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  1. #1
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    I saw this at the Barbican yesterday as part of the British Silents season.I have to say i was quite impressed by this film,which would appear to be the second british talkie after Blackmail.Curiously Marguerite Allen was dubbed,in the same way as Any Ondra.does anyone know the reason why?The photography were first class,and even though the acting was more suited to the silent era,it only added to the general entertainment given by this film.

    So far as i am aware this film has not been shown at the NFT which begs the question why not?It has to be said that the early talkie period is as much neglected as the late silent era.In fact there is a further series of lectures taking place on Monday and tuesday at the Institute of Musical Research on Monday and Tuesday.I have sent in my booking for Tuesdays programme which is at UCL in Senate House i believe.this includes the screening of an Edgar Wallace mystery from 1929 in order to consider the rapid disappearance of part talkies.

    By the way if anyone is gong on the cinema walk tomorrow morning starting in Leicester Square please come up and say hello.I am wearing my red and blue striped Arsenal tie.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by orpheum
    I saw this at the Barbican yesterday as part of the British Silents season.I have to say i was quite impressed by this film,which would appear to be the second british talkie after Blackmail.Curiously Marguerite Allen was dubbed,in the same way as Any Ondra.does anyone know the reason why?
    Not sure why she was dubbed but she did sound spookily like The Queen! The film was a bit creaky I thought but that's forgivable when you consider it's age, and the print was in remarkably good shape. But the dubbing wasn't done that well and you could have spotted it was done even if it hadn't been pointed out on the info sheet.

  3. #3
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    I haven't got the answers to hand, but will have a look through my books tomorrow for any explanation....it was a bit odd; we're told that post dubbing wasn't possible in '29, and that for Blackmail Anny Ondra mimed to Joan Barry speaking off camera....but I was sure there were sequences that were post-dubbed, particularly the early group scenes around the table....I'm sure it wasn't a synchronisation problem. Having said that, wasn't there some dialogue apparently shot outdoors ?? I'm thinking about Leaf on the way to the wedding....would that actually have been possible in '29?? or was that actually studio.

    I didn't think much of it, to be honest....the music, as Mick said in the intro, was all wrong; the novel is about the old music being supplanted in the 1840's....and yet the music used in the film is precisely the music that did the supplanting, as if it were set in the 1880's...as were the fashions and the penny farthing.

    But Historically Interesting....and I wish I had a copy I could analyse a bit more...

  4. #4
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    I have never read the book but was judging it by the early sound standards of 1929.On that basis i thought it was a reasonable effort.I dont think you can judge it on its faithfulness to the original story as that in itself is pretty rare.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    I wondered how stringent the application procedure was for the role of schoolmistress since the village idiot had to explain the squire's nefarious scheme to her...

  6. #6
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    I know, but as a fan of the pre-Victorian folk-hymn traditions....'West Gallery' as it tends to be called...it's frustrating !!!! For a very early sound film - actually, they started filming well before Hitchcock started Blackmail - it was entertaining enough....

  7. #7
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    Apparently Marguerite Allan was born in Russia, so may have had an accent, a la Anny Ondra....but she did continue, it seems in English roles, into the thirties. Perhaps she took time out for voice coaching??? The only sound film of hers (from '34) I have is out on loan to someone....

  8. #8
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    Allen appeared in many films in the 30s including "Those Were The Days">I will watch this again to see what her voice actually sounded like.

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