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Genevieve [DVD] (1953) (Special Edition )

4.7 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews
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(Jun 11, 2007)
Special Edition
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Frequently bought together

  • Genevieve [DVD] (1953) (Special Edition )
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Total price: £17.42
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Product details

  • Actors: Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson, Kay Kendall, Kenneth More, Geoffrey Keen
  • Directors: Henry Cornelius
  • Writers: William Rose
  • Producers: Henry Cornelius, Earl St. John
  • Format: PAL, Full Screen, Dolby, Digital Sound, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Jun. 2007
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005OCV2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,474 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Every year, barrister Alan McKim (John Gregson) and wife Wendy (Dinah Sheridan) compete against Alan's friend (and Wendy's former beau), Ambrose Claverhouse (Kenneth More), in the London to Brighton vintage car race. This time round, however, Alan's 1904 roadster, 'Genevieve', breaks down on route. Angered by Ambrose's jokes at the expense of his beloved car, Alan bets his rival that he can beat him on the return journey to London - and the race is on! Larry Adler's harmonica score was nominated for an Oscar. Also included is a 'making of' documentary.

From Amazon.co.uk

For anyone who travels the congested roads of Britain these days the utterly delightful Genevieve will provoke a wistful, nostalgic sigh of regret for times gone by when there were no motorways, traffic jams were almost non-existent and friendly police motorcyclists riding classic Nortons (without helmets) cheerfully let people driving vintage cars race each other along country lanes. Even in 1953, Henry Cornelius’ gentle comedy must have seemed pleasingly old-fashioned, concerned as it is with the antics of two obsessive enthusiasts on the annual London to Brighton classic car rally. The principal quartet could hardly be bettered: though John Gregson is something of a cold fish as Genevieve’s proud owner, the radiant warmth of Dinah Sheridan as his long-suffering wife more than compensates. Kenneth More is ideally cast in the role of boastful rival enthusiast and Kay Kendall has possibly the best comic moment of all when she astonishes everyone with her drunken trumpet playing.

Cornelius also directed Ealing’s Passport to Pimlico, so his sure eye for gently mocking and celebrating British eccentricities is never in doubt. The screenplay by (American writer) William Rose now seems like an elegy to a way of life long disappeared: the pivotal moment when Gregson stops to humour a passing old buffer about his love of classic cars comes from a vanished era of politeness before road rage; as does the priceless exchange between hotel owner Joyce Grenfell and her aged resident: "No one’s ever complained before", says the mystified Grenfell after Gregson and Sheridan moan about the facilities, "Are they Americans?" asks the old lady, unable to conceive that anyone British could say such things. Genevieve is both a wonderful period comedy and a nostalgic portrait of England the way it used to be.

On the DVD: the "Special Edition" version of Genevieve has a decent new documentary with reminiscences from Dinah Sheridan (still radiant), the director of photography and the film’s editor, who talk about the challenges of filming on location. Most treasurable of all, though, is legendary harmonica player Larry Adler, who remembers his distinctive score with much fondness and is not at all embittered by his Hollywood blacklisting, which meant he was denied an Academy Award nomination. There’s also a short piece on some of the locations used (which for economic reasons were mostly in the lanes around Pinewood studios), cast biographies and a gallery of stills. The 4:3 ratio colour picture looks pretty good for its age and the mono sound is adequate. --Mark Walker

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