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The Holly & The Ivy [DVD]
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Classic post-war drama starring Ralph Richardson as Martin Gregory, a clergyman whose commitment to his religious duties leads him to neglect his family. Things come to a head at the family's Christmas gathering. The film also stars Celia Johnson, Margaret Leighton and Denholm Elliott.
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Top Customer Reviews
The script is faithfully and carefully distilled from a successful stage play of the 1950s - but the adaptation has none of that cardboard quality that is sometimes a pitfall of putting theatre onto the screen.
Celia Johnson, Ralph Richardson, Margaret Leighton, a young Denholm Elliott, and a supporting cast of remarkable talent unfold this bittersweet but ultimately joyous story set in the claustrophobic confines of a country vicarage.
The bells ring for Christmas, the carol singers trill, the goose is basted - and the world is bathed in white and silence. On the surface all is love and goodwill, but relations between the vicar and his grown-up children are stretched to breaking-point. Two sisters and a younger brother are convinced that their father cannot or will not understand their very different needs and wants, and they in turn have made little or no attempt to allow for the sacrifices that have to be made by someone with a calling to the priesthood.
Distressing little domestic incidents occur during the course of an evening - incidents which trigger major changes within the family, bringing out the weaknesses and ultimate strengths of each of the players in turn.Read more ›
The film is sentimental and poignant, and none the worse for that. Theacting prevents the story becoming mawkish, and the country setting, thesimple normality of life when life had been far from normal, is theessence of this film. I would recommend this film to anyone studyingBritish post-war film as this is a quintessential example of its type.
The brief opening scenes aside, the story takes place entirely over Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and I marvelled at how naturally domesticity played out with key dialogue, adding an effective realness to the film. I recently watched 'This Happy Breed', starring a younger Ceila Johnson who plays Jenny here, and it too unfurled in scenes where important dialogue went hand-in-hand with domestic goings-on. Another winner.
'The Holly and the Ivy' now equals my all-time favourite Christmas film, the 1951 'A Christmas Carol' with Alastair Sim. Another vintage classic not to be missed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a movie buff so it is a little surprising that I only discovered this gem recently. I love the writing and acting by this wonderful cast. Highly recommended.Published 5 months ago by Andrew Dykstra
The fabulous thing about this classic is that it is SO well acted by some of the best British actors we've ever had and I cannot praise it highly enough. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MalMonroe
I have loved this film for many year and it is a real shame that it is hardly ever broadcast on TV.. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Chapter One
brought for some one else who is very pleased with item and servicePublished 8 months ago by pete W