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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quaint old British Musical Comedy
What a surprise to see this becoming available on DVD - I believe it was never released on VHS.

This film made by The Associated British Picture Corporation in Technicolor and Cinemascope was indeed an ambitious undertaking - but anything "modern" even by 1956 standards begins and ends here. It does not have the style or technical refinements of American...
Published 9 months ago by Movie Guy

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Approach These Good Companions With Caution
This updated film version of Priestley's most popular novel is recommended to anyone who fancies the idea of a British-made pastiche Hollywood musical that might have been produced at any time in the era before the advent of rock and roll. It cannot, on the other hand, be safely recommended to anyone with a deep affection for the novel. They are likely to be dismayed by...
Published 9 months ago by M. J. Nelson


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quaint old British Musical Comedy, 9 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Good Companions [DVD] (DVD)
What a surprise to see this becoming available on DVD - I believe it was never released on VHS.

This film made by The Associated British Picture Corporation in Technicolor and Cinemascope was indeed an ambitious undertaking - but anything "modern" even by 1956 standards begins and ends here. It does not have the style or technical refinements of American musicals of the same period.

However, if you are looking for an old fashioned entertaining British musical comedy with an engaging story line (based on the novel by J B Priestley), some good tunes and some slightly under produced dance routines - this film is for you. Although set in the 1920s the sets and costumes and more in keeping with the mid 1950s, when the film was made.

There are some well known British faces in cameo appearances - Thora Hird (and, indeed, her daughter Janette Scott -who stars in the film) along with Celia Johnson (with an old MG) and Joyce Grenfell to name but a few.

I am giving the film five stars due to its rarity and entertainment value and, at under 10 in price it is a bargain and I would suggest that you buy it without delay as this type of DVD has a tendency to be discontinued rather abruptly.

This review has been made just prior to the DVD release and is based on a TV Broadcast print, which was excellent. There is no reason to doubt that the DVD will be anything less than superb.

Enjoy your viewing!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Approach These Good Companions With Caution, 30 Nov 2013
By 
M. J. Nelson (Leeds) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Companions [DVD] (DVD)
This updated film version of Priestley's most popular novel is recommended to anyone who fancies the idea of a British-made pastiche Hollywood musical that might have been produced at any time in the era before the advent of rock and roll. It cannot, on the other hand, be safely recommended to anyone with a deep affection for the novel. They are likely to be dismayed by the way in which the three screenwriters have not merely compressed the narrative (as, inevitably, they have had to do) but played fast and loose with it. Thus the 'back stories' of the three 'angels' who rescue the beleaguered concert party, the Dinky Doos, and help them to success are dealt with so briefly and sketchily that the film seems barely to have started before The Good Companions, as they are renamed, are all back on the road together. Whole swathes of characters and incidents are jettisoned or altered to make way for a lengthy, if spectacular, finale in which the young heroine, Susie Dean, goes 'Round The World' in front of a glitzy West End audience. But to be fair, a film can't all be bad when it includes in its cast Celia Johnson (Miss Trant, often sounding uncannily like The Queen), Eric Portman (a rather brusque Jess Oakroyd) and Janette Scott (an excellent Susie Dean, a part originally intended to be played by Audrey Hepburn). Moreover, they are supported by a whole raft of familiar and reliable character actors. Throw in a few at least half-decent song and dance numbers, good production values, an excellent colour transfer and it would be churlish not to allow this version some merit. A critical and commercial failure at the time of its release it can now be viewed as a likeable period piece. The original film version of 1933 (newly-available although in a Region 1 format) and the 1980 television version remain preferred as more faithful to the novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 6 July 2014
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disappointing in comparison with the book
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2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Print!, 20 July 2014
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Companions [DVD] (DVD)
If you like this film (and it certainly has it's flaws in casting, script and direction and was described by it's leading Man as a disappointing failure) you will certainly not complain about this first rate audio and video transfer. The aspect ratio is the original CinemaScope - the definition is excellent and the colour saturation and black levels first rate. Although it's fun "star spotting" in the minor roles eg Rachael Roberts belts out a musical number, Anthony Newley makes a tiny appearance and Shirley Anne Field stands around decorously - sort of thing - as a whole the film sadly doesn't work. It bombed at the box office on its release and one can understand why. So this is for die-hard fans only. And I don't mean those of Bruce Willis's films!! Still to give it the two stars it probably deserves (and mostly got!) seems churlish....
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem!, 18 Nov 2013
By 
William Taylor "20CFOX fan" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Companions [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not familiar with J B Priestley's novel, and one reviewer has suggested that the original story suffers in this version, but don't be put off by that - this musical version of "The Good Companions" is a brilliant nostalgic gem of 1950's entertainment. The story line has actually been updated to contemporary times, so it's a realistic snapshot of life in a variety troupe struggling with falling audiences, the advent of television and just prior to the onslaught of rock and roll.

The cast is absolutely fabulous, Janette Scott proves to be quite a dancer and is a real stunner to look at. She is well matched by handsome John Fraser as her leading man and romantic interest and is ably supported by the host of familiar faces - Eric Portman, Celia Johnson, Rachel Roberts, Shirley Anne Field, Joyce Grenfell, John Le Mesurier, Thora Hird, and Fabia Drake, all very good in their respective roles and all looking lovely in colour.

The Technicolour is excellent, and the use of CinemaScope is imaginative and compliments the action very well. It's a real feel-good film, made with affection and humour. Good songs and excellent choreography, the big numbers are lavishly staged and every bit as good as Hollywood could do at the time. Good sets too and the photography is unusually imaginative.

Network have done a superb job on the transfer, excellent audio and visual quality that couldn't be bettered.

This is a really lovely film, It runs 100 minutes and I was sorry when it ended. It holds your interest throughout.
100% enjoyment is guaranteed with this one!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Apologies to J B Priestley, 15 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Good Companions [DVD] (DVD)
This is what you get when you try to reduce a lengthy and well-constructed work as written by J B Priestley, into an hour and a half, whilst trying to please the cinema audiences of the day.

Nice to see Eric Portman, Celia Johnson and Joyce Grenfell again and Janette Scott made a very good Susie Dean; but the original story is so hacked about and hampered by totally unsuitable song and dance numbers that the end result is disjointed and disappointing.

The later, Yorkshire TV series was a gem by comparison, faithfully following JBP's story-lines and characterizations.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage!, 26 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Good Companions [DVD] (DVD)
A good English film of the old school, with stars who were just starting in many cases., enjoyable! Who would expect to find Janette Scott, Thora Hird, Celia Johnson and Joyce Grenfell, in the same film as Anthony Newley.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it is what it is, 23 Dec 2013
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Although somewhat dated and a bit glorified Hollywood ! i enjoyed it and glad i purchased it. Its a great story and lovely character parts for well known faces of British cinema and theatre. Pure entertainment.. Enjoy
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant film., 9 April 2014
This review is from: The Good Companions [DVD] (DVD)
A pleasant film and very much of it's time. (I was not too impressed with the TV version).
However this is a light, typical early1950s musical comedy. (Corny)? Yes, of course!!
But some delightful moments . . . Just enjoy Joyce Grenville's appearance.
Other reviewers come closer to discribing the film better than I can do.
I bought it for it's fresh innocence and entertainment value. . . .
(But, I do wish someone had told me that it comes in a slimline case).
That was disappointing, but seeing how Jannette Scott is just as lovely, it doesen't matter how they skimp on the packaging.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good companions, 18 May 2014
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I have purchased this for a birthday present for my husband (in June), so I haven't tried it yet.

this should be a good "oldie" film and looking forward to seeing it
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