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Genevieve [DVD]


Price: £10.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson, Kay Kendall, Kenneth More, Geoffrey Keen
  • Directors: Henry Cornelius
  • Writers: William Rose
  • Producers: Henry Cornelius, Earl St. John
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Carlton Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Oct. 1999
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CZVI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,950 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Every year, barrister Alan McKim (John Gregson) and wife Wendy (Dinah Sheridan) compete against Alan's friend (and Wendy's former beau), Ambrose Claverhouse (Kenneth More), in the London to Brighton vintage car race. This time round, however, Alan's 1904 roadster, 'Genevieve', breaks down on route. Angered by Ambrose's jokes at the expense of his beloved car, Alan bets his rival that he can beat him on the return journey to London - and the race is on! Larry Adler's harmonica score was nominated for an Oscar.

From Amazon.co.uk

For anyone who travels the congested roads of Britain these days the utterly delightful Genevieve will provoke a wistful, nostalgic sigh of regret for times gone by when there were no motorways, traffic jams were almost non-existent and friendly police motorcyclists riding classic Nortons (without helmets) cheerfully let people driving vintage cars race each other along country lanes. Even in 1953, Henry Cornelius’ gentle comedy must have seemed pleasingly old-fashioned, concerned as it is with the antics of two obsessive enthusiasts on the annual London to Brighton classic car rally. The principal quartet could hardly be bettered: though John Gregson is something of a cold fish as Genevieve’s proud owner, the radiant warmth of Dinah Sheridan as his long-suffering wife more than compensates. Kenneth More is ideally cast in the role of boastful rival enthusiast and Kay Kendall has possibly the best comic moment of all when she astonishes everyone with her drunken trumpet playing.

Cornelius also directed Ealing’s Passport to Pimlico, so his sure eye for gently mocking and celebrating British eccentricities is never in doubt. The screenplay by (American writer) William Rose now seems like an elegy to a way of life long disappeared: the pivotal moment when Gregson stops to humour a passing old buffer about his love of classic cars comes from a vanished era of politeness before road rage; as does the priceless exchange between hotel owner Joyce Grenfell and her aged resident: "No one’s ever complained before", says the mystified Grenfell after Gregson and Sheridan moan about the facilities, "Are they Americans?" asks the old lady, unable to conceive that anyone British could say such things. Genevieve is both a wonderful period comedy and a nostalgic portrait of England the way it used to be.

On the DVD: the "Special Edition" version of Genevieve has a decent new documentary with reminiscences from Dinah Sheridan (still radiant), the director of photography and the film’s editor, who talk about the challenges of filming on location. Most treasurable of all, though, is legendary harmonica player Larry Adler, who remembers his distinctive score with much fondness and is not at all embittered by his Hollywood blacklisting, which meant he was denied an Academy Award nomination. There’s also a short piece on some of the locations used (which for economic reasons were mostly in the lanes around Pinewood studios), cast biographies and a gallery of stills. The 4:3 ratio colour picture looks pretty good for its age and the mono sound is adequate. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By ognir on 7 Sept. 2004
Format: DVD
If you like English humour and actors who are excellent at their craft, then you can't go past 'Genevieve'. Comedy and a little bit of ongoing English 'history' is a great mix. John Gregson and Kenneth More battle it out on the road in the London to Brighton rally much to the bemusement of their lady partners.
Kay Kendall's trumpet solo is a laugh and the tricks that John and Kenneth get up to are delightful. A true taste of English comedy and theater from an age when life was a little less complicated and thoroughly genuine.
I highly recommend this film to all, but have one criticism ...... the film re-mastering was a little disappointing..... but not enough to put you off a truly wonderful film
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
This film about the London to Brighton veteran car run and the rivalry between Ambrose Claverhouse (Moore), Alan McKim (Gregson) and their respective ladies Rosalind Peters (Kendall) and Wendy McKim (Sheridan) is one of the great British Classics, so bound up with our national eccentricities it is possibly incomprehensible anywhere else.

The fine comic acting full of high spirits enraptures one from the very beginning, and soon the cars become characters in the headlong race to the coast.

Enormously enjoyable one is left with two enduring memories, first Larry Adler's haunting theme, but even more for Kay Kendall and her unforgettable performance personally playing the trumpet whilst supposedly drunk in a night club in Brighton. Whenever one thinks of Kay one thinks of this scene, but this vivacious young actress made other fine films before her early death from leukaemia aged 33.

Incredibly the Rank organisation considered the film a total failure unsuitable for release, and it only found its way onto a commercial screen as a substitute for another film that was unavailable. After that all is history as they say.

The indifferent quality of the photography cannot be blamed on the digital remastering, it was always there as the director insisted on shooting regardless.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
Lust, jealousy, ruthless conniving...and that's for starters. No, this isn't a Lana Turner and John Garfield film. This is Genevieve, one of the greatest of the classic English comedies from the late Forties and early Fifties. The movie is witty, warming and, above all else, funny.

Genevieve is a 1904 Darrocq roadster, driven by the ordinarily levelheaded young barrister, Alan McKim (John Gregson), on the London to Brighton and back annual antique car rally. By his side is his indulgent and sometimes exasperated wife, Wendy (Dinah Sheridan). Joining him in a 1904 Stryker is Alan's best friend, the irrepressible Ambrose Claverhouse (Kenneth More). Joining Ambrose is the beautiful creature he hopes to have an emotional experience with overnight in Brighton, the elegant and slightly off-center Rosalind Peters (Kay Kendall). Stuffed in the Stryker's small back seat is Suzy, Rosalind's Saint Bernard. And off they go, the cars snorting and puffing, wheezing and sometimes breaking down. We have a chance to see how much the annual rally and Genevieve mean to Alan and how much Wendy, who'd rather be at a party that evening, loves him. We learn what a loud and funny man Ambrose can be, and how just below the surface is a competitive streak just waiting to break free. And we see what a beautiful creature the long-legged and fey Rosalind is, and that she just might be Ambrose's match. Says Rosalind to Wendy, "Ambrose only seems to think about two things. That silly old car - and the other thing." Says Wendy to Rosalind, "What other thing? Oh. My husband only thinks about the car."

The four reach Brighton and enough things happen to them to keep us smiling.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By geraldine marie mcclintock on 23 Nov. 2003
Format: DVD
This is an oldie, but a classic and funny movie. A sentintemental film about mans ideas of racing, betting and the one love of a particular car. Its got plenty of laughs and is the kind of film that will leave you will a smile on your face.
If you like car racing movies, comedy and are looking for an intersting and captivating movie, then this is the movie for you, it wont bore the life out of you, and is definitely a film for mans/womans best friend 'his/her car'.
So if you ever owned a car, that you almost cried the day you had to sell it, or if you still have that precious little car you feel you could never part with, that is part of your memories.
Then watch this movie, for car lovers everywhere
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By UK Filmbuff TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 May 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is difficult to find words to describe this charming, witty and entertaining film. The cast is impeccable, the directing inspirational and the story so charming! Watch the special features, to find out more about the film; it is well worth it. Take yourself back to better times and climb aboard Genevieve, for a run to Brighton you'll never forget!

Topped off with a brilliant score by Larry Adler, it is a beautiful film, with nostalgia and fun! Watch out for Joyce Grenfell; such a small part, but always lovely to see her!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rama Lama Ding Dong on 7 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD
Genevieve takes you back to 1953 when £100 was a lot of money; when you could park outside the Old Bailey; when sex could only be referred to obliquely (and even that was naughty!)
The period is part of the charm of the film, so it is dated in a good sense.
Great fun!
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