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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    This is a marvelous fantasy.



    Roland Young had the ability to play an everyman so well that he transcended the stereotype. The supporting cast includes Ralph Richardson, Ernest Thesiger, and Joan Hickson - as well as a brief appearance by George Sanders as a god manipulating mortals.



    There is a sequence that is among my favorites in film: miracle worker George McWhirter Fotheringay has decided to gather all of the major people of influence in the world and force them to solve all the world's problems immediately. He transforms his home into a palace, the pretty shopgirl he wants into a queen, and his would-be advisors into the figures of a Renaissance court.



    Then he calls forth all the very important people from all over the world. They appear in the palace by the dozens, by the hundreds, by the thousands. The special effects may be a bit crude - but it is a wonderfully effective scene.



    Also - the score by Mischa Spoliansky and Muir Matheson's musical direction fit the film perfectly: a combination of witty self-mockery and triumphalism.

  2. #2
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    This rather engaging film from 1936 and featuring Ralph Richardson has been shown periodically on TV over the years. Has this flick made an impression on anyone?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England
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    Yes Andy. I think I first saw this in the early 70's and I often find myself wondering why it gets so little attention - it's ages since I've seen it on TV. It's a very strange film that has a rather unsettling edge about it.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Country: England
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    Pretty sure it got a VHS release in The Korda Collection.....it's interesting enough, but not one of my favourites...

  5. #5
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    If this is the same film I have in mind, I remember a scene where one of the cast tells another to, "Go to hell," at which the unfortunate man bursts into flames. I had just started school, so it must have been around 1960/61, and my brother convinced me he had the identical power. Thereafter he made my life a wretched misery with threats to incinerate me, made all the more real because he had a red devil toy - complete with horns, and trident, which he claimed conveyed these powers upon him! It wasn't until my father discovered what was going on, that my mind was finally put to rest: my brother was, like myself, just a mere mortal!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: United States Lord Lionheart's Avatar
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    Saw this HG Wells adaptation many years ago when I was a child living in the UK. Starred Roland Young of Topper fame. One of those afternoon movies I saw on a rainy day a long time ago and loved it. Been longing to see it again just for nostalgia. Wonder if anyone else has saw it or if it's ever played in the UK. Bit of an oldie as it's made in 1936. But then again so are many of my favorites such as 'The 39 steps'

  7. #7
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    Luvvies, this was just about my most favourite film as a lad, and has stuck in my memory even though it's years since I last saw it. One of the 'gods' in the sky is George Sanders, in, I believe, his first filum role!



    :- ) Johnny

  8. #8
    Junior Member Country: England
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimR View Post
    This is a marvelous fantasy. Roland Young had the ability to play an everyman so well that he transcended the stereotype. The supporting cast includes Ralph Richardson, Ernest Thesiger, and Joan Hickson - as well as a brief appearance by George Sanders as a god manipulating mortals. There is a sequence that is among my favorites in film: miracle worker George McWhirter Fotheringay has decided to gather all of the major people of influence in the world and force them to solve all the world's problems immediately. He transforms his home into a palace, the pretty shopgirl he wants into a queen, and his would-be advisors into the figures of a Renaissance court. Then he calls forth all the very important people from all over the world. They appear in the palace by the dozens, by the hundreds, by the thousands. The special effects may be a bit crude - but it is a wonderfully effective scene. Also - the score by Mischa Spoliansky and Muir Matheson's musical direction fit the film perfectly: a combination of witty self-mockery and triumphalism.
    You say the effects were a bit crude but it was made in 1936 so were Great for that time. This aslo lead Alexander Korda to go on and Produce The Thief of Bagdad in 1940 which was an Excellent film for special effects. Peace & Luv. TelQuiero

  9. #9
    Junior Member Country: England
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    The Ful Lenth Film is on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snEatVCXokM&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    You say the effects were a bit crude but it was made in 1936 so were Great for that time. This aslo lead Alexander Korda to go on and Produce The Thief of Bagdad in 1940 which was an Excellent film for special effects. Peace & Luv. TelQuiero

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: United States torinfan's Avatar
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    You can also see this movie at Internet Archive and yes, that is Torin Thatcher, one of the "gods" who rides upon that white horse toward the camera at the beginning of the movie.


  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TelQuiero View Post
    The Ful Lenth Film is on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snEatVCXokM&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    You say the effects were a bit crude but it was made in 1936 so were Great for that time. This aslo lead Alexander Korda to go on and Produce The Thief of Bagdad in 1940 which was an Excellent film for special effects. Peace & Luv. TelQuiero
    Well, they were a bit crude, yes - but this film is a gem and the effects work very well.

    For some reason this used to be shown constantly on a small Boston television station in the 80s - along with Brief Encounter, Green for Danger, Things to Come and Fire Over England.

    The same five films - over and over again. Perhaps some eccentric station manager was in charge. It was a pleasure watching them.

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