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  1. #41
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    It is a great favorite with my wife, sister and mother - and I watched it with all three of them. (This was definitely not the case with Colonel Blimp or Tales of Hoffman)

    I kept asking questions about the hallucinations and the details and eventually my wife said: "Stop analyzing and just watch!" and my sister nodded and then shook her head in disgust.



    In other words: Shut up Tim
    I like your wife and your sister

    I've often said a similar thing to Ian Christie and other professors of film history and similar things. Sometimes you have to stop analysing everything and just sit back and enjoy it.



    Especially with a film like this where it hit me at various emotional levels before I started trying to find out everything about it.



    I know, love and admire just about every frame of it. But even now that I do know so much about it, I can still just sit back and admire it as a total experience. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry.



    Steve

  2. #42
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    I like your wife and your sister




    Point taken.



    I've often said a similar thing to Ian Christie and other professors of film history and similar things. Sometimes you have to stop analysing everything and just sit back and enjoy it.
    Yes - I will work on that at the next viewing. Also, I will watch it alone, because use of the remote is forbidden when they are watching AMOLAD - and also I Know Where I'm Going, which is even more sacred. It's my mother's favorite film.



    Of course I'm the same way about A Canterbury Tale and Colonel Blimp.



    The three P&P films that I really love all threw curve balls at me. They knocked me off balance, and I liked that - I was impressed by their mastery of the art. I didn't know what to expect, and had no time to split off and analyze because the structure of the films were so unusual. I didn't see the pitch coming. By the time the ball hit, I was already caught up in the films.



    A Matter of Life and Death and I Know Where I'm Going were both straight pitches: more conventional; AMOLAD reminded me slightly of the 40s Hollywood fantasies at the beginning. The tone changed quickly, of course, but it was enough for me to start the "Why" and "What" questions.



    Also, oddly enough, the presence of David Niven made the film seem far less unusual and far more accessible: for an American who grew up watching British war films and epics - and even American war films - Niven was one of the most familiar faces and voices.



    I think it's just about impossible to dislike him, and he is well suited to the role here. But in the other P&P films, almost everyone was new to me - or, as in the case of Deborah Kerr, familiar people seemed quite different from I was used to. Niven is always Niven.



    Especially with a film like this where it hit me at various emotional levels before I started trying to find out everything about it.



    I know, love and admire just about every frame of it. But even now that I do know so much about it, I can still just sit back and admire it as a total experience. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry.
    Wonderful enthusiasm.



    Well, I will return to the film well prepped.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Remember as well the famous scene where Conductor 71 first comes to see Peter and as he moves from the monochrome "other place" to the brightly coloured Earth he says "Ah, one is starved of Technicolor, up there"

    Steve


    Do you know what , if I could microcosm this film into one part of what it meant to me, it would be in that phrase.



    Simon

  4. #44
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Do you know what , if I could microcosm this film into one part of what it meant to me, it would be in that phrase.

    Simon
    And I presume you all know that it was dubbed after shooting. If you watch his lips then he says "One is starved of colour, up there" but they dubbed it to have him say "Technicolor" because it's a better gag. Even though it does throw his mouth out of synch with the words for the rest of that sentence. But he's turning away and partly obscured by the bushes so it's not very noticeable. And then he still has his back to the camera when he delivers his next line "What a night, for love"



    But that line does still always get a laugh from an audience



    Steve

  5. #45
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    .. but you have to remember it's June who saves Peter - June is the powerful player in this story - the American saving the Brit from destruction and the Brit is so worth saving because he is so beautiful - the uncommon person - then there's the end when June says ..

    "We Won! "

    Yes their love has won together, together they will stay.

    Analogies are at play all the time in this film.
    I meant to comment on this one earlier. Yes, it is June who proves to be the strongest one at the end. Although one of my few complaints about the film is that June seems to be quite weak and submissive all the way through the film up to then. She can't play chess, she didn't know Peter was a poet, she hasn't though much about life after death. She's a good nursemaid and is obviously devoted to Peter but sometimes it seems that all she does is gaze adoringly at him.



    Now bear in mind that this was the same team that gave us superb strong and interesting women like Catriona (and Joan) in IKWIG and Edith, Barbara & Johnny in Blimp. Even as far back as The Spy in Black and Contraband you have Valerie Hobson playing very strong characters. So it does seem that June doesn't really do enough - until the end. "Goodbye darling"



    Steve

  6. #46
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    Although one of my few complaints about the film is that June seems to be quite weak and submissive all the way through the film up to then. She can't play chess, she didn't know Peter was a poet, she hasn't though much about life after death. She's a good nursemaid and is obviously devoted to Peter but sometimes it seems that all she does is gaze adoringly at him.



    Steve
    Should it be a complaint, when we think of how Churchill had to court the American interest by going over to their own country and influencing them into why they should join us in the struggle against the enemy?



    Simon

  7. #47
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Should it be a complaint, when we think of how Churchill had to court the American interest by going over to their own country and influencing them into why they should join us in the struggle against the enemy?

    Simon
    No, surely they joined in because they saw 49th Parallel and that told them that being on the other side of an ocean was no protection against the Nazi menace



    Steve

  8. #48
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    I meant to comment on this one earlier. Yes, it is June who proves to be the strongest one at the end. Although one of my few complaints about the film is that June seems to be quite weak and submissive all the way through the film up to then. She can't play chess, she didn't know Peter was a poet, she hasn't though much about life after death. She's a good nursemaid and is obviously devoted to Peter but sometimes it seems that all she does is gaze adoringly at him.



    Now bear in mind that this was the same team that gave us superb strong and interesting women like Catriona (and Joan) in IKWIG and Edith, Barbara & Johnny in Blimp. Even as far back as The Spy in Black and Contraband you have Valerie Hobson playing very strong characters. So it does seem that June doesn't really do enough - until the end. "Goodbye darling"



    Steve


    Catriona has stayed in her own home (a long way from any danger spots) and lived much the same life as before the war. June has travelled to a different continent (presumably voluntarily - were American women called up to the air force?) to do a demanding and distressing job and she's made friends with the locals. I don't see that as weak and submissive. She seems to be playing a much larger part in the war effort than either Catriona or Joan (is Joan giving up her job to get married?). We don't know whether either of them can play chess (is that an important signifier of feminism?) and they don't seem the types to read poetry!

  9. #49
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    I really must watch that dvd I got free all those months ago
    Well, I finally got my tongue out of my cheek and watched it last night. These bloody Powell and Pressburger fellows made me cry again; they really are the limit you know. First Blimpish tears and now this; it's not very British is it; damnation.







    If it ever was on the telly back in the Sixties I'm pretty sure I remember the heaven scenes. I would have seen the whole thing in black and white, so wouldn't have *got* the Technicolour joke anyhow......



    Such a simple, lovely story. I can imagine the devil is in the detail however...



    Without in any way wishing to diminish it by dragging it into my own specialist interests, I couldn't help but reflect about some of the more imaginative writings about Patrick McGoohan and his writing of the Fall Out episode requiring mood-enhancing substances..................



    The only substance he needed was the celluloid clicking through the projector gate in the ninepenny seats of the Odeon in Sheffield, in about 1946.........



    ! You'll never get to heaven that way !

  10. #50
    Senior Member Country: Canada
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    Jeez, you guys have done it again.



    I was gob-smacked (a Canadian term meaning astounded) by this forum's passionate discussion of Col Blimp, and now I have found an equally energetic give-and-take on AMOLAD.



    Why is my world still in colour? I surely have ascended to a higher place, where eloquent arguments are made about another superb PnP movie.



    An early moment that set the tone in AMOLAD: when Niven stumbles onto the beach, a Labrador retriever runs to him, then away across the dunes. Believing he's dead and in the afterlife, Niven says, "I always hoped there'd be dogs!"



