Archive M

The Man Between (1953)

Carol Reed's tale of Berlin stars Claire Bloom as the English visitor and James Mason as the spiv she falls for. He makes a living kidnapping people wanted in the East, but she accidentally becomes a victim. It's okay but it's no Third Man.

Script adapt.: Harry Kurnitz, Eric Linklater. (o.a. Walter Ebert)

Director: Carol Reed

Players: Geoffrey Toone, Hildegarde Neff, Aribert Waescher, Ernst Schroeder

The Man From Home (1922)

An American heiress goes to Europe and becomes romantically entangled with a phony prince and his family. Her guardian comes over to rescue her from herself.

One of the last of the films Famous Players-Lasky made during their short-lived attempt to establish a British production base. The plot is rather old hat, but the most is made of the South of France locations.

Script adapt.: Ouida Bergere. (o.a. Booth Tarkington, Harry Leon Wilson)

Director: George Fitzmaurice

Players: James Kirkwood, Anna Q Nilsson, Norman Kerry, Dorothy Cumming, Geoffrey Kerr, John Milterne, Annette Benson, Clifford Grey, Jose Rubens, Edward Dagnall

The Man from Morocco (1945)

The end of the Spanish Civil War. Czech Anton Walbrook, a member of the International Brigade, is captured and later sent to work in the Sahara by the Vichy government building a railway for the Germans. He escapes with vital information, but the only way to get to London with it is for his old girlfriend to marry his old enemy. The complicated storyline was provided by Rudolph Cartier who became one of television's great producers (1984, Quatermass), but shows no sign of intelligence here. 

Script: Warwick Ward, Edward Dryhurst, Margaret Steen

Director: Max Green

Players: Margaretta Scott, Reginald Tate, Mary Morris, Peter Sinclair, David Horne, Hartley Power

Man from Tangier (1957)

A film stuntman takes the wrong overcoat and finds himself caught up in a web of intrigue. Another no-star bore from director Lance Comfort.

Script: P. Manning O'Brine

Director: Lance Comfort

Players: Robert Hutton, Emerton Court, Lisa Gastoni, Leonard Sachs, Marianne Stone

The Man in Grey (1943)

Period drama in which Phyllis Calvert is treated badly by husband James Mason and even worse by best friend Margaret Lockwood. This made huge stars of Mason and Lockwood and started off the Gainsborough melodrama cycle. It was considered entertaining tosh then and it still is.

Script adapt.: Margaret Kennedy, Leslie Arliss, Doreen Montgomery. (o.a. Lady Eleanor Smith)

Director: Leslie Arliss

Players: Stewart Granger, Nora Swinburne, Helen Haye, Martita Hunt, Amy Veness, Diana King, Raymond Lovell, Beatrice Varley, Roy Emerton, A.E. Matthews

The Man in the Mirror (1936)

Edward Everett Horton plays the mild-mannered man whose reflection comes to life and does all the wild things he never could. It's fun and Horton was always good value for money.  

Script adapt.: F. McGrew Willis, Hugh Mills. (o.a. William Garrett)

Director: Maurice Elvey

Players: Genevieve Tobin, Garry Marsh, Ursula Jeans, Alastair Sim, Renee Gadd, Viola Compton, Felix Aylmer, Stafford Hilliard 

The Man in the White Suit (1951)

Is this the greatest comedy of all time? Maybe. It's certainly the most thought-provoking, as Capital and Labour unite to stop Alec Guinness' invention of everlasting cloth. Packed with wonderful performances, it's difficult to single out any for special praise, but I'll just mention Joan Greenwood's innocent yet sexual rich girl, Vida Hope's butch factory worker with a crush on Guinness, Ernest Thesiger's desiccated tycoon and Edie Martin's frail landlady wondering who'll want her laundry services if clothes never get dirty.

Script adapt.: (o.a.) Roger Macdougall, Alexander Mackendrick, John Dighton

Director: Alexander Mackendrick

Players: Cecil Parker, Michael Gough, Howard Marion Crawford, John Ruddling, Miles Malleson, Mandy Miller, Charlotte Mitchell, Olaf Olsen, Judith Furse

Man of Africa (1953)

The Bakiga tribe migrate through Uganda. This semi-documentary was made with an all-African cast for Group 3 but never got a cinema release.

Script: Montagu Slater

Director: Cyril Frankel

Players: Frederick Bijurenda, Violet Mukabureza, Mattayo Bukwira

Man of the Moment (1955)

Minor government clerk Norman Wisdom becomes an international figure when he gets involved with the diplomatic wrangling surrounding some Pacific islands.

An unpromising subject produces what might be Wisdom's funniest film. It certainly has less of the sentimentality that ruined his previous film One Good Turn. For nostalgia fans the highlight is the chase sequence through TV studios in which he gets to wreck some well known programmes including Fabian of the Yard, The Grove Family and Philip Harben's cookery programme.

Still from Man of the Moment

Script: John Paddy Carstairs, Vernon Sylvaine

Director: John Paddy Carstairs

Players: Lana Morris, Belinda Lee, Jerry Desmonde, Karel Stepanek, Garry Marsh, Inia Te Wiata, Evelyn Roberts, Violet Fairbrother, Martin Miller, Eugene Deckers, Hugh Morton, Lisa Gastoni, Charles Hawtrey, A.J. "Man Mountain" Dean, Bruce Seton, Macdonald Hobley, Michael Ward, Peggy Ann Clifford

The Man Outside (1933)

Mysterious goings on in a country house as a lurking killer searches for some stolen diamonds.

