HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Beautiful Stranger Johnny Come LatelyBuy this film here.
Year: 1954
Director: David Miller
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Herbert Lom, Stanley Baker, Jacques Bergerac, Margaret Rawlings, Eddie Byrne, Coral Browne, Lisa Gastoni, Lily Kann, Ferdy Mayne, Keith Pyott, Roger Delgado, John Like Mesurier, Marianne Stone, Carl Duering
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Romance
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: She was a showgirl, her name was Johnny (Ginger Rogers), and she has made a success of herself, enough to graduate from the stage to retire to her own villa on the French Riviera near Cannes where she can swim in her private pool and be waited on hand and foot by her maid. As if that was not enough, she is being romanced by a wealthy businessman, Louis Galt (Stanley Baker), who insists he can make a good woman of her once he has divorced his current wife, who he has been separated from for a while now. But what Johnny doesn't know is that her boyfriend is dealing with some shady folks and the source of his money is not entirely above board, which will translate into stormy waters ahead for their relationship, even with the new boat he has bought for her...

Beautiful Stranger happened along when British films were keen to import as many American stars as possible for their productions, to increase their chances abroad and generate more profits, this example being typical of those efforts. Securing Rogers was something of a coup, she may not have been enjoying her heyday by 1954, but she was still a very big star and a recognisable name, though you could tell the project was tiptoeing around her to keep her as happy as they could - see the opening five minutes where she got to show off her legs after emerging from the pool, just to prove that at forty-three years old, she had what it took in the glamour stakes even at this point in her career, with her dancing days far behind her.

And to her credit, and the credit of the makeup team, Ginger was retaining her well-scrubbed, blonde good looks, though here she was called upon to essay the kind of role that a Lana Turner or Joan Crawford would be moving into where the fans who had matured with her were keen to see her suffering in the lap of luxury rather than playing some drudge chained to the kitchen sink. It was a genre, kind of soap opera with added tensions and melodrama, even a film noir element, that would see many stars of her ilk keep their profiles visible as the pop culture began to change and the Golden Age of Hollywood gave way to... what? A Silver Age? Usually the leading ladies would be bolstered by some hunk or other, though in this case that was not Stanley Baker.

Mr Baker with grey streaks in his hair to look closer to Rogers' age, lest we forget. Anyway, though he appeared to be the leading man, Ginger had other ideas, as her then-husband Jacques Bergerac was cast as Johnny's other lover, a sculptor (!) who she meets after crashing her car, almost going over a cliff in the process. Bergerac's Pierre offers her some tender loving care and a pre-Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore Ghost pottery lesson, and before you know it Johnny wants to break it off with Louis. All very soapy, more so than any moves towards thrills to be frank, so the labelling of this as a British noir was a misnomer, especially as it did not take place in Blighty, though the non-Riviera interiors were shot there. Adding a dash of intrigue was the ever-reliable Herbert Lom as a weak-willed criminal and old pal of Johnny's who steals the diamond bracelet Louis gifts her to give to Louis to settle his debts - not a great move, and results in the dodgy businessman flying into a rage, slapping her around, thereby making it all the clearer that she belongs with her French artist. It was all a bit silly, so tailored to its star that it was constrained by her, but for actor fanciers there was amusement to be had. Music by Malcolm Arnold, complete with ridiculous theme song co-written by José Ferrer!

[There's an image gallery and subtitles on Network's Blu-ray and DVD restoration for The British Film.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 367 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: