The Birthday Present (1957)

  |  Drama

The Birthday Present (1957) Poster

A top salesman with a U.K. toy firm foolishly brings an expensive watch back from a German trip for his wife's birthday. This is illegal in 1950's Britain and when Customs discover the ... See full summary »



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14 January 2017 | Marlburian
| Excellent low-budget film
Another "find" on Talking Pictures TV channel, and one I greatly enjoyed. Early sightings of a few actors: Ian Bannen, an unlined Thorley Waters, Harry Fowler, a slim Geoffrey Keen, John Welsh with some hair and of course a young Sylvia Syms - 23 years old but in her ninth role.

Bannen's customs officer enthused a bit too much about the toys that Simon had brought back (no long queues in those days!), though it did build up the tension. Likewise the scene at the elderly solicitor's home, with the apparently unnecessary inclusion of the son on leave from National Service. (We only ever got to see the top of his head.) As another reviewer has noted, the court proceedings did seem a bit unusual, and surely in his subsequent job search he would have been required to produce references from his last employer? The depiction of Simon's time in prison had a documentary feel to it - this is not a criticism.

Acting honours must go to Geoffrey Keen as the compassionate managing director.

A very worthwhile film.

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