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All the Right Noises (BFI Flipside) (DVD + Blu-ray)
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BFI Flipside presents
ALL THE RIGHT NOISES (DVD + Blu-ray)
A film by Gerry O'Hara
THE FLIPSIDE: rescuing weird and wonderful British films from obscurity and presenting them in new high-quality editions.
Originally sold with the provocative tagline Is 15½ too young for a girl? Is one wife enough for one man? , this time-capsule of a film is the story of a married man who has an affair with a teenage girl.
Starring Olivia Hussey, in her first post-Romeo and Juliet role, and the inimitable Tom Bell (The L-Shaped Room), this is one of only a handful of films directed by Gerry O'Hara, better known for his assistant-director work with such cinema giants as Tony Richardson, Carol Reed and Otto Preminger.
- Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
- Newly transferred to High Definition from original film elements
- Bernard Braden Now and Then interview with Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting (1967, 16 mins)
- The Spy's Wife (1972, 28 mins): a rare and little-seen short film by O'Hara starring Tom Bell and Ann Lynn
- Extensive illustrated booklet with newly commissioned contributions from film historian Robert Murphy, Gerry O'Hara, and The Spy s Wife producer Julian Holloway
UK | 1969 | colour | English language, with optional English hard-of-hearing subtitles | 91 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.85:1
Disc 1: BD50 | 1080p | 24fps | PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)
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Top customer reviews
This is a well-packaged and well-presented item, by BFI. Both a Blu-ray and a DVD version of the film are included, and there are a host of bonus features. Additionally, there's a glossy booklet describing the production of the film, as well as offering reflections of the movie by those involved in its making.
As a lighthearted film, featuring an excellent cast, this is definitely worth watching. Okay, it's somewhat dated - but this adds a certain charm the film.
It has a few bits of good location footage from the time (1969) and the picture quality is ok but not exactly in-camera negative quality.
The film itself is a little on the slow side and lacks any real drama resulting from the situation. I'd give it 7 out of 10.
The film's cinematography is also excellent and subtle, often incorporating some superb symbolism, such as the image of the increasing gulf of the sea, between the faces of Len and Val, during a moment when they are more uncertain of one another, than before. Add in the superb soundtrack from '60s songwriter Melanie, which juxtaposes beautifully with the struggles of both Len and Val, and also of Len's loving, but uncertain wife, Joy, and this genuinely has all the makings of a fantastic piece of British cinema. It's very rare I find a film to be essentially without fault, but 'All the Right Places' is such a film. Simply brilliant.
The premise - a married stage electrician has an affair with a 15-year-old actress - and the presence of Gerry O'Hara, director of The Bitch, behind the camera imply sleazy exploitation (`Is 15½ too young for a girl? Is one wife enough for one man?' screamed the poster), but instead it's a nicely underplayed slice of life that avoids the opportunities for titillation for something more naturalistic and underplayed. The underage angle is downplayed in favor of something more non-judgmental, although the absence of drama or melodrama until the last half hour works slightly against it - there's little tension in the relationship until that point and no real consequences, just recognisably human characters falling in and out of a relationship as they lie to themselves, which probably limits its appeal.
O'Hara's directorial resume is pretty undistinguished at best, but he was one of the top assistant directors in the business and, working from his own script, shows an unfussy craftsmanship that never gets in the way of the story or characters and shows a surprising strength with his cast. Which is a good thing, because what carries a movie with a plot this slight are the performances. Tom Bell, a fine actor with an unfortunate tendency to burn his bridges for no good reason, is in his element here, creating the kind of ordinary guy you recognise from real life and managing to make him interesting despite having no big dramatic scenes to show off with. A surprisingly appealing Olivia Hussy gets the showiest part as the object of his affection but never oversteps the mark, managing to seem spontaneous without being precocious, and the two work well together: there's one morning after scene that's surprisingly charming. Although it's a thankless part, Judy Carne is so good and completely believable as the wife that it's a real pity she never got more chances before her career self-destructed. Robert Keegan also impresses as Bell's down on his luck father and there are supporting turns from a number of familiar faces like John Standing and a very young Lesley-Anne Down.
It's a minor film that never really amounts to much, but it mostly hides the low budget well: O'Hara only really stumbles in the clumsy camerawork and editing in the onstage musical numbers in the show that brings the two together. While it never really makes you care much about any of the characters, it does feel true to life in all its unsensational lack of glory, ending not in tears or tragedy but with the dishes getting washed. Whether that's a good thing simply comes down to personal preference, but if you're in the right mood and not expecting too much it's surprisingly satisfying. Sadly, but perhaps not unexpectedly, the picture quality is not particularly good, looking like it came from a soft 16mm print. There's not much detail, particularly where there are blacks or shadows in the image, so there's no real advantage in picking up the Bluray, although it is currently cheaper than the DVD in some outlets). The only extras are an excellent booklet on the film (it turns out Nic Roeg's help and contacts were instrumental in getting it made), a short film O'Hara and Bell made a couple of years later, The Spy's Wife, which also features Dorothy Tutin and Vladek Sheybal, and some unedited footage of an interview with an awkward Olivia Hussy and her forgotten Romeo and Juliet co-star Leonard Whiting (cue one painfully prophetic question about unknowns being cast in major films only to never be heard of again!).
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Most recent customer reviews
Probably taken more seriously at it's time of release.