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  • Kittyman26 February 2010
    This picture deserves more publicity. It is a charming British comedy with a great sense of goofiness that the Brits used to do so well.

    In it, our hero Richard Greene displays the wonderful charm we remember so well from his subsequent "Robin Hood" TV series. As the reluctant Lord (who secretly yearns for commoner vices), Brefni O'Rorke is delightfully wise, subtle, and droll. Even Ivor Barnard, in his brief cameo, is memorable as a French refugee bus driver. (Apparently, he apprenticed in a Parisian taxi.) And scattered throughout the film are many funny bits (such as rival lawyers continually attempting to one-up each other with earlier and more obscure citations.) Indeed, my only disappointment was over the ghost's role. More could have been done with him. Since sheep have a crucial role in the picture, for example, perhaps, as a sight gag, a ghostly encounter might have turned some black ones white. Also, the ghost's fate should somehow have been intertwined with that of the obnoxious plaintiff, who, after the trial, just seems to abruptly disappear, as if forgotten.
  • A pleasant and amusing but far from brilliant old British comedy, more often than not it is too silly for its own good, and some of the comedy bits are a bit awkward. The biggest problem with it all is however that the plot is tad too complex, in view of the light-hearted manner in which the material is treated. Still, the film certainly has its fair share of virtues. The cinematographer makes good use of lime lapse and zooming, plus the set design is interesting. Having Moore Marriott on hand is always a good thing too, even though this time he is not quite as delightful as usual. The special effects are okay for the time, and so is the overall quality of the picture. It is nothing really special, but it is quite satisfactory stuff.
  • calvertfan29 March 2002
    Chaunduyt is rather like Brigadoon, locked in time centuries before. A bomb hits the castle and manages to awake a ghost, who is rather a jolly old soul. Word gets out about the ghost, and other findings, and suddenly the manor is open to tourists, and newcomers flood Chaunduyt, not all with good intentions. A young professor is most interested in some ancient manuscripts - and the current Earl's daughter - but he ends up getting much more involved, in a fight with the villagers, aided by the ghost, over some developers who want to bring Chaunduyt a little more up to date.

    Fairly amusing. 6/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    For regular readers of Imdb, please read my comments of "They Met In The Dark (1944), the correct year, as to why I was attracted to this film starring Patricia Medina.If you read my other critiques you will soon notice that I am a great admirer of the actress Jennifer Jones (now long retired since "The Towering Inferno" (1974)); the obvious connection being that she made 4 films with Joseph Cotton who married our own Patricia Medina.Once again I came across another 1940s film in St.Albans town hall, (Hertfordshire) U.K., which had been hired for a video/book sale and which film I had never seen on UK tv.My theory is that modern tv companies are mostly in thrall to the teen & twenty market because of their high disposable income which attracts advertisers who effectivly finance most tv networks (except the dear old BBC of course) which means films such as this rarely get air time.Modern audiences are generally only interested in "the now" and not in films made in 1944, which even for me is 2 years before I was born.Funny that, because when I was 12 in 1958, I was attracted to Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers 1930s musicals but history is evidently in the genes of me my wife and son.Nevertheless I have continued to build up my video collection of classic 1940s films which you don't see on tv today and I often play them since despite the multiplicity of tv channels seen today, there is often so much transient rubbish on and even the old movie channels don't seem to have discovered some of the cracking films I have collected from this era.Well, that's the preamble.

    The present film was a Two Cities production made in 1944 produced by Sidney Box for General Film Distributors (a forerunner of the J. Arthur Rank Organisation) and directed by Jeffrey Dell.For someone like me who saw Richard Greene playing "Robin Hood" in the 1950s ATV childrens' tv serial, it was an added attraction to see Richard playing another role 10 years or so before he filmed this series.I remarked to my wife that the way he brilliantly organised the locals in defiance of the rich "baddy", must have weighed heavily on his c.v. when auditioning for his most famous tv role 10 years hence.If any readers have the book, "Laid Back In Hollywood", the 1998 biography by Patricia Medina, turn to page 24 and you will see a still from "Don't take It To Heart". Patricia does not say much about this film, only rather enigmatically that "...the title could have been giving a message to the audience or to us".Her humourous caption to the photograph below reads, "My parents assured me that there was no incest in our family - so why do I appear to be in love with my look alike?".They did marry for a while but evidently it was more like a brother/sister relationship and they had an amicable divorce before the great love of her life, years later - Joseph Cotton.

