, I was never rude, I just said I'm not interested, and they left me a leaflet with a pretty picture of animals and children in paradise (their sort of one), men of the cloth should stay out of politics as well, where I am in the election it was a 'target' seat for UKIP, afterwards the Vicar of the Anglican Church said people must be 'educated' if they voted for UKIP during his sermons (I didn't I might add !), it caused a storm in the local community and made the evening paper.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I remember two Jehovah's Witnesses coming to my door in 1972 and telling me that the world would definitely end in 1973. Armageddon, they called it. Well, I wonder if (assuming they're still with us) they've noticed that 1973 is now 42 years ago and the world still hasn't ended.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan View Post
    I remember two Jehovah's Witnesses coming to my door in 1972 and telling me that the world would definitely end in 1973. Armageddon, they called it. Well, I wonder if (assuming they're still with us) they've noticed that 1973 is now 42 years ago and the world still hasn't ended.

    Lol, and wasn't the world supposed to end in 2012 as well ?!!..

    All those 'predictions' are just a load of old tosh, there's probably a few more on the way, ho hum...

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I remember 1973 very well and I'm sure I would have noticed at the time if the world had ended.

  20. #20
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark O View Post
    You're better of without them, I used to have Jehovah's knocking at the door now and again
    They once knocked on my door and started with the usual "Isn't it terrible that there's so much evil in the world" to which I responded "No, I'm quite glad about it"

    They ran off down the path thinking that they'd found a son of Satan

    Had they given me a chance I would have expanded on that comment saying that without the evil in the world you can't tell how good the good stuff is

    Steve

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