HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Rat, The Ain't Never Gonna Be RespectableBuy this film here.
Year: 1937
Director: Jack Raymond
Stars: Anton Walbrook, Ruth Chatterton, René Ray, Beatrix Lehmann, Mary Clare, Felix Aylmer, Hugh Miller, Gordon McLeod, Frederick Culley, Nadine March, George Merritt, Leo Genn, Fanny Wright, Bob Gregory, Ivan Wilmot, J.H. Roberts, Betty Marsden
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The place is Paris, the underworld to be exact, where the criminals mix and scheme, and the higher classes get a kick out of mingling with them, but if there is a king of the underworld, it has to be the man they call The Rat - Jean Boucheron (Anton Walbrook). He may be a habitual thief of the finest quality merchandise he can find, but the women love him and the men fear him, though the police simply wish for an excuse to catch him and put him away for a very long time. Somehow he always escapes, as tonight when the Inspector brings a young lady Jean has recently been in the bedroom of to identify him as the man who took her jewels; however, she is so enamoured she refuses to say it was him. But how long can he carry on this apparently carefree existence?

Until approximately five minutes into the film, that's how long, in this second screen version of Ivor Novello's popular play. By this time it was getting to be something of a theatrical warhorse, but it had been made with heartthrob Novello in the lead as a silent movie back in 1925, proving so successful that two sequels were ordered in quick succession. The producers of this evidently believed there was life in the old dog yet as the script was dusted off and recast with the debonair Austrian Walbrook in the lead, already a star who would set the ladies' pulses pounding (and possibly some of the gentlemen's as well). He was most famous in his native land for his family connections, being descended from a distinguished line of clowns, but it was drama that called for Anton.

He went on to be one of the major cult stars of his era, if that isn't a contradiction in terms, but his innate humanity allowed him to bring dimensions to even the shallowest-seeming roles, and when he got a job that allowed him to shine, he could be riveting. In this case, it was a more melodramatic part he was requested to play, fair enough for keeping the audiences happy if not entirely fascinated, this sort of thing being par for the course in cinema of the time, and not doing enough to stand out too much from the contemporaries. Indeed, the only thing that was a true novelty here was that compared to the previous outings for the character, this Rat could be heard talking, and the dialogue was as hokey as the rest of it; not that this meant it was impossible to enjoy.

Actually in spite of these styles going utterly out of fashion, that could be part of the appeal, and seeing Walbrook emote in these circumstances was amusing enough: the fact that it lasted barely over an hour was a bonus too, not going to wear out its welcome in that time. As for the plot, we had that old reliable, the love triangle, as Jean is requested as an old associate's dying wish before he goes to the guillotine that the rogue look after his daughter Odile (future Countess - and science fiction author - René Ray). Now Odile looks of an age to well look after herself, but she is in reduced circumstances, and what her dad meant was that she not be sold into prostitution to make ends meet, as the local madam in Jean's lodgings is keen to get her to do. Will they fall in love? Or whoops, what about the socialite Jean has been seeing, Zelia (respected stage actress Ruth Chatterton)? Which shall he choose? Resolving itself in a courtroom drama for a murder charge, it was less interested in the class issues and more in the swooning self-sacrifice, but it diverted mildly. Music by Anthony Collins.

[The Network DVD in their British Film series looks a little aged, understandably, but perfectly watchable; a gallery is the sole extra.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 717 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
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: