Passport to Pimlico

It’s a Duchy, Burgundy in fact, one London street, looking forward to Laurel & Hardy’s Utopia (dir. Joannon).

The whole thing gets up a surprising lot of parody, even the Berlin Airlift, before at last it’s taken in tow. “Plucky little Pimlico!”

The inestimable genius of Genevieve is a master of camerawork and the whatnots of the business, he knows everything, only the critics lack that knowledge.

In America, it was shortened initially, which only bred confusion per the New York Times, Variety likewise.


The Galloping Major
A Fairy Tale about Horse-Racing

On the theory that truth is stranger than fiction, how Britain won the war, with reference to Clarence Brown’s National Velvet.

It is, therefore, the most amazing film far and away on the subject of sport.

This is very easily proven, witness the obscurity in which it has lain for half a century, taken at face value by critics quite seriously in the wrong way and pronounced by Halliwell and the BFI “sub-Ealing” (both dismiss the director’s last two films, I Am a Camera and Next to No Time, out of hand).

From the song of the same name.



Hawling brooligans on the London-Brighton run, driving a 1904 Darracq and a 1904 Spyker.

Accounts say that the director emphatically wanted English motorcars and got these, French and Dutch.

They were heightened considerably and play each other’s part in Edwards’ The Great Race, a much vaster enterprise coincident with Annakin’s Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, followed by Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies, Bail’s The Gumball Rally, Needham’s The Cannonball Rally and Cannonball Run II, not to mention the pivotal film, Kramer’s It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

The very fine psychology of Rose and Cornelius probes tacitly behind the fears and attractions of old things to their quiddity. “You don’t speak of old paintings,” Godard observes, “why do you speak of old films?”


I am a Camera

Portrait of the artist as a writer.

The muse descends upon him, and the god. The pressure of circumstances expresses his gifts. The alchemical properties of all this are amply displayed.

You can never know what a critic will say, though you are safe in the long run betting against him if the film is a good one, he has his reputation to maintain. There is a rare occasion, however, when you may be quite certain he will write a pan, and that is when he doesn’t know what to make of it at all, as Crowther admits in his New York Times review.

The degrees of comedy are exhibited by Cornelius and his expert cast as though it were a classic treatise on the various kinds and ways of being funny or not. Berlin at the start of 1931 is a dismal place, unless one is very rich. But the author is much older now, at the opening of the film and after telling these reminiscences at the sort of literary cocktail party he abhors, in London.