    A tiny scene, but it makes Niven's character even more likable, and causes us to really root for him as the story unfolds.

  11. #51
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Niven says, "I always hoped there'd be dogs!"

    A tiny scene,
    I must admit I had a moment of bafflement that the little goatherd boy had no pants on.................. but I decided not to dwell on it




  12. #52
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    I meant to comment on this one earlier. Yes, it is June who proves to be the strongest one at the end. Although one of my few complaints about the film is that June seems to be quite weak and submissive all the way through the film up to then. She can't play chess, she didn't know Peter was a poet, she hasn't though much about life after death. She's a good nursemaid and is obviously devoted to Peter but sometimes it seems that all she does is gaze adoringly at him.



    Now bear in mind that this was the same team that gave us superb strong and interesting women like Catriona (and Joan) in IKWIG and Edith, Barbara & Johnny in Blimp. Even as far back as The Spy in Black and Contraband you have Valerie Hobson playing very strong characters. So it does seem that June doesn't really do enough - until the end. "Goodbye darling"



    Steve
    Well, she does serve in the air force. That counts as doing something in my book...

  13. #53
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Catriona has stayed in her own home (a long way from any danger spots) and lived much the same life as before the war. June has travelled to a different continent (presumably voluntarily - were American women called up to the air force?) to do a demanding and distressing job and she's made friends with the locals. I don't see that as weak and submissive. She seems to be playing a much larger part in the war effort than either Catriona or Joan (is Joan giving up her job to get married?). We don't know whether either of them can play chess (is that an important signifier of feminism?) and they don't seem the types to read poetry!
    Well, she does serve in the air force. That counts as doing something in my book...
    I do like June, and she is played superbly by Kim Hunter. I just often get the feeling that they could have made even more of her character.



    There's hardly any mention of her having travelled so far or of the difficult job she does, talking to all those dying airmen struggling to get home. That she loses to Peter at chess is one of the few things we are told directly about her. As soon as she is told that Peter is a poet she just goes all google eyed again (and does it very well). There are various things that can be inferred about her, but we aren't told anywhere near as much about her as we are about Peter or Doc Reeves, or even about Abraham Farlan.



    But that is really a very minor criticism in what, for me, is otherwise the perfect film



    Steve

  14. #54
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    There's hardly any mention of her having travelled so far or of the difficult job she does, talking to all those dying airmen struggling to get home.
    And talking of dying airmen...


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv9K3rPBkPU


    From the Big Train sketch show. It's a wickedly funny spoof, but done with a lot of knowledge of the film, and I think, a lot of love for it



    Steve

  15. #55
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Jeez, you guys have done it again.

    I was gob-smacked (a Canadian term meaning astounded) by this forum's passionate discussion of Col Blimp, and now I have found an equally energetic give-and-take on AMOLAD.



    Why is my world still in colour? I surely have ascended to a higher place, where eloquent arguments are made about another superb PnP movie.



    An early moment that set the tone in AMOLAD: when Niven stumbles onto the beach, a Labrador retriever runs to him, then away across the dunes. Believing he's dead and in the afterlife, Niven says, "I always hoped there'd be dogs!"



    A tiny scene, but it makes Niven's character even more likable, and causes us to really root for him as the story unfolds.
    And when I went to visit the beach, Saunton Sands is a very nice beach, about 5 miles long, with very extensive sand dunes behind the beach. The dunes may well have changed quite a bit since they were filmed in the beach scene in AMOLAD but I took a lot of photos of all the fixed landmarks so that I can sit down with them & the film & try to get a clue as to where they did film from. I took a few "framing shots" in the hope that at least we'd be able to see where they were filming by seeing how far they were from each headland. As I was walking back along the beach towards the car park, I took another look at one section of the dunes that looked particularly hopeful. "But no," I thought, "it wouldn't be the same after 50 years." So as if to help convince me, what should happen but a black dog came running towards me!







