Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '47 - Brandon Smith ""

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Underrated '47 - Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has been a film junkie since the yesteryears of VHS and Laserdisc, also a hardcore advocate of physical media. @bsmith8168 is dedicated to seeking out any under seen and underrated film from around the globe. In his spare time he helps out the good people at AGFA to help in the preservation and distribution of many of oft talked of titles that many thought lost in the malaise of the grindhouse era.
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Hue and Cry (1947; Charles Crichton)
Hue and Cry is a perfect example of youth post WWII, you can tell there is an underlying angst and a misconception that they missed out on something by not being old enough to participate in the war. At the same time at the end of the film you can also see that they are ready at any moment to rally to war if circumstances merit such an effect. The film starts out with a young boy having a chance encounter with a children's comic that seems to have some sort of connection with the market district. Upon further investigation he learns that he has just piped the lid on some sort of nefarious plans and gets the rest of his mates involved to expose the situation. Not many films do you get to see so many children willfully throw themselves to the wolves as you do in this film. The ending is nothing short of magical in the insane over the top violence that breaks out when these British kids attack in swarms.
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Night Beat (1947; Harold Huth)
Mostly only known for an early appearance of British sex symbol Christine Norden as a female fatale. The film starts off with two best friends returning home from war one the brother (Andy) of the sister that the other (Don) is in love with. Once settled back in Don starts to realize that the girl he left isn't the same anymore, so the two friends decide to become cops. One night Andy meets a woman in a dancehall that he falls in love with and later on gets in trouble for buying stolen earrings for. The detective that makes the bust is none other than Don and Andy is off the force, so he gets a job with his sister's new flame Felix. Now the two friends are on different sides of the law since Andy's new job has basically made him a thug and his girlfriend seems to be more interested in Felix and is ready to drop some old dead weight. The film definitely has a lot going on and is tightly made throughout and further showcases the attitudes of a nation that is recently out of a war. This has everything a Noir fan would want and more and is worth digging up for a watch.

Ramrod (1947; Andre De Toth)
Ramrod is a western that stands out for it's stronger sense of realism of it's characters. As opposed to the majority of Westerns of the golden age that have a defining line betwixt the heroes and villains. Ramrod has it good guys playing just as dirty as the bad ones and also the females seem just as powerful as the males in Veronica Lake's case. As for the action the film is paced very well and never yields a dull moment, Lake is stunning as usual and there is an early appearance from Lloyd Bridges.
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It Always Rains on a Sunday (1947; Robert Hamer)
Earling Studios release that is an ensemble crime drama that would of made Robert Altman proud. The story is about a recently escaped convict that hides out in the house of his old flame that is now married and has in a way forgotten about her old lover. All the others that live in the house each have their own side plots that range from having affairs and some being targeted by some shady characters of the British underground. Extremely ambitious for it's short run time the film has so much going on, that this could have almost become a series. Entertaining throughout and a great depiction of British life just after the war.
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They Made Me a Fugitive (1947; Alberto Cavalcanti)
Stark post WWII British Noir thriller has a very Hitchcock vibe to it follows an ex-military man Clem (Trevor Howard) that has now become a smuggler on the black market for a group of thugs run by a man named Narcy. Once Clem finds out on his latest haul that he has brought in was also carrying some drugs Clem wants out. Narcy smoothed it over long enough to set up another job that is an excuse to frame Clem results in a dead policeman and Clem taking the fall. Behind bars a girl comes to Clem to try to help him by getting one of the other thugs to turn over evidence to help him out of prison, Clem then decides to break out and get revenge. The camerawork in this film is amazing, so many great shots and the contrasting is just as marvelous. The acting is on point throughout and Trevor Howard has a certain resemblance to Michael Fassbinder in this film that seems kind of uncanny. The villain that is Narcy is one of the best take no chances type that is ready to off anyone that stands in his way adds a great bit of suspense that cuts deep for a film of this era. This has made me an instant fan of director Cavalcanti and makes me want to watch everything he has done.
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2 comments:

Jerry Entract said...

Brandon, what a fantastic choice! I have a certain fondness for 1947 ( born October of that year) but really there were so many great little movies that year to choose from. Your 5 choices would be films I could easily have chosen myself. I love every one of them. Only discovered "NIGHT BEAT" a few months ago and really enjoyed it. Christine Norden was quite something, plus Maxwell Reed who became Joan Collins' first husband and Anne Crawford, now largely forgotten but a HUGE star in Britain until her untimely death in the 50s.
Two wonderful Ealing films ( "IT ALWAYS RAINS....") yet again and "THEY MADE ME A FUGITIVE" , a really gripping 'noir' that gives a terrific post-WW2 vibe. Trevor Howard just perfect for it.

4 of 5 of your choices are British but I assume (??) you are not?

David Lawrence said...

On the one I have seen - HUE AND CRY is a great choice, one of my favourite depictions of children on film and absolutely top tier Ealing.