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The Magnet [DVD] [1950]

Stephen Murray , Kay Walsh , Charles Frend    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
Price: 24.97
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The Magnet [DVD] [1950] + Hue & Cry [DVD] [1947]
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Product details

  • Actors: Stephen Murray, Kay Walsh, James Fox, Meredith Edwards, Gladys Henson
  • Directors: Charles Frend
  • Writers: T.E.B. Clarke
  • Producers: Michael Balcon, Sidney Cole
  • 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: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 12 July 2004
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001XLY6U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,733 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Gentle Ealing comedy about childhood, guilt and half-truths starring a young James Fox (then known by his real name, William Fox) as Johnny Brent, a mischievous boy who tricks a younger boy (Keith Robinson) into giving him his magnet in return for an 'invisible' clock. Having successfully obtained the magnet, Johnny immediately starts to feel guilty about his swindling behaviour. His guilt sparks a chain of misplaced assumptions that lead to a search being mounted for the boy, who has run away after becoming convinced that he is wanted for murder.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good natured Ealing Comedy 24 Feb 2011
By Grike
Format:DVD
This is not one of Ealing's better known films, but it is well worth watching. This is essentially a film for children and the young at heart and tells the story of a boy who acquires a magnet from a younger boy. The story is laden with good natured morals and is very wholesome entertainment. I found the film rather amusing, and the lead boy was excellent. This is a very recommendable way to spent 75 minutes of your life.

The film beautifully captures post-war Liverpool and has appearances from a number of familiar faces from the world of English film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Ealing Classic 2 July 2012
By Picard TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
As a documentary of more innocent times gone by (albeit, favouring middle-class charm), The Magnet is an entertaining movie filled with the harmless and cheek and humour that Ealing has become renown for. If you watch this for its historical value, then it offers some excellent footage of locale in the North West of England; mainly New Brighton and Liverpool, with give the audience a greater sense of just how much these places have (and in some cases, have not) changed over the many decades gone by.

The appeal may take more effort to appreciate by some parties, for like British many movies of its day, The Magnet is truly a starched shirt affair that portrays life as being mostly glorious. Once you get past this and zone yourself in the time of its release, the movie is an effortless ride of entertainment.

Most of these 'Ealing Studios' DVD's have been sourced from old prints, and The Magnet is no exception as it is mostly soft and filled with wear. I did however have the chance to watch this at my cinema in New Brighton (one for the locals, I guess!) and it looked a lot nicer. I hope these Ealing classics get released on Blu-ray one day!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magnet draws you in. 30 Mar 2010
By Flickering Ember TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I watched this film as someone who'd moved to Liverpool and had an interest in the history of the city, coupled with a love of black and white films. The film is set in New Brighton ("Over the water") and in Liverpool itself.

I found it to be an interesting social commentary, as the lead characters all have Southern, well spoken accents, and the first local accent is heard some way into the film, spoken by a working class kid, as opposed to the comfortably middle class child in the lead role.

Still, it was a great film with humour and heartwarming qualities, great for family viewing and for general nostalgia. Heartily recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars James Fox's childhood hero.... 29 May 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Though The Magnet oozes middle-class wholesome 1950's family values, which can be seen these days as starchy and very straight-laced, this unusual offering from the Ealing Studios works well on many levels.

With his father, a child psychologist, ten year old Johnny Brent (James Fox) has a very colourful imagination and loves inventing things and questioning everything. Johnny keeps getting under his mother's feet and so he is sent off out to play at the local beach to explore.

There, he trades rather dishonestly a magic (non-existent) watch for a giant magnet from a younger lad. The lad's nanny tells him off and so Johnny scarpers and starts imagining that he's in trouble with the police. Then, through completely contrived, but affectionately drawn events, the giant magnet comes up for auction and raises money for a hospital appeal. Johnny becomes hero.

Yes, this is whimsical nonsense and is rather Disney, before Disney did such things. But it's also the locations and snapshot of British life back then. It'll certainly appeal to the older generation and undoubtedly, to us boys of all ages, more, as it harks back to our own childhoods.

Generally, the acting is quite average and the direction from Ealing regular Charles Friend is about passable, though there are some fantasy sequences which are OK. However, the young James is a tonic, eschewing youthful zest and intrigue. He's completely natural and believable, little wonder that he went on to become the mega star he did.

The DVD transfer is OK but is a bit soft.

All in all, if you're expecting a comedy caper, as in the best Ealing tradition, you may be disappointed. But if you love your Ealing's and want to explore beyond the box-set classics, then this does quite nicely.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magnet draws you in. 29 Mar 2010
By Flickering Ember TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I watched this film as someone who'd moved to Liverpool and had an interest in the history of the city, coupled with a love of black and white films. The film is set in New Brighton ("Over the water") and in Liverpool itself.

I found it to be an interesting social commentary, as the lead characters all have Southern, well spoken accents, and the first local accent is heard some way into the film, spoken by a working class kid, as opposed to the comfortably middle class child in the lead role.

Still, it was a great film with humour and heartwarming qualities, great for family viewing and for general nostalgia. Heartily recommended.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Ealing Potboiler 27 Feb 2003
By J. Skade VINE VOICE
Format:VHS Tape
I suppose the main interest of this film now is the childhood appearance of James Fox as our accidental hero, and a good job he makes too. A middle-class boy from Birkenhead cheats another boy out of a magnet and is plagued with guilt. The film follows the adventures of the boy and also of the magnet.
T.E.B Clarke had already written the lovely 'Hue and Cry' and the classic 'Passport To Pimlico' when he penned this little oddity. This was a somewhat lower quality effort, the satire (this time on Psychologists through the person of the insufferable father) is more heavyhanded, though there are some nice touches. The direction is more ponderous than in the earlier films and the childs eye view becomes a little oppressive. Still it remains watchable.
One for the true Ealing enthusiast. But don't expect too much.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great film if you come from Wallasey, brought back a lot of fond memories.
Published 10 hours ago by Derek Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant story, with plenty of food for thought !!
Published 2 days ago by Brian Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it for many reasons : story and social history
I loved it ! good if sentimental story . Life was like this , I remember the first polio out breaks, iron lungs and when life was how it is in the film
Published 3 days ago by James Howells
5.0 out of 5 stars Memory jerker.
A wonderful memory jerker here which shows scenes from a long-gone and much-missed Birkenhead and Wallasey. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nick
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Merseyside in view !
Great Merseyside nostalgia trip - old ferry boats, New Brighton Pier, Liverpool Overhead Railway, all feature, although the cast is decidedly non-scouse. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Norman Howens
4.0 out of 5 stars Old New Brighton.
Having been born in the area of the film, I enjoyed seeing new brighton and parts of liverpool as they were!
took me back years. well acted good storyline. Read more
Published 14 months ago by MikeMc
4.0 out of 5 stars Brought back my childhood in New Brighton
I bought this for my sister but watched it anyway just to see what it was like. The plot is linear and allegorical. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Bensontheboxer
5.0 out of 5 stars a bit of local nostalgia
i was bought up in the area this film was made and this was made 25 years before i was. so after all the stories from Nan and granddad about how great New Brighton was you get to... Read more
Published 15 months ago by supernoodle
4.0 out of 5 stars Liverpool in the fifties
This is great movie for Scousers young and old..Some brilliant film of the old docks and the anglican cathederal plus New Brighton.a good story and great acting
Published 16 months ago by john molyneux
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
This film is a classic, I enjoyed watching this because it is set around New Brighton, Wirral which is where I live and it was interesting to see all the places that I know.
Published 23 months ago by Amanda Jones
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