Top positive review
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It benefits from some excellent and well orchestrated numbers written by Edward Brandt and ...
on 24 March 2015
A definite buy - not to be missed
The films range from March 1930, August 1933, September 1935 and August 1937, and give an interesting insight of British entertainment at the time. Many of the stars moved on from singing and dancing as the amount of continued training for this is rigorous, so this is an opportunity not to be missed.
The earliest "Harmony Heaven", directed by Thomas Bentley, who had previously progressed from a Vaudeville performer to directing films in the early twenties, It gets off to a "flying start" after the titles and is very competently edited. It benefits from some excellent and well orchestrated numbers written by Edward Brandt and Eddie Pola. Polly Ward, the leading lady, came from a theatrical family, and was only twenty when this film was made. Her dancing and singing are perfect. The other actors are good and the dancing is spot on. A piece of advice at the beginning of the film is to standby with your finger on the volume control as the sound level can be variable, particularly during the "Raggity Romp" number This was the second British Musical to be made and the newly created sound engineers were still getting used to the medium. During this number watch out for the invalids being pushed around in bath chairs by nurses. Ken Russell used this idea in the Boy Friend number "its never too late to fall in love. The sound system used was the RKO Photophone sound system. The film is 57 minutes long, but it appears that it was originally 61 minutes, because four minutes of colour made with the Pathecolour hand tinted system was omitted from our copy.
The second film ,the song that you gave me, stars Bebe Daniels, who was a very competent singer and actoress having made her first stage appearance at the age of four. She had appeared as the lead in the film Rio Rita only a few years earlier. The song in the film ," the song that you gave me" , was reputed to have been written by Noel Gay, who it has been said was Britain's answer to Irving Berlin.
The third film "Music hath charms" is a vehicle for the talented musician and band leader Henry Hall. The supervising director was Thomas Bentley and he does a good job in knitting the film together. Henry Hall was a frequent broadcaster on radio with his band until his retirement in 1964. He used to announce himself as "this IS Henry Hall speaking" This was not self adulation as claimed in a letter by a lady to him in the early 1960s but dates back to a broadcast in the Strand when a German bomb fell one block away from the studio. He replayed the short introduction to this show and when he was about to say "IS", you could hear the enormous bang making him emphasize the" IS" . Thereafter he kept this style of introduction as a mark of defiance to the German War machine.
" Over she goes" is a very bubbly and entertaining light musical with some good numbers.
In all this is a good volume -- Thank you Network.