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So Long At The Fair [DVD] [1950]

4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

Price: £5.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Jean Simmons, Dirk Bogarde, Honor Blackman, Zena Marshall
  • Directors: Terence Fisher, Anthony Darnborough
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English, German, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Strawberry Media
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Mar. 2011
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004JIF5MM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,175 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

It is 1889 and Paris is crowded with visitors for it is the eve of the opening of the Great Exhibition . Victoria (Jean Simmons) and her brother, Johnny (David Tomlinson), arrive to take part in the event. Leaving her brother at the bar Vicky retires to her hotel room for the night. Next morning she excitedly runs to see Johnny and is bewildered to find that both her brother and his room has disappeared. Her surprise turns to concern when all the other staff and guests deny ever seeing her brother. None of the authorities will believe her story, but by chance she meets a young English artist, George (Dirk Bogarde) who knows her story to be true. Together they must try to unravel the mystery.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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This Spanish DVD is a reasonably good transfer of a wonderful movie which really does deserve the sort of treatment Warners or Criterion in the States gives vintage movies. The picture quality is fairly decent -- but it does call out for some quality restoration.
The tale is based on a true event at the time of the 19th Century Great Exhibition in Paris. Jean Simmons attends the World Fair with her brother, played by David Tomlinson. After a night on the town, they retire to their little hotel, to their separate rooms. Comes the morning -- no brother. He has disappeared. Even more bizarre, so has his room And no-one will believe that either he or his room were there. The lady must be mad.
Enter Dirk Bogarde playing the romantic lead in a fun fey way. He's very languid and high-camp, as if he doesn't quite believe his role -- his slight air of alienation somehow aids rather than detracts from the movie.
This is a little mid-Century British gem and until a better transfer comes along, this will do quite nicely.
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An apt title to a movie that for years has been as 'elusive' as the character in the Picture!

David Tomlinson (looking very serious and attractive playing 'straight') is Mr. Barton who simply vanishes into thin air over night leaving his sister (played by Jean Simmons) alone and destitute in France at the time of the Great Exhibition'. Not only that - but all trace of him; his room, his belongings along with any records or proof of him having ever existed!

This is one of those movies that (providing you don't know the story - and thus the outcome) will keep you hooked until the very end!

Dirk Bogarde also stars, but great credit must go to the fabulous and popular Great British actress Cathleen Nesbitt who once again plays a very convincing French woman with sinister undertones.

A collection of well-known faces and stars of British cinema in this, and I can't imagine anyone disliking it.

FABULOUS stuff!!
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Anthony Thorne's droll romance, first published in 1947, took wing on an alleged real-life incident that had become legend, providing a wealth of fictional variation on page and screen. Two English women, an older and a younger, travelling abroad in the 19th century were sundered when the older, taken ill, disappeared off the face of the earth, her very identity refuted by those around the couple and the mystery, in some accounts, never solved. In Thorne they're a young brother-and-sister Vicky and Johnny, visiting Paris for the Great Exhibition of 1889 which introduced the Eiffel Tower to the world and overall cost the city a fortune to mount (a significant factor in what follows). Johnny, feeling unwell, disappears overnight and so does his hotel-room, management and staff firmly insisting that mam'zelle arrived alone. They try to intimidate Vicky when she refuses to conveniently disappear herself and she turns for help, other avenues having failed her, to George a young artist who'd borrowed money from Johnny. He's finally instrumental in cracking open the mystery and bringing future happiness to Vicky on his own account. Thorne throughout clothes his tale in richly atmospheric period-detail and humorous observation of characteristics national and international.
Screenwise Hitch would have had a field-day with all this but he'd already travelled this route by train, of course, in the dear old days with Gainsborough. By the time the same company was bringing Thorne to the movies in 1949 Hitch was a VIP from Hollywood, filming in Britain under its aegis. Gainsborough's new production could certainly have done with his unique spark and his piercing intimacy.
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An English brother (David Tomlinson, MARY POPPINS) and sister (Jean Simmons) are visiting the 1896 Paris Exhibition. That evening they go to Montmartre for dinner and then on to the Moulin Rouge before retiring. The following morning, the brother has disappeared and the hotel's manager (Cathleen Nesbitt) insists that Simmons arrived alone and there was no brother and not only that but the room no. 19 he was allegedly in ... does not exist! This little modest suspense film could have benefited from a more assured hand or perhaps it's because its plot (based on an urban legend) has been used before and since in films like THE LADY VANISHES and BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING to name just two that its "mystery" is no mystery at all. The film has the curious habit of having its French characters speak in French with no subtitles thus leaving those who don't speak French literally in the dark though it's clear from their expressions, that nothing good is going on. Directed by Antony Darnborough and Terence Fisher (who would go on to be a Hammer regular) with a score by Benjamin Frankel (who used some of this score for a concert piece). With Dirk Bogarde, Honor Blackman, Felix Aylmer, Zena Marshall and Andre Morell.

The DVD via Spirit Entertainment from Great Britain has an adequate transfer if on the soft side (it could have used a little more contrast too) but perfectly watchable.
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