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Adaptations of three short stories by W. Somerset Maugham. 'The Ant and the Grasshopper' concerns the trials and tribulations through which a ne'er-do-well brother, Tom Ramsey (Nigel Patrick), puts his prim-and-proper businessman brother, George Ramsey (Roland Culver). The escapades that drive George to absolute distraction eventually win the hand of the world's third richest girl (Margaret Withers) for the shiftless Tom. 'Winter Cruise' finds the crew of a cargo boat becoming unglued by the endless chatter of a spinster passenger named Miss Reid (Kay Walsh.) In a desperate attempt to silence the prattling busybody, the ship's officers browbeat a French steward, Pierre (Jacques Francois) into making love to her. The results provide some astounding surprises for the officers, Pierre, and certainly for Miss Reid. Finally, in 'The Gigolo and the Gigolette', beautiful daredevil Stella Cotman (Glynis Johns) - whose job it is to entertain the jaded guests of a resort hotel by diving nightly from an eighty-foot platform into a flaming tank - is losing her nerve.
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I found that Anthony had been a film Producer and had made, famously, three films of short stories by W Somerset Maugham. The novel aspect of these films were that he had Maugham introduce each story.
All the great British actors of the day were involved and the films were well known classics. However, by now they are hardly ever shown, a pity because they are almost the best examples of the depth of talent available at that time to the British film makers.
Darnborough produced for Gainsborough films (J Arthur Rank)
The other two films in this sequence are TRIO (1950) and ENCORE (1951)
Among the actors appearing in these films (for those old enough to remember the halcyon days of British film making were...James Hayter, Anne Crawford, Nornton Wayne, Jean Simmons, Micheal Rennie, Wilfred Hyde-White, Roland Culver, John Lawrie, Nigel Patrick, Kay Walsh, Noel Purcell, Glynis Johns, Dirk Bogarde, Honor Blackman, Maurice Denham, Cecil Parker, Mervyn Johns, Ernest Thesiger, James Robertson Justice, Ian Fleming, Basil Radford, George Cole, Hermione Baddeley, Kathleen Harrison, Michael Hordern and Felix Aylmer.
Glynis Johns reading the telephone directory would still get four stars.
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