There is something about black and white films which makes everything classier, isn’t there? Although colour television has been around all my life, it was a b/w television I took to university (belonging to Our Vicar’s Wife) and I enjoyed my monochrome world for a while. A little more distant, perhaps, but so entertainment ought to be – I’m suspicious of this High Definition thing coming in; I don’t want to feel as though I’m ‘in’ the television. I want to escape there for a bit: not the same thing.
The b/w film I watched tonight was Went The Day Well? which several people recommended after I watched Mrs. Miniver some time last year. Really enjoyed it – quite pacey, which is the one thing many older films lack. Made in 1942, it depicts what could have happened, had German troops infiltrated an English village, under the guise of being British soldiers. Lots of British Stiff Upper Lip and “There is a war on, you know” attitude. People sacrifice themselves for others all over the place, and there are genuinely touching moments to remind of a all-for-one England which probably never quite existed to the propagandists’ extent. Amazing to think that the original audiences wouldn’t have known how the war would end, nor whether or not England would be invaded.
Quite an emotional film – you definitely get caught up in the lives of these villagers, and it isn’t comfort viewing, really, especially in 1942 I’d imagine.
Other reasons for watching this film:
– It’s filmed in a village in Buckinghamshire called Turville, where The Vicar of Dibley was also filmed. And Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and more or less everything else.
-One of the main characters is a young Thora Hird!! Don’t know how well she is known outside the UK, but here she is renowned for chairlift adverts, Songs of Praise, and a sitcom about the elderly, Last of the Summer Wine. Difficult to believe she was ever young, but here she is, still rather older than I am, in the war.
Any other classic b/ws to recommend? Not necessarily from the war, but b/w please… I’ve had a few ‘digitally remastered’ or somesuch – such a disappointment! That feeling of class doesn’t come from colour…