4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Collection of Ealing Comedies - Plus!,
This review is from: Ealing Comedy DVD Collection - Hue and Cry/Passport to Pimlico/The Titfield Thunderbolt  (DVD)
This is a niced boxed set featuring 3 of Ealing's comedies:
Hue and Cry (1947) - One of the early Ealing comedies set in post-war London, so there's a lot of bomb sites and rubble! A young man (Harry Fowler) is looking for a job - a weekly children's comic (The Trump) comes his way and he begins to notice that some of the comic's contents are accurate (for example he sees a car in the comic that has the same registration number as a car he spots in the street). In checking up further he and some of his chums become convinced that the comic is being used by crooks to send coded messages to each other about potential robberies. The kids seek out The Trump's author (a wonderful cameo from Alastair Sim) to check whether his original stories have been changed. The action takes off from there! This is a lovely little film, with a good cast and a clever storyline.
Passport to Pimlico (1949) - Post-war London - a place of bomb sites, ration books, licensing laws and to cap it all, it's a sweltering summer. Kids playing on a bomb site accidentally set off an unexploded bomb, uncovering an ancient treasure that indicates that the area is part of Burgundy. The locals are quick to take advantage of the situation and create a ration-free state, but things start to get very complicated! A rather surreal, but inventive film which, in post-war Britain (still under rationing) would have been welcomed like a breath of fresh air. A great cast, including Stanley Holloway, Margaret Rutherford, and a young Charles Hawtrey. One of Ealing's most popular films, it drags a bit in parts. However, the story is irresistible.
The Titfield Thunderbolt (1952) - This is one of my personal favourites from Ealing. The local railway line is threatened with closure (and replacement by a bus service). The village community decides to run the railway themselves, which causes the competing bus owners to engage in some underhand initiatives. This is the Britain of a bygone age, with gentle humour, steam trains, wonderful sunny British countryside and all in glorious colour! The casting is inspired, with lots of nice cameos (one of the best being Stanley Holloway as a boozy philanthropist who is encouraged to invest in the locally-run railway using the argument that he can have a licensed buffet car all day!). Good performances also from Hugh Griffith, John Gregson and Sid James. The enthusiasm of the local vicar for anything to do with steam trains is just wonderful to behold. Highly recommended!
Plus a bonus feature: Forever Ealing - A 49-minute documentary looking at the history of Ealing films. Includes interviews with Martin Scorsese, John Landis, Terry Gilliam and others, plus trailers for a number of Ealing films.
I highly recommend this boxed set.