The Huggetts Collection
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During the immediate post-war years, the Huggetts were undoubtedly Britain's favourite film family. Unashamedly working-class the family epitomised the spirit of a united nation relishing simple pleasures with a cheery, down-to-earth smile. In 'Holiday Camp' (1947), the Huggett family's off on a spot of hols, led by dad Joe (Jack Warner). They arrive at one of Britain's largest holiday camps and soon find their lives intertwined with those of fellow holidaymakers Jimmy Gardner (Jimmy Hanley), a 21-year-old sailor jilted at the altar, spinster Esther Harman (Flora Robson) and flashy 'Binkie' Hardwicke (Dennis Price). In 'Here Come the Huggetts' (1948), the Huggett family returns in a home grown adventure as the family is about to have the telephone installed. In 'The Huggetts Abroad' (1949), the Huggett family is down on its luck, as father Joe is unemployed. Son-in-law Jimmy has a job waiting for him in South Africa, but no transport, so the whole clan sets off for the far continent.in the car. Along the way they have to cope with a breakdown, a broken compass in the Sahara, diamond smugglers and a spell in prison. In 'Vote for Huggett' (1948), Joe decides to enter the world of politics, causing uproar in his own household and the local community.
The Huggetts Collection contains four comedy films (on four separate discs), which each feature the hilarious antics of the English working-class family, the Huggetts. Titles in the box set include: "Holiday Camp"; "Here Come the Huggetts"; "Vote for Huggett"; and "The Huggets Abroad".
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I am so glad I did, the first film is riveting a wonderful blend of comedy, drama and a bit of a love story to boot, sounds a lot but it totally works, worth it for this film alone.
There are three other films in the set and I again enjoyed all of them, I can see these being watched time after time.
My only criticism of the set is that there are often loose ends. Diana Dors forges a signature and you rather expect to see her being arrested or something but the film ends abruptly with not a word. Feels strange.
That aside, just totally delicious portrayal of an average family, that has an anything but average life.
The portrayals of the characters puts me in mind of a cockney version of Brief Encounter, same feux 'world' just rather less posh, LOL (Nothing to do with the plot of brief encounter just the characterisation)
So I got to work on collecting anything I could that he'd done - with a special eye to his Directing (which is very visual with great care for light and color). But I stumbled over The Huggetts and these 4 films are as charming as it can get without being treacle.
Although I am an American, I can identify with many aspects of these films. I was born in 1947 and raised in a working-class neighborhood in a family that counted weekly Grange meetings, clog dancing and Fiddling among their High Spots.
I vividly remember my girlfriend's family getting their first phone. I can also remember, vaguely, something disturbingly like a Holiday Camp. I have actually done or have seen many of the things that transpire in these films.
Tightly filmed, they flow well, tempered with a "common" humor and traditional values that anyone can relate to.
Peter Hammond is charming on the eyes, putting me in mind of a young Jimmy Stewart in looks and style. And he comes with a good sense of comic timing, never going over the top. His exchanges with the Petula Clark character are endearing - he always seems willing to go along with her dream.