The Battleaxe (1962)

  |  Comedy

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17 December 2009 | wilvram
| Lacks a cutting edge...
A dated rom-com set mainly in a court where playboy Tony Evers (Francis Matthews) is sueing wealthy fiancée Audrey (Jill Ireland) for breach of promise.

Here is another all expenses pared production from those czars of cinematic mediocrity the Danziger brothers. The eponymous "battleaxe" is Audrey's mother who has been married six times and is played by excellent character actress Joan Haythorne. But after the first few minutes she is given very little to do. Instead we focus on Evers' business, which employs ex convicts in a small workshop improbably involved in work vital to the defence of the realm in addition to some dabbling in the world of advertising. Any intentional laughs from the feeble script are promptly smothered by the inept director.

At least the humblest British 'B' is able to boast some fine actors, and Francis Matthews offers his usual polished, likable performance, while Richard Caldicot makes something of his role as the judge. THE BATTLEAXE is now out on DVD billed as 'Classic British Cinema' which is pushing it a bit, complete with an inaccurate précis of the film.




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