    In this film Patricia's famous vivid dark eyes are very evident.Again turn to page 59 of her biography to see a photograph which she describes as "painful" and which was published in an Italian newspaper the day after with the caption "Gli Occhi" - the eyes.I was relieved she lasted through to the end of the film.

    This is as much of the plot as I will state: An impecunious earl lives at his stately home " Chaunduyt Court" and disguises himself as a tour guide as he needs the tips left by tourists to live on.It is set during WWII in England and one day a German bomber drops a bomb which releases a 400 year old ghost ancestor of the earl.It also uncovers a manuscript which draws the attention of a young lawyer, Peter Hayward (Richard Greene).He is even more attracted to the photograph of the beautiful earl's daughter Mary, (Patricia Medina).Unfortunatly Mary is betrothed to one of the many "Buckets" who have inter-bred for centuries in the village.She has only met him once but he is now returning back from the war.Evidentally he does not meet the aspirations of Mary's snobby aunt.There is a lot of humour with this name "Bucket" as viewers of "Keeping Up Appearances" with Patricia Routledge will have seen, as to how this name is correctly pronounced.The ghost gives the right pronunciation!

    A local millionaire with no compassion is trying to block the villagers ancient right to graze their animals on his ground in defiance of common law precedent.Our hero, Peter, organizes an animal demonstration to pubicise the villagers' case.Eventually it comes to a court of law to determine the legal rights and the manuscript is the star exhibit for the defence as it gives clear rights of grazing on the land used for this purpose but now owned by the implacable millionaire.He hires a lawyer to debate ancient common law precendents and again Peter wins the argument going back to the Danish King, Ethelred The Unready!Where his case falls down is whether the 400 year old signature is genuine.It is here I will cease as a spoiler would ruin the fun for any reader who wants to track down this video.Mine is marketed by " British Classics Collection" (comedy).

    Any UK viewers of my generation who saw the early 1960s comedy tv series, "The Rag Trade" will smile when they see Esma Cannon doing her usual comic "daffy" act.This is a gentle comedy with a few twists and turns to keep you amused and interested.I rated it 7/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Don't Take It To Heart! is a most enjoyable outing. Greene is pleasant enough as the hero, Patricia Medina (using her charming natural voice instead of that mid-Atlantic accent she adopted for her Hollywood films) makes a spirited heroine. But the real joys of the film lie in that wonderful gallery of British eccentrics that participate in the main plot and help prop up the secondary romance. Some of my favorites are Claude Dampier as an obliging cretin, Edward Rigby as a gladly ill-used servant who has the film's keynote speech and trips a shuffling fantastic through endless halls to answer the telephone, Moore Marriott who is more subdued than his usual totally irascible but gladly plays up to the not overbright Loopy, Alfred Drayton as the rights-conscious Pike, Ronald Squire as a typically imbecilic figure of the landed gentry who mistakes "Auld Lang Syne" for the national anthem, Harry Fowler who is so young here but just as cheeky, and of course Brefni O'Rorke who can dance such a treat when the credits are down.

    Expectedly, Dell's direction is as imaginative as his script is sprightly. In the opening scenes it seems as if the camera is almost constantly on the move. The special effects are likewise faultless. And the sets, doubtless made over from a real castle, are as impressively vast as picturesque. Eric Cross, later to work with Dell on The Dark Man, provides his usual superlative camerawork.
  • "Don't Take It to Heart" has a very good plot, an excellent screenplay with very clever dialog, and wonderful acting by all. It is part of the British Classics Collection on DVD. It's well deserving of that distinction because this is a very funny, very warm, and very enjoyable comedy and satire.

    The setting for the film is early in World War II when Germany was bombing Great Britain. A bomb dropped on Chaunduyt (pronounced "condit") Castle releases the ghost of a 400-year-old Earl who had been walled up by his wife. The ghost will have a key part to play in his short film time. He will resolve the big issue of the story with an unusual and very funny ending.

    This film pokes fun at the landed gentry and nobility systems of England, and also takes jabs at the legal profession and court system. It's also an early movie look at the demise of the historic British estates. As the titled class began to lose fealty lands to their communities, the sources of income and support for the large estates and their occupants dried up. So, those of the nobility who didn't have investment income or ownership in large enterprises, were reduced to selling off property, art works and family treasures. Some then began opening their estates to the public for tours as a way to collect fees and stay afloat.

    Most of the cast won't be known outside Great Britain, and even two decades into the 21st century, only those Brits who are film buffs are likely to know any of the cast. But they were some very good actors of the day and all give superb performances in this film.

    Brefni O'Rorke plays Lord Charles Chaunduyt, whose family are the current occupants of the castle. He is a most likeable master of "Condit." Richard Greene plays lawyer Peter Hayward who has come to the town to examine the 400-year-old manuscripts that were unearthed in the bombings. The community is extensively intermarried, and many have the same surname. The kicker though - and source of a great deal of the humor throughout the film - is that there are class differences within the family name. And, each has a distinct pronunciation of their name.

    Condit (Chaunduyt) is the home of the Buckets. The common folk pronounce their name as it's spelled, like a pail. But the nobility, including the family of Chaunduyt Castle, pronounce their name like the bunch of flowers or an aroma, with low vowels, "boo-kay." It is later revealed that there was a French connection in the past, and that name was pronounced 'boo-ket."

    The film has a nice bit of romance, in a subdued way, that also lends more humor. Patricia Medina plays Mary, the daughter of Lord Charles. She is a modern socialist who disdains the titles system. Another key person whose presence connects scenes and parts of the story is the butler, Alfred Bucket. Edward Rigby is superb as Bucket. He and his predecessors have served the "Boo-kays" of Condit Caste for decades. Other key characters are the brother of Lord Charles, Arthur "Boo-kay" and his wife, Harriet. Richard Bird has double roles as Arthur and as the ghost - his 400-year-old look alike ancestor.

    Joyce Barbour plays Aunt Harriet. She is the big flaunter of the titled nobility and gentry. She insists that her niece, Mary, has a traditional "Tenants Ball" for her coming of age. The main local character is Harry Bucket, played by Wylie Watson. He has been known to catch a rabbit or two on Condit castle grounds, and has been suspected of poaching hares on same. Alfred Drayton plays Mr. Pike, a grouchy member of the landed gentry (those with money but no title) who wants to keep the common folk in their place. Joan Hickson is one of the cast who is most likely to be remembered. She is a young Mrs. Pike in this film. Several other supporting actors of the day give top performances and contribute to the comedy in this wonderful film.

    The dialog varies from witty lines, to subtle spoofs, to clever orations, to directly funny retorts. Other comedy is in visuals with humorous scenes or funny antics by one or more characters. I highly recommend this outstanding British comedy. Here are some favorite lines from the film. For more dialog, see the Quotes section under this IMDb page of the movie.

    Smith, "Your driving is absolutely scandalous." Bus-Driver, "Thank you. It is nothing". Smith, stepping off the bus, "He's a refugee - French." Mrs. Smith, "Well, there you are."

    Pike, "So that youngster's your nephew, eh?" Butler Bucket, "No, sir. He's my uncle."

    Pike, " It isn't a question of rabbits. This was a hare, and that's game."

    Peter Hayward, "You're Lady Mary!" Mary, "Yes, I know."

    Lord Charles Chaunduyt, "Besides, he's in the Army now." Harriet, "You say that as if the Army were a monastery. From what I hear, it's not at all the same thing."

    Harriet, "Bucket, who's that young man in the garden?" Butler Bucket, "That's a professor, ma'am. He's working on the old manuscripts." Harriet, "Hmmm. At the moment he seems to be working on my niece."

    Mary, "Do you always tell the truth?" Peter Hayward, "Mary, you forget. I'm a lawyer."

    Mary, "I object to your talking like that about my... my fiancé. Besides, he's not a moron. He's a corporal."

    Harriet, "Did Mr. Hayward say where he was wounded?" Arthur, "Dunkirk, I think." Harriet, "That wasn't what I meant."

    Harriet, "Charles, tell me at once. Who am I? Or what am I?" Lord Charles, "Well, my dear Harriet, for the moment you're one of the old 'Bouquets.' But it rather looks as though very shortly, you'll be just an old 'Bucket.'"
  • For someone who knows so little about British films, I was delighted to learn more by watching it in the only place one might find it these days: You Tube. It's British humour and therefore one has to be awake to get the full benefit. The British routinely poke fun at themselves, especially their Xenophobia. When a passenger on a bus learns that the driver who drove so badly was a 'foreginer' and 'French' to boot, she simply replied "so there you are". I found the whole thing a delicious and at times an hysterically funny film. Add to that the inimitable British skill at character depiction and a cast of terrific actors to act them out and the result is quite impressive. It's also interesting to note the date of production (1944), Like the Americans, the Brits didn't make film about the War during it; they both preferred to laugh their way to Victory as much as possible. These great film greatly helped relieve the enormous personal stress of those enduring that horror. As Eleanor Roosevelt (if I remember correctly the author) said about the war on the home front: "keep 'em laffing "
  • Peter Hayward (Richard Greene) leads the villagers in the town of Chaunduyt (pronounced "Condwit") against a landowner, Mr Pike (Alfred Drayton), who refuses to allow animals onto his land and wants to plough up the cricket pitch. Peter is helped by a ghost (Richard Bird) who has been released from the walls of a stately home after it has been hit by a German bomb. Hey, it might be a British bomb, after all, we now know that in every war it seems traditional to kill your own troops in some way. The film climaxes with a court scene and a surprise revelation.

    I was hoping for a good ghost story but it is far from that. Unfortunately, this is another example of British silliness. The ghost as played by Richard Bird is hardly in the film and when he does appear, he is portrayed as a friendly buffoon. Another buffoon who I suspect was meant to court sympathy was the "Butler" as portrayed by Edward Rigby. We have tedious sections at the beginning of the film where every time he moves around the stately home, he is accompanied by comedy music. I found him irritating. There are some funny touches, eg, the fact that everyone in the village has the same name due to inbreeding throughout the years (a hot topic especially with the royal family) and this film gives us the original dilemma over the pronunciation of the surname "Bucket"...... or is that "Bouquet"?

    If you like silly British nonsense, then you will enjoy this film. It's not a catastrophe but it is a disappointment.
  • When a German bomb lands on a crypt, the explosion lets out the ghost of a bad old earl, and lets loose a roundabout plot involving a decayed aristocrat, his tenant, who wishes to enclose a cricket pitch annoying the local villagers, Richard Greene, who has shown up to look at some recently revealed old manuscripts and his real life wife, Patricia Medina, as the earl's daughter.

    There's a fair amount of well-constructed social satire in this production, as well as some good jokes, and the amount of silliness increases at a steady pace throughout, as the ghost becomes more and more active in setting things right. A goodly number of screen comics get a chance to amuse the audience, particularly Edward Rigby as the butler, Moore Marriott as the inevitable ciderhouse layabout and Joan Hickson, when she was merely middle-aged -- doubtless, if she ever appeared in any movies when she was young, they were produced by Robert W. Paul.

    Although the movie becomes a bit too cartoonish for my taste at the three-quarters mark, it recovers itself nicely at the end and makes its points, humorous, dramatic and serious, nicely by the end.