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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle fun from a bygone age
I love these old films and Johnny Frenchman came along as a complete surprise. I had never seen the film before and bought it on the strength of the reviews - I'm glad I did.

The story is set in Cornwall, the actual place used in the film I believe was Mevagissy, and is really all about the lives of the local fishing community, which includes French poachers...
Published on 29 Jun. 2012 by A. Roberton

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3.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time in a Cornish fishing village
This busy little Ealing production would have had charm and patriotic value in its day but will probably appeal only to nostalgia buffs today. Rivalry seems to provide the basis for the plot: Anglo-Franco rivalry amongst English Channel fisher folk, and Anglo-Franco rivalry as to who will win the hand of Patricia Roc. There is a great deal of rushing around by way of...
Published on 15 Aug. 2012 by John Austin


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle fun from a bygone age, 29 Jun. 2012
By 
A. Roberton "Alan Roberton" (Hinckley, Leicestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Johnny Frenchman [DVD] (DVD)
I love these old films and Johnny Frenchman came along as a complete surprise. I had never seen the film before and bought it on the strength of the reviews - I'm glad I did.

The story is set in Cornwall, the actual place used in the film I believe was Mevagissy, and is really all about the lives of the local fishing community, which includes French poachers. The story is typical of these early Ealing Studio films and, whilst it doesn't have the same impact as most of the more well know Ealings, it does fall into the gentle easy to watch and enjoy group that used to be described as a good 'B' film.

The leading lady, Patricia Roc (Millions Like Us) is perfectly cast as the daughter of the harbour master who is not sure she wants to marry a local fisherman. Along comes a Frenchman and her head is turned. This all takes place in the summer of 1939 on the eve of war and the Cornish and the French become allies.

This really is a perfect Sunday afternoon film for anyone who, like me loves those gentle films of a bygone age. Simply lovely.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cornish Fun, 6 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Johnny Frenchman [DVD] (DVD)
This black and white film captures the beauty of the Cornish fishing village of Mevagissey. It`s gentle humour brings a smile, and the scenery of and around Mevagissey is delightful. Good old fashioned fun.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting war movie set in Cornwall, 7 May 2009
By 
Philippe Geril (Ostend, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Johnny Frenchman [DVD] (DVD)
Set in Cornwall just before the beginning of the 2nd World War, this movie covers on the one hand the often "humourous" rivalries between local fishermen and the French "pirate" fisherman in their quest for the best fishing, a situation which through the love interest of one of the actors and the outbreak of war develops into a common cause against the enemy.

As this movie was made at the end of the war, it already offers glimmers of hope for the future to the viewer.

What makes this movie quite poignant on the other hands is that many of the extras of the movie were actually war refugees from Belgium so the link to the actual war is more immediate than you might think at first sight.

Nostalgia and history at its best
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ealing does Cornwall!, 18 April 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Johnny Frenchman [DVD] (DVD)
For those who loved Ealing's "Whisky Galore!", here is what they did for the Scottish Isles in that, here they do for southern Cornwall. Set around Mevagissey (where I've holidayed, so that's a nice bonus) it starts with quite a ferocious battle of wits between the Cornish fisherman and 'Johnny Frenchman' - boats from France poaching by fishing in their waters.

We don't often hear insults like "frogs" so much these days, but it's ripe here. The cast, at least to those who know and love their Ealing's all seem like strangers; I do not recognise a single face and that detracts a bit from the film. However, the mature French actress Francois Rosay, who I've never heard of or seen before, apparently was a major draw at the time. She plays the formidable spokesperson for the French fishermen and causes some havoc with her forthright views - and refusal to pay her harbouring bills. But when she helps them land a huge catch, she and her son are accepted by the Cornish village and its people.

Anyways, her son sets his sights, romantically on the daughter of the Harbour Master, which causes friction between the parents and there's also the impending Hitler, knocking on both their doors. As you'd imagine from a warm-hearted Ealing, differences are forgotten as they soon rally together for a greater, more sinister cause.

Somehow, Johnny Frenchman is now an almost unknown Ealing. But, it's full of rich detail, the way of life (check out the wrestling contest, rather like a Cornish Highland Games) and the gentle drama is all very appealing. A hark back to simpler times and a slower pace. It may lack the sharp comedy or flashier directing of the classic Ealings and at 112mins, a bit longer too. Anyone, too, who loves Cornwall, will find much to find pleasure in, as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars satisfying, 14 Aug. 2011
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WSH (NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Johnny Frenchman [DVD] (DVD)
This film is in good hands, from the producer Michael Balcon right down the least, uncredited extra. The story is intended to deliver a message about Allied solidarity, but the writer, T.E.B. Clarke, is smart enough to have crafted an interesting and credible yarn, first and foremost. His dialogue is always engaging and the direction of Charles Frend makes the most of the latent humour in everyday situations. The Cornish village featured bears a striking resemblance to Doc Martin's adopted home town, although the characters inhabiting it are not quite as eccentric. The film from which this DVD comes is not in great condition - there is a fair amount of fading and flecking, and there are no extras offered whatsoever. For that alone it loses a star. But, then, the performances and the nice location shooting make it worth seeing and having.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic DVD, 27 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: Johnny Frenchman [DVD] (DVD)
Want to know what they mean, when they say, "they don't make them like that anymore"? Well this is one of the films they're talking about. Dramatic, funny, & a lovely little look back to gentler, kinder times. Don't miss it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film, 21 May 2012
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What a superb film, couldn't stop thinking how good it was for days. I cant understand why this was never shown on television as I was growing up. It has everything, great characters, great settings, excitement, romance, comedy and a look back at a lost lifestyle and industry. All that and the wonderfully attractive Patricia Roc in her heyday. Do not hesitate buy and enjoy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time in a Cornish fishing village, 15 Aug. 2012
By 
John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Johnny Frenchman [DVD] (DVD)
This busy little Ealing production would have had charm and patriotic value in its day but will probably appeal only to nostalgia buffs today. Rivalry seems to provide the basis for the plot: Anglo-Franco rivalry amongst English Channel fisher folk, and Anglo-Franco rivalry as to who will win the hand of Patricia Roc. There is a great deal of rushing around by way of plot development. Veterans Tom Wall and Francoise Rosay put in good work, but the younger players show the need for a much firmer director's hand. The Cornish coastal scenery looks impressive in this restored version; there is no subtitling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Story, unexpected and amusing., 26 Dec. 2014
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This DVD arrived a little late but in good condition. This was not what I expected but it was a delightful story and very well done, plenty of lovely characters and some very amusing scenes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars oui, 29 May 2014
This review is from: Johnny Frenchman [DVD] (DVD)
another ealing classic about the english and french bickering about fishing[nothihg new there then]and thengoes to the start of ww2,a comedy with a love story a good all round classic
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Johnny Frenchman [DVD]
Johnny Frenchman [DVD] by Charles Frend (DVD - 2008)
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