    "Oh, I'd always hoped there would be dogs"



    Steve

  16. #56
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    I must admit I had a moment of bafflement that the little goatherd boy had no pants on.................. but I decided not to dwell on it

    It's best not to dwell on it ...

    The usual opinion is that it's meant to make Peter Carter think he's arrived at some sort of Elysian Fields - until the Mosquito flying overhead makes him realise that he's still on earth.



    That scene was cut from the initial American release. But no contemporary review that I can find has ever mentioned it. The boy retained his modesty, so it was treated as innocently as it was intended.



    Although if anyone can ever find out who that boy was...

    Nobody knows. He's not listed in the cast, nor in any of the papers lodged at the BFI library about the film, nor in Powell's private papers. It's a mystery



    Steve

  17. #57
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    I do like June, and she is played superbly by Kim Hunter. I just often get the feeling that they could have made even more of her character.

    There's hardly any mention of her having travelled so far or of the difficult job she does, talking to all those dying airmen struggling to get home. That she loses to Peter at chess is one of the few things we are told directly about her. As soon as she is told that Peter is a poet she just goes all google eyed again (and does it very well). There are various things that can be inferred about her, but we aren't told anywhere near as much about her as we are about Peter or Doc Reeves, or even about Abraham Farlan.



    But that is really a very minor criticism in what, for me, is otherwise the perfect film



    Steve
    It seems to me that June is not developed as a character because the romantic focus of the film is Peter. That was highly unusual then - to put a man as the romantic center - and it places June in the role of observer. The details of her life are not provided because they are not that interesting in that context. She is primarily a reflection of him.

  18. #58
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    The usual opinion is that it's meant to make Peter Carter think he's arrived at some sort of Elysian Fields

    Steve
    The Elysian fields where on in the western margins of the earth encircled by Oceanus. Oceanus was considered the ocean of the world - certainly sounds like Saunton Sands which is on the west coast of England surrounded by the Atlantic. Powell when he shoots that scene when Peter is walking in to the dunes makes sure the shot is very spectacular even dream-like the sea gets special attention, I very much like that part we are already being set up for something quite mystical.



    Simon

  19. #59
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    It seems to me that June is not developed as a character because the romantic focus of the film is Peter. That was highly unusual then - to put a man as the romantic center - and it places June in the role of observer. The details of her life are not provided because they are not that interesting in that context. She is primarily a reflection of him.
    .. but as mentioned before it is unlike a film by The Archers to have a subdued women they have given great onscreen presence to a number of ladies previously so I think it's been done for a reason and that was to make her even seem more powerful by the end the film but we do a get a precursor of her powerful character in the opening exchanges over the radio with Peter.



    I still see June a representing war-time America - at first it slept but by god when it was awoken there was hell to pay.



    It reminds me of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in the 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora! saying:

    "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."



    Simon

  20. #60
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    .. but as mentioned before it is unlike a film by The Archers to have a subdued women they have given great onscreen presence to a number of ladies previously so I think it's been done for a reason and that was to make her even seem more powerful by the end the film but we do a get a precursor of her powerful character in the opening exchanges over the radio with Peter.
    Yes - that is a good point. Those opening exchanges are powerful between both of them.



    She is a powerful presence all through the film, but she is not a fully dimensional person at the beginning. I compare her with Bob Johnson, where we know all we need to in a short time. She seems rather mysteriious. I have mentioned her voice, because she doesn't have an accent. So even that made it impossible to place her.



    I still see June a representing war-time America - at first it slept but by god when it was awoken there was hell to pay.



    It reminds me of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in the 1970 film Tora! Tora! Tora! saying:

    "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
    Well, Simon - you are making a good case, I must say.



    When I first read about the symbolic representation of our two nations, I thought it might be far-fetched. But it is becoming increasingly compelling.

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