29 November 2014 | wilvram
Timid Tepid Romance
Director Leslie Arliss was no doubt aiming for a similar success to his wartime romantic hit, LOVE STORY. Both feature a memorable piece of specially written orchestral music, Hubert Bath's Cornish Rhapsody in the above and Kenneth Leslie Smith's Mansell Concerto here. It's just about the only worthwhile part of the movie.
Robert Mansell, the manager of his family of musicians, has an eye for the ladies and a complicated love life, as revealed in the divorce court. It's all presented in a terribly coy, buttoned-up British manner, Arliss's direction is flat and the dreadful script includes some atrocious dialogue. Edward Underdown, lacking entirely in star quality, comes across more like a contemporary suburban bank manager and the other members of the precious, squabbling, musical Mansell family soon become tiresome. Underdown/Mansell eventually finds his true love, played by American actress Cathy O'Donnell, and it seems a good match as she's just as dull as he is. Anton Diffring, usually in such sinister roles, is seen briefly as a knee-slapping Alpine dancer, looking as if he's thoroughly enjoying himself. Great as it is to see lots more British films of this vintage becoming available, in this case it is no surprise it languished unseen and forgotten for sixty years.