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The Pleasure Garden [DVD]

Hattie Jacques , John Le Mesurier , James Broughton    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £6.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Hattie Jacques, John Le Mesurier, Jean Anderson, Lindsay Anderson, Jill Bennett
  • Directors: James Broughton
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: 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: BFI
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Nov 2009
  • Run Time: 37 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0025V4TYK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,379 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A film by James Broughton

Filmed among the ruins of The Crystal Palace Terraces, The Pleasure Garden is a playful and poetic ode to desire, and winner of the Prix de Fantaisie Poétique at Cannes in 1954. Made by the American poet James Broughton, the film features Hattie Jacques and Lindsay Anderson, with John Le Mesurier as the bureaucrat determined to stamp on any form of free expression.

Lovers of the history of Crystal Palace will find much to treasure in this 1950s time capsule of a film, which shows the Crystal Colonnade and he bandstand (both later demolished), the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Memorial, and much of the statuary which was to be auctioned off in 1957.

The history of The Crystal Palace also comes alive in The Phoenix Tower, presented here as an extra. This rare 1957 film, about the building of the BBC Transmission Tower, was one of the number of short subject colour films to be shown on BBC2 as a 'test trade transmission', and has become something of a 'lost' film since.

Special Features

  • The Phoenix Tower (1957, 39 mins), a short documentary charting the construction of the BBC's Crystal Palace Television Tower
  • Fully illustrated booklet with film notes, an original review and a history of the Crystal Palace
  • Fully uncompressed PCM mono audio
  • UK | 1957 | black & white | English language with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles | 37 minutes + 39 minutes | DVD-5 | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 | Region 2 DVD

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Booklet, Documentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Filmed amongst the ruins of the Crystal Palace Gardens, The Pleasure Garden tells of the efforts of Colonel Pall to suppress romance and free expression, and his battle against the Fairy Godmother who is a champion of lovers, artists and the Pleasure Principle. Starring British stalwarts John Le Mesurier and Hatti Jacques the film won the Prix de Fantasie Poetique at the Cannes Film Festival of 1954. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, Cannes Film Festival, ...The Pleasure Garden (1953)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Odd and Interesting Film - Plus a Bonus Film! 21 Oct 2009
I have been looking for this film ever since I read an autobiography of Hattie Jacques a year ago. Up until recently this film was not available on any format.

The biography mentions this short (its only about half an hour long) being filmed in Crystal Palace Park which is very close to where I live. Naturally I was fascinated to see what the park looked like in 1953 - not long after the Crystal Palace burned down and before a proper clear up had been undertaken.

It is very interesting to see that the park was very overgrown and there were a lot more statues lying around than there are now. In fact much of what we can see of the park is derelict. We also have a couple of street shots and that is also nice to see as you can play 'Where is that part of South London". Historically this is a nice piece of film.

As for the actual plot of the film - it is a fantasy. The park is full of people looking for love, so we have quite a few odd characters wandering around. Hattie plays the fairy Godmother who sprinkles her magic around like cupid. Her then husband, John Le Mesurier, also appears in the film as a creepy sort of character who seems to be in charge of the park in some way. There isn't much dialogue either. It really is pretty surreal - the film won a prize at a film festival for such subjects.

As a bonus on the DVD you also have "Phoenix Tower" which is how the Crystal Palace transmitter tower came about and shows us the design and construction process. This is even more interesting than the main feature! All around the base of the tower are bits and pieces of old statues which were destroyed when the Crystal Palace burned down and they certainly aren't there now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars poetry in the cellar 6 Jan 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film came to my attention only through Amazon.. i had not ever heard of it before, but because of the cast Hattie Jaques etc, i bought it.
Hattie is the free spirit whereas John Le Mesurier [Hatties then real life husband] is the antithesis of fun.
It is mainly set in the ruins of Crystal Palace and the surrounding gardens still with the statues in situ, The script seems to be a very early form of 'Beatnic performance poetry' before it got too obscure.
With this film comes a fascinating piece of history. the building of the Crystal palace mast, note the lack of 'Health and safety' not a hard hat to be seen ..Oh happy days!

If you are looking for Ealing comedy..this is not it so do not buy it, if you are interested in a bit of filmed history with some different performances than those expected, buy it..
Of note..notice just how hansom John Le Mesurier was when younger!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A one-off 24 Nov 2010
This is a curious little art film. I think the premise of it is Britain's post-war repression in an age of austerity, with John Le Mesurier cast as a sort of all-purpose puritannical enforcer while his then-wife Hattie Jacques is cast as an indomitable erotic force. In this sense the film's allegory anticipates the next decade's pleasure principle. Everything is very stylised, with no real dialogue, and is very self-consciously 'artful,' but if you go with the dreamy atmosphere it's really quite enchanting. The picture quality is excellent, the sound a little rough and echoey. The extra documentary is also interesting for lovers of British film and TV history.
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