Standard offering in this example of a staple of 30s cinema distinguished by decent photography.

Script: H Fowler Mear

Director: George A Cooper

Players: Henry Kendall, Gillian Lind, Joan Gardner, Louis Hayward, Michael Hogan, John Turnbull, Cyril Raymond, Ethel Warwick

The Man Who Changed His Mind (1936)

Boris Karloff is the mad scientist with a mind transplanting machine. Anna Lee is the girl he fancies but she fancies John Loder. What can Karloff do? Hm! Robert Stevenson's direction and Karloff's single-minded performance make this a fun thirties horror.

Script: John L. Balderston, L. DuGarde Peach, Sidney Gilliat

Director: Robert Stevenson

Players: Frank Cellier, Donald Calthrop, Cecil Parker, Lyn Harding, Clive Morton, D.J. Williams, Brian Pawley

The Man Who Changed His Name (1934)

A wife and her would-be lover begin to suspect that her husband is a notorious murderer, and that he's paving the way for their deaths.

Creaky old melodrama pushed up a notch by the performances.

Script adapt.: H Fowler Mear. (o.a. Edgar Wallace)

Director: Henry Edwards

Players: Lyn Harding, Betty Stockfield, Leslie Perrins, Ben Welden, Aubrey Mather, Richard Dolman, Stanley Vine

The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)

What would you do if you could do anything? That's what Roland Young finds out when some passing Gods decide to use him as an experiment. No doubt you'd start out by performing a few conjuring tricks, move on to exploring the possibilities of making loads of money, and finish by destroying the world. Just like Young.

After the difficulties in the making of Things to Come you'd think Alexander Korda would have steered well away from H. G. Wells. But they got together again for this fantasy.

The special effects, while primitive by modern standards, are effective. Young's performance strikes the right note of bewildered determination and helps convince us even when the effects fail.

There's more to enjoy here that just special effects. There are early performances from Ralph Richardson, Joan Hickson and George Sanders (playing the God Indifference with the sort of bored sneer that would be the hallmark of his career). There's also a great score from Mischa Spoliansky which nicely underpins the comedy.

As with Things to Come, The Man Who Could Work Miracles gets bogged down in political debate. It's interesting to watch the debate between democracy and fascism which was so hot in the 30s, but it does detract from the fun. Welles seems to be endorsing a sort of benevolent dictatorship again, as in Things to Come, but it's significant that this dictator cocks it up and kills everyone.

With a tighter script this could have been a classic, but it's still well worth a look.

Poster for The Man Who Could Work Miracles

Script: H.G. Wells

Director: Lothar Mendes

Players: Edward Chapman, Ernest Thesiger, Joan Gardner, Sophie Stewart, Robert Cochran, Lawrence Hanray, George Zucco, Wallace Lupino, Lady Tree, Wally Patch, Bernard Nedell, Bruce Winston, Torin Thatcher, Ivan Brandt, Mark Daly

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

After blundering into an assassination attempt, young English couple Leslie Banks and Edna Best have their daughter kidnapped to ensure their silence. This film was unavailable for many years thanks to the glossier remake of the fifties, but many people rate it as far superior.

Script: A.R. Rawlinson, Edwin Greenwood, Emlyn Williams, Charles Bennett

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Players: Peter Lorre, Nova Pilbeam, Frank Vosper, Hugh Wakefield, Pierre Fresnay, Cicely Oates, D.A. Clarke-Smith, George Curzon, Henry Oscar

The Man Who Loved Redheads (1954)

And who can blame him when they all look like Moira Shearer? With a script by Terence Rattigan, this is a nicely witty comedy.

Script adapt.: Terence Rattigan

Director: Harold French

Players: John Justin, Gladys Cooper, Roland Culver, Denholm Elliott, Harry Andrews, Joan Benham, Jeremy Spencer, Melvyn Hayes

The Man Who Never Was (1955)

True story of the hoax that convinced the Germans we weren't going to invade Sicily.

Still from The Man Who Never WasStill from The Man Who Never WasStill from The Man Who Never Was

Script adapt.: Nigel Balchin. (o.a. Ewen Montagu)

Director: Ronald Neame

Players: Stephen Boyd, Clifton Webb, Gloria Graham, Robert Flemyng, Josephine Griffin, Laurence Naismith, Geoffrey Keen, Moultrie Kelsall, Cyril Cusack, Andre Morell, Michael Horden, Allan Cuthbertson, Joan Hickson, Terence Longden, Gibb McLaughlin, Miles Malleson, William Russell, Richard Wattis, Wolf Frees, Brian Oulton, Ronald Adam

The Man Without Desire (1923)

18th Century Venice and, morning the death of his true love, a young nobleman allows himself to be put into suspended animation.  When he is reanimated 200 years later, his celebrity makes him a magnet for every young woman around including one who is a double of his lost love. Sadly, the process has left him impotent...

 A handsome production, which allows its star to look good in costume and modern dress. And at least the downright peculiar plot allowed his fans to dream that they'd be the one to cure him.

Script: Monckton Hoffe, Frank Fowell

Director: Adrian Brunel

Players: Ivor Novello, Nina Vanna, Sergio Mari, Chris Walker, Jane Druden, Dorothy Warren, Adrian Brunel