Being a sixties film afficianado I am always surprised to discover a 'new' classic of that era, of which I knew nothing about. I was aware of the other versions of this film, but only had the pleasure to see this gem for the first time last night on the TCM channel. Peter O'Toole is jut superb in his understated role as the emotionally stunted man who has spent his conservative life as a diligent public school teacher, only to be awakened to the joys of love and life by a spontaneous actress, played by Petula Clark, crashing into his life. I have never seen Petula Clark act, and she turns in a great performance here. The real strengths of the film are the script, the acting, and there are quite a few really delightful songs here too, which support the story so well. So Many Flowers ( I think it's called) is wonderful in capturing the way we see the world when in love.
This is definitely a film musical of it's time, although set in the 1930's and 40's. The late sixties produced some really fine musicals, such as Hello Dolly, Oliver, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang etc and gave us unusual films such as Oh What a Lovely War. This musical version of a delightful story is up there with the best. Perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon, or when you want to indulge your emotions a little - bet you'll find it hard not to laugh and cry!