HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
   
 
Newest Articles
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
   
 
  Lady Godiva Rides Again The Price Of Beauty
Year: 1951
Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Dennis Price, John McCallum, Stanley Holloway, Pauline Stroud, Gladys Henson, Bernadette O'Farrell, George Cole, Diana Dors, Eddie Byrne, Kay Kendall, Renee Houston, Dora Bryan, Sid James, Richard Wattis, Michael Ripper, Alastair Sim, Dana Wynter
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Sunday in this town in the British Midlands, and it's raining again. The only places open are the churches, although if you wait long enough the cinemas will open that evening, which is where waitress Marjorie Clark (Pauline Stroud) is heading with her boyfriend Johnny (George Cole) so she can gaze deep into the eyes of her favourite film star Simon Abbott (Dennis Price) and be transported to exotic lands for an hour and a half. But there is a contest in the town to be held to commemorate Lady Godiva of legend, and the councillors want a young lady to parade in a pageant on horseback with nothing on but a long, flowing wig to preserve her modesty. Who will be lucky?

Except there's nothing lucky about it in Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat's unsentimental review of the beauty industry. Not the industry that will see to it the right cosmetics and fashion arrive in the world's beauty parlours, or modern equivalent, but the one that supplied the pretty faces to model for it, go on to appear in decorative roles in advertising, and go further to tread the boards on stage and graduate to television and film, if they were in possession of even a modicum of talent. Marjorie, our out of her depth heroine, is one such candidate for when she enters the contest to spite Johnny and her family, she ends up winning and to her bewilderment, is now considered a celebrity.

Had those producers made this film at the other end of the decade, it would have doubtless played out as a kitchen sink drama, think something along the lines of Laurence Olivier in The Entertainer, but they were better known for their comedies hence there were bits and pieces of humour dotted around the script. Not exactly zinger after zinger, but character moments designed to raise a laugh, yet they appeared to be a sop to the audience expecting an out and out comedy, for surprisingly for this team, this was fairly serious as an expose of their business. Now, Launder and Gilliat were very successful, sort of a saucier Ealing Studios, so it was odd to see them be so cynical about that success.

Maybe they had simply seen too many attractive girls fall by the wayside in their attempts to make it big and felt sorry for them, for while Marjorie's fall from grace sees her eventually get a happy ending right out of one of her beloved movie matinees, there was a rocky road to travel down to reach it. The producers recruited some soon to be famous faces for the beauty contest scenes, including Joan Collins recognisable in the lineup, but it was Diana Dors who was their real coup, fast becoming the most celebrated woman in the country and although she really only appeared in the first half (with a slight return at the end) her star quality was unmistakable. She played the fellow contestant who accidentally gives the gauche Marjorie a shot at the big time when a bathing costume mix-up and a dash of corruption gets the Midlands lass a contract.

At no point are we ever told that Marjorie is talented, you'll note, and there's a good reason for that - she isn't, she has lucked her way into this career and that's down to her looks. When they are not enough to sustain her, with crushing inevitability stripping for a living begins to loom, and a "French Revue" is her only chance of making an income. Although the producers were not so naïve to acknowledge they were not part of this dubious merry-go-round, they were apparently keen to present Lady Godiva Rides Again as a warning to all aspiring starlets, while well aware that this was the only way out of a life of drudgery for many of them: Johnny may be a nice guy, but he's no catch, and marriage to him seems a waste of Marjorie's brighter aspects. The film was notable for a series of cameos from famous names, including the inevitable Alastair Sim as the producers' nightmare scenario of how their careers could have gone, and Sid James as the seedy promoter, but mostly it intrigued for its clear-eyed depiction of showbiz. It just wasn't that funny, if you wanted humour. Music by William Alwyn.

[Network release this on Blu-ray as part of The British Film with an image gallery as an extra.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 941 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: