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"A thoroughly British film classic with a script by an American!"
- Paul Page

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      Henry Cornelius, 1953


      Henry Cornelius

    running time:

      86 minutes. Colour


      William Rose


      Christopher Challis


      Larry Adler

    mus dir:

      Muir Mathieson

    main cast:

    oscar nominations (1954):

    • best screenplay
    • best music.



  • Buy Genevieve Special Edition UK DVD

    I was about to suggest that this was the kind of film only the British could make - until I remembered that the writer, William Rose, to whose script the picture's success owed so much, was an American. Nevertheless, in spirit, performance and execution Genevieve is essentially British or even, to narrow it down further, English. The charming middle-class manners (e.g. the scene when John Gregson nearly ruins his chances in the race by courteously allowing an enthusiastic old gent to bend his ear) are English; so are the breezy cheerfulness, the laconic understatement and the appealing lightness with which the whole question of sex is touched upon and, having been touched upon, is put very properly to one side. Naturally these two couples (Gregson and Dinah Sheridan, Kenneth More and Kay Kendall) are sexually interested in each other but, come, come, let's not dwell on it.

    The story is sheer simplicity: two vintage car buffs, driving a 1904 Darracq (the eponymous Genevieve) and a 1904 Spyker and accompanied by their respective girlfriends, take part in the annual London to Brighton rally and then challenge each other to a race back to the capital, the prize being Genevieve herself. What transforms this from merely a likeable romp to an enduringly loveable comedy is the mysterious chemistry that sometimes occurs on movie sets and makes everything blend perfectly. The script is droll and witty; the pace, building up from a leisurely start, just right; and the performances, especially that of the trumpet-playing Kendall, are all that one could ask.

    Kendall, a delicious light comedienne, seemed to have the potential for international stardom and might well have achieved it had not leukaemia caused her tragically early death at the age of 33 in I959. (Note: the music - a harmonica score composed and played by Larry Adler - was nominated for an Oscar. But because Adler was persona non grata with the House of Un-American Activities Committee, the nomination was credited to - though never claimed by - Muir Mathieson. Academy records have since been changed to give Adler his due recognition.)

    Henry Cornelius

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    Special Edition [2002]

  • Actors: Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson, Kay Kendall, Kenneth More, Geoffrey Keen
  • Director: Henry Cornelius
  • Format: Full Screen, PAL, Special Edition
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (UK & Europe)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: ITV DVD
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Nov 2001
  • Run Time: 110 minutes

    DVD Features:

      Main Language: English
      Available Audio Tracks: Mono
      Hearing Impaired: English
      A Profile Of Genevieve Documentary
      Stills Gallery
      Interactive Menus

    This "Special Edition" version of Genevieve has a decent new documentary with reminiscences from Dinah Sheridan (still radiant), the director of photography and the film’s editor, who talk about the challenges of filming on location. Most treasurable of all, though, is legendary harmonica player Larry Adler, who remembers his distinctive score with much fondness and is not at all embittered by his Hollywood blacklisting, which meant he was denied an Academy Award nomination. There’s also a short piece on some of the locations used (which for economic reasons were mostly in the lanes around Pinewood studios), cast biographies and a gallery of stills.

    Price: £14.99 (UK Sterling) / $ 31.99 (US Dollars)
    (Shipped from UK) (Price includes worldwide postage & packaging)

  • Also available:

  • Movie Review
  • Kenneth More

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    john gregson | kay kendall | kenneth more | dinah sheridan
    joyce grenfell


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