Genevieve (U)

Review by Rebecca J Madrigal

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: The special edition also includes A Profile of Genevieve. Dinah Sheridan, director of photography Christopher Challis and Larry Adler provide insights into the making of the classic comedy - the tiny budget, the innovative location filming, the behind-the-scenes antics of the cast and why it remains one of the UK's favourite films.

AS THE winter months descend upon us, what more could you ask for than a typical British film? The type only us Brits can make.

Though, in saying that, it must be made clear that the script that brought success to the film was actually written by William Rose, an American.

The plot and the performances are extremely British in every possible way, and, yes, it may seem twee at times, but this is how simple life should be in the perfect world - with well-dressed ladies in hats, gentlemen who actually open doors for ladies and stand when a lady enters the room and, of course, the wonderful vintage cars, perfection!

The plot is simple; two vintage car buffs take part in the London to Brighton car rally, taking along their respective girlfriends and the action picks up on the return journey, with Genevieve being the prize for the winner.

The cast all relate well together and though the plot does not dwell for long on the mixed interests the couples have in each other, the chemistry works well to produce a fine, polished and very amusing film.

The performances are all top notch, with Dinah Sheridan and John Gregson playing nice so very well. But it is Kenneth Moore and Kay Kendall who give the plot that little extra pizzazz.

Kendall was a superb comedienne, married to respected actor Rex Harrison and having shared the film set with Gene Kelly in 'Les Girls', she was building a star-lined career, until, at the age of 33, it was cut short by her death from leukaemia.

Kenneth Moore, a favourite of the Royal family and a regular in just about every British war movie made in the 40s and 50s, just blasts through the film with non-stop energy and style.

Keen-eyed movie buffs will note a cameo by the wonderful Joyce Grenfell, who explains beautifully about the time you may take a bath and the time you may not - only in England!

If you're spending Sunday afternoon with grandma, then this is the movie for you. But don't judge it, just enjoy and dream…

NB. The cars, for anyone who is interested, are a 1904 Darracq (Genevieve) and a 1904 Spyker! While another mindless piece of information is the fact that the music was played by Larry Adler, who, at the time, was unpopular with the House Un-American Activity Committee, which meant that the Oscar nomination was credited to Muir Mathieson. The Academy has now changed its records and given Adler the recognition he deserves for his harmonica-driven score.

MAIN CAST: Kenneth Moore, Kay Kendall, Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson and Joyce Grenfell.

DIRECTOR / PRODUCER: Henry Cornelius

SCREENPLAY: William Rose

OSCAR NOMINATIONS: Best Screenplay and Best Music

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