Josephine and Men
I came across this film while lying on the couch, flipping through the channels, recovering from a nasty bug. The opening scenes didn’t promise anything great, and coupled with the title, I expected a rather shallow girly film. I was ready to flip the channel, but hesitated during the opening credits when the name ‘William Hartnell’ appeared. That’s right nerd-folk, the original Doctor! I decided to stick with it, and I’m glad I did.
Rather than a shallow girly film, I discovered a well put together romantic comedy that was a window unto the age it was made. It turned out to be surprisingly good, at least in my humble opinion.
Made in 1955 it stars Glynis Johns, Jack Buchanan, Donald Sinden and Peter Finch (with William Hartnell).
Glynis Johns puts in a wonderful performance as Josephine, a young lady who seems only to be attracted to men who need her to look after them. Peter finch is great as a struggling playwright who lives in a run down apartment, that needs coins in a meter to make the electricity work. I enjoyed listening to him speak and hear traces of an Australian accent coming through. Donald Sinden plays Alan, Joesephine’s fiancé, that is of course until he introduces her to his down-trodden friend, David (Finch).
The story is told to a bar-keep by Joesephine’s Uncle Charles (Buchanan). Uncle Charles is my favourite character in the film. He is eccentric, and looks out for his niece in a most un-obtrusive way. He is very amusing, and exudes a worldly experience the younger characters do not yet have.
Josephine breaks off her engagement with Alan after meeting David, and declares she is going to marry him. David doesn’t know this yet, but in the true nature of films it comes true very quickly. Alan goes on to be very successful in his business, while David struggles on with his plays. David eventually creates a hit, and becomes quite wealthy himself.
Things take a turn, when Alan shows up at Josephine & David’s country house on the run from the law. Due to no fault of his own, some dodgy business had gone down and he was sure he’d be sent to prison. This introduced William Hartnell’s character. He puts in a great performance as a police inspector. It’s a relaxed natural performance, and it was great to see him in a roll before Doctor Who. In fact, it’s the only roll I’ve seen him in other than Doctor Who.
On the whole, the film is not deep by any means, but it has strong performances and the story is entertaining enough to keep you watching. The cinematography is also good. I loved seeing all the ‘olden days’ stuff.
Well worth a watch on a cold Sunday while recovering from a bug.