Jimmy Bancroft, a fighter pilot, who is recovering from injuries sustained during the Battle of Britain, and his nurse Hazel Broome, come across a pair of rare birds nestling in a field. ...
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A young girl in a bombed out part of London wants to make something beautiful so she plants a garden in a ruined church with the help of her friend. All the adults in her life don't ... See full summary »
Life on the home front during World War 2. Martha Dacre tries to keep her home running as normal, during the run up to the D Day landings. With several lodgers to contend with, and her son ... See full summary »
Jimmy Bancroft, a fighter pilot, who is recovering from injuries sustained during the Battle of Britain, and his nurse Hazel Broome, come across a pair of rare birds nestling in a field. After a run in with the army, and a couple of thieves, they, with the cooperation of the village people and the Ornithology Society, help the eggs to hatch. A wonderful look at life in a small village, during World War II.Written by
This film received its initial USA telecast in Los Angeles Monday 10 April 1950, leading off Triple Feature Theatre on KECA (Channel 7) , hosted by Art Baker; it first aired in New York City Saturday 30 September 1950 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »
[to the Tawny Pipit]
What are you sitting on, you little beauty? I'd give a lot to get my hands under there!
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End credits cast list: 'AND MR. and MRS. PIPIT - The Tawny Pipits See more »
It Could Only Have Been Made in England and Bless Them For It
In the early days of American TV, what with the battles raging between the major studios and the new and growing industry, almost the only films available for showing on the new medium were fairly obscure Poverty Row movies (often from defunct studios) and films from Great Britain. From 1950 up to the time that the major Hollywood studios got into TV (say 1955 to 1957) young Anglophile film lovers like myself were privileged to view dozens and dozens, probably into the hundreds, of British-made films, both big and small, and by doing so gain a lifelong love for classic British acting styles, whether practiced by Eric Portman over there or by Ronald Colman over here. One of the films that was always listed in those days was TAWNY PIPIT, yet I never saw it until last night, mainly because when I, as a kid, saw the film listed, I had no idea what 'Tawny Pipit' meant - was it a condition? a place? a liquor? - and I was still unfamiliar with its lead actors, so I never watched it. I missed out on a lot.
This is a delightful film, one that could only have been made in England, showing a whole town - indeed, a whole culture - coming together to protect a bird - the Tawny Pipit - and its eggs, when this bird alights in one of its fields, only the second known incidence of the Pipit visiting Britain to hatch eggs. Since it is a wartime film, the patriotism rings both feverish and proper, and we quickly realize that the town has taken up the fight to protect the Pipit and its eggs not just for the Pipit's sake, but as a show of the rightness of the English Way of Life as against that of the Dreaded Hun (and they are called that several times), this even to the point of having something of a town celebration for the passing through of a Russian female sniper who has supposedly killed a thousand of the Dreaded Hun. Lucie Mannheim, a displaced German-Jewish actress, plays the short but showy role for all it is worth.
A few points regarding the actors. 1) Niall MacGinnis, our erstwhile young hero, played mainly tough seafaring types through much of his career but was immortalized on film for his absolutely iconic performance as Karswell, leader of a devil-worshiping cult in CURSE OF THE DEMON - one of the finest performances ever seen in a horror film. 2) Lucie Mannheim, our Russian heroine, was also the woman who gives rise to all of Robert Donat's consequent problems in THE 39 STEPS, when she is stabbed in the back shortly after meeting him; she was also the wife of that wonderful British actor Marius Goring for some 35 years. 3) Rosamund John, our leading lady, is, at this point in her career, almost unbearably pretty - not beautiful, but with a prettiness that rather transcends beauty - but she is known only to veteran Anglophile film lovers and had no international career. And 4) Bernard Miles, thanks to his acting, directing, producing, etc. (most especially on the stage) was actually created a Peer of the Realm - Lord Miles - before Laurence Olivier rose to that exalted status.
Anyway, this is a simple, lovely film, and if you could tear the kiddies away from their computer games long enough for them to develop an interest in something so laid-back and simple, they might benefit from it. I just did, and it's 65 years since I first decided to NOT watch the movie at their age.
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