Reviews w NOT ANGELS

I‘ BUT ANGELS LA DOLCE VITA (18) 80mm (15) 167mm

emcee SNAFSII: UNLEASHED (18) 91min

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Because this set doesn’t contain all the famous faves, one would be forgiven for overlooking it, but its value as a study in Ealing Studios‘ emergent style is beyond doubt.

And it wasn‘t so hot early on. Champagne Charlie (1944) is bloomin’ awful, guvnor. Set in the music halls of Victorian London, it follows the career of George Leybourne (the deeply irritating Tommy Trinder). There’s a lot of shuffling about and the plot‘s all over the shop. The gratuitous pork pies are unintentionally hilarious though.

By far the best movie here is It Always Rains on Sunday (1947) and - get this it ain‘t even a comedy. Googie Withers plays Rosie, a housewife in grim, post-war East London. Her former lover escapes from prison and makes a bee-line for her place to hide out from the fuzz. Everything happens on a single day, aided by some ahead of their time flashbacks, and her domestic claustrophobia (and that of her step-daughters) is orchestrated cleverly by director Robert Hamer, who went on to make the superb Kind Hearts and Coronets.

Whisky Galore (1949) and The Maggie (1953), both of which are laced with the weirdest of Scottish accents, bring us back to the Ealing we‘re more familiar with. The former is the story of the inhabitants of a Hebridean island, whose whisky drought ends when a ship carrying a heavenly load is shipwrecked off their coast. The Maggie (1953) follows the adventures of the crew of a clapped out old puffer boat after they trick an American businessman into letting them transport his cargo. Whisky Galore is utterly charming and has the best bottle-hiding sequence in cinematic history, as well as a cute performance by a young Gordon Jackson as a man bullied by his mum. And no-one ever gets a hangover - fabulous. The Maggie 2 contains some pretty funny scenes, but the crew seem more incompetent and annoying than endearingly crafty. ll" 0

The only extras are rather dry introductions from a charmless Ealing expert. They could have enhanced it with much better material but this is definitely worth owning. (Ashley Davies)

' /, ‘1 THE LIST 51