HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Half a Sixpence Different Class
Year: 1967
Director: George Sidney
Stars: Tommy Steele, Julia Foster, Cyril Ritchard, Penelope Horner, Elaine Taylor, Grover Dale, Hilton Edwards, Julia Sutton, Leslie Meadows, Sheila Falconer, Pamela Brown, James Villiers, Christopher Sandford, Jean Anderson, Allan Cuthbertson, James Bolam
Genre: MusicalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: When Arthur Kipps (Tommy Steele) was a boy, he was orphaned at an early age and was forced to leave school to go to work as an apprentice draper. The main reason he did not wish to leave his old village was that he was abandoning his childhood sweetheart Ann, but she told him she would keep in touch through their letters, and gave him a kiss on the cheek before he was escorted all the way to the clothes shop of the strict and overbearing Mr Shalford (Hilton Edwards). Ten years went by and Arthur was still working there with his fellow assistants, people he had grown up with, but what had happened to Ann (Julia Foster)?

This class-obsessed musical was based on the book Kipps by H.G. Wells, and had already been filmed straight in 1941 with Michael Redgrave, although this was probably the most famous version which stuck pretty closely to the story, the production numbers apart. This is something of a problem that would not be so apparent in its long-running stage incarnation, as on film it becomes apparent that few of the songs do much to further the plot, and many seem to be there for the sake of filling up the far too substantial running time. Not that this is a bad thing, it's simply that the filmmakers make a meal of what might have been better as a lower-key story.

So if you don't mind setting apart two and a half hours to indulge yourself in a musical that is not quite top tier, not on Oliver! level at any rate if you're talking about British musicals, then what is there to hold the attention? Well, there's always the perfectly cast Tommy Steele, finding his niche as a song and dance man after his spell at the top of the U.K. rock 'n' rollers tree in the previous decade. He seems to be grinning even when something miserable is happening to Arthur, such is the wattage of that toothy beam, but his working class pluck and vigour come across as the ideal personality for what in other hands could have been a long slog through some increasingly elephantine setpieces.

When Arthur does meet up with Ann again after ten years apart, their youthful romance is sparked once more and he gives her half of the sixpence she gave him that decade ago as a token of his love, but there will be obstacles in the way to their happiness. First up, their second date has to be postponed because Mr Shalford orders Arthur to attend a woodwork class to please a client, but he barely makes it as he is waylaid by a flamboyant actor, Harry Chitterlow (Cyril Ritchard, alas not offering any musings over roulette), who will become important for the ending but as it is looks like another excuse for a tune when he takes Arthur to his theatre. Anyway, the daughter of the wealthy client is Helen (Penelope Horner), and he misguidedly falls for her.

This is all about waking the main character up to the fact that he cannot escape his standing in life, so when he inherits a fortune from his long lost relative it is not the cause for celebration he would have thought as he loses his friends, Ann and his dignity in his pursuit of Helen. She is a snooty type so it appears that Arthur is interested in her mainly because she is something he feels he should be aspiring to, and anyone could have told him leaving the more sincere Ann in the dust (or the rain, in this case) was a bad idea. If this does not move quite as much as it should, it might be down to Steele not coming across as the kind of person who would tolerate an unhappy finale for one of his tales, and perhaps also because the whole thing is somewhat exhausting, but it is worth watching at least for the most celebrated number, "Flash Bang Wallop! What a Picture!", cannily placed to wake us up when we're two hours in and all too aware of it.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3252 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: