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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ealing Gem, 20 Aug 2011
This review is from: Hue & Cry [DVD] [1947] (DVD)
Whichever DVD you happen to look at - be it an individual copy of this stupendous film, or the one that comes in a box along with 'The Titfield Thunderbolt' and the immortal 'Passport to Pimlico', HUE & CRY is a little masterpiece that deserves to be placed firmly in British Film's Hall of Fame.

Everything about it is well-nigh perfect: the story, T.E.B.Clarke's witty screenplay, the excellent performances from the mainly very young cast, the sheer energy, the sometimes deliciously potty dialogue, and - above all - the backdrop of a post-war London still licking its terrible wounds as it repairs and begins to rebuild itself in the late 1940s.

Director Charles Crichton ('The Lavender Hill Mob', 'A Fish Called Wanda', 'Painted Boats' and the Dirk Bogarde thriller 'Hunted' to name but a few) is a cultural treasure of British film. At its zenith his work breathes Style, Pace, and Individualism, and here we have a fast and furious romp through cheeky-chappy urchins, low-life, fur coats, and the fruit and vegetables of Covent Garden Market.

We are also treated to the utterly glorious Alistair Sim in what must surely be one of his richest, funniest, and campest roles - that of the crime writer unwittingly and unwillingly caught up in the plot to make away with -

But no! The game must not be given away, the plot must not be spoilt. See for yourself, and revel in 90 minutes of pure joy. (Grit your teeth also at the sound of Georges Auric's ghastly and often intrusive music, but this is a very very minor moan. Think of it as a sign of the times: a fashionable exercise in British film to employ a French composer. He surfaces in many Ealing productions, with sound quality that demolishes both his scores and also any listening eardrum.)

Let it be sufficient to say that HUE & CRY is one of those rewards that should make us grateful for Ealing Studios and the many extraordinary talents that flourished before and behind its cameras.
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