One of the films from that probably fantasy childhood is Geordie. It’s recently been released on DVD for the first time and it is the sort of film they don’t make any more. Perhaps I’m viewing it through the teary eyes of nostalgia, but I think that’s a shame. It appears that all family films nowadays have to have something ‘knowing’ there for ‘mum and dad’. Irony and double entendres abound, and, to be honest, usually makes for a really boring film. One of the joys of family films is for the whole family to enjoy it together. Simple pleasures for all.
Geordie won’t be for everyone, and on a different, more cynical, day it perhaps won’t be for me. But in the right mood, ideally on a wet Saturday afternoon with a quarter of Kola Kubes and some Irn Bru, this film is the one to watch. Alistair Sim, Bill Travers and a very young Paul Young (of Hooked on Scotland fame, not the 1980’s leather-trousered balladeer). Its kitsch, its a little cute but it’s as comfortable as childhood memory. Here’s the trailer:
Geordie was made by Shepperton Studios, and was written by Frank Launder, the man who, along with Sidney Gilliat, is best known for writing the screenplays of the original St Trinian’s films as well as films as varied as The Green Man, which also stars Alistair Sim and who was something of a muse for the two, the original The Blue Lagoon and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes. But one of their best was Partner’s In Crime. Here’s the opening of that film:
Launder and Gilliat were as important figures in British cinema as the more lauded Powell and Pressburger. Their films aren’t as visually arresting as those of P and P, but the quantity and quality of their work is astonishing.