HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  People Will Talk Secrets & Lies Bring A Pleasant Surprise
Year: 1951
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Cary Grant, Jeanne Crain, Finlay Currie, Hume Cronyn, Walter Slezak, Sidney Blackmer, Basil Ruysdael, Margaret Hamilton
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Doctor Noah Pretorius (Cary Grant) is greatly respected both as a physician and a lecturer at the medical college, where he teaches it is important to treat a sick person’s ailing spirit as much as their illness. However, an embittered colleague, Professor Rodney Elwell (Hume Cronyn) greatly resents the good doctor and is eager to dig up some dirt from his past to discredit him. His suspicions fall on Mr. Shunderson (Finlay Currie), an enigmatic, elderly man who, nicknamed “The Bat”, shadows Noah like a manservant. When beautiful Deborah Higgins (Jeanne Crain) faints during Noah’s lecture on anatomy, he discerns she is pregnant and unmarried. Later, he saves Deborah’s life after she attempts suicide. Noah visits her home on a farm and discovers Deborah and her forlorn father Arthur Higgins (Sidney Blackmer) are near-penniless, financially dependent upon his bullying brother John. Having fallen in love, Noah deliberately lies, telling Deborah she is not pregnant, so she won’t question his motives for proposing marriage, but Prof. Elwell is poised to make his move.

A decidedly offbeat, yet beguiling comedy-drama, People Will Talk has the mannered, yet certainly well-written, dialogue and theatrical staging that betray its origins as a stage-play. Written by German playwright Curt Goetz, “Doctor Praetorius” (not to be confused with the decidedly less-than-benevolent character Ernest Thesiger immortalised in Bride of Frankenstein (1935)!) first reached the screen in its native Germany back in the Thirties, but as reworked by the great Joseph L. Mankiewicz has been interpreted by some as a comment on the then-recent Communist witch-hunts orchestrated by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Certainly there is an element of McCarthy about the belligerent, joyless Prof. Elwell, wittily surmised by Shunderson as a little man who grows that much smaller by the story’s end. Mankiewicz also tips his hand by casting Margaret Hamilton, formerly the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz (1939), as the spiteful housekeeper who sells Noah out for the promise of a new job.

Typically for a Mankiewicz production, this has its share of acerbic dialogue with waspish characters who snipe from the sidelines, but is largely a hymn to human decency and heroes that rise above the mire. Noah Pretorius is a wholly admirable figure, critical of the heartlessness of much modern life, yet caring and most importantly, strong enough to face down self-righteous ogres like John Higgins and Rodney Elwell. Such a character could easily lapse into mawkish sentimentality, but with Mankiewicz at the helm, the saccharine is kept at bay thanks to eccentric supporting characters (e.g. Professor Barker, with Walter Slezak in a rare and welcome, avuncular good guy role; Finlay Currie is quietly moving as the mysterious Shunderson, and delivers his near-ridiculous back-story with such stoicism, Cary Grant visibly strains to keep a straight face) and delightfully surreal comedy: e.g. Shunderson staring angry dog into submission, or Noah turning his living room into a giant train set.

It is also a love story and both Cary Grant and Jeanne Crain imbue their roles with great warmth and subtlety. Their courtship scene, set in the milking room on John Higgins’ farm, is especially well written and performed, as first he pursues her, then she pursues him. Deborah’s strained politeness when she faces down Prof. Elwell is another great to and fro between actors, showcasing not just their skill but that of Mankiewicz. A little known gem, worth seeking out by Cary Grant and Jeanne Crain fans.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 7099 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
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: