|The Pickwick Papers (1952)|
|Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951)|
Details below with no bonus features expected. NOTE: This is not Volume 2 of VCi's "Classic B's" British Cinema Collection.
The Pickwick Papers (1952)
In 1836 young Charles Dickens was commissioned to write a series of humorous stories about the misadventures of the members of a fictional English social club. Dickens called this organization the Pickwick Club, named after his central character, one Samuel Pickwick. He and his friends set out on a cross-country journey, and through a series of innocent misunderstandings, they wind up entangled in a comedy of errors that builds to monumental proportions. The tone of the tale turns serious when Pickwick is briefly consigned to a debtor's prison, a place which only Dickens could describe in the full measure of its hopelessness and horror. And only this picture could capture the flavor of this literary classic so tellingly. Pickwick and his friends Snodgrass, Winkle, Mr. Jingle and all the others come vividly to life, enacted by a peerless British cast. Received Academy Award Nomination for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White.
Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951)
Thomas Hughes' novel of life in a boys' boarding school in the 1800's comes boldly to life on the screen. At the age of eleven Tom Brown is sent off to Rugby where, as his father tells him, he likely will "see a great many blackguard things." He does indeed. Young Tom receives a good deal of hazing from his classmates, but he takes it all in stride until he runs afoul of the school bully, the sadistic Flashman. A more despicable villain doesn't exist in English literature--or in English movies, for that matter. Tom learns the hard way that rebelling against Flashman carries a painful penalty. Robert Newton gives a moving performance as the school's reform-minded headmaster. Some of the filming took place on location at Rugby, giving the picture its strong flavor of authenticity.
Trilby O'Ferral is drawn to a group in the next apartment listening to the music of Svengali. She meets the men and is attracted to two: Billy, a shy, sensitive, young man who obviously adores her on sight, and the dark, sinister hypnotist, Svengali. Trilby, who poses for young artists, comes to know and like Billy, but fails to understand his primness and modesty. Yet, their relationship grows under the watchful, jealous eye of the hypnotist. Finally, he comes forward, bringing Trilby under his spell completely. Billy is unable to comprehend the change in Trilby. She and Svengali develop a concert act and tour successfully, forsaking Trilby's former friends. Yet, Billy's love is unwavering and wins out at last over the dark power of Svengali.