15 July 2018 | boblipton
The World Turned Upside Down
The title of this movie refers to a children's game in which one child is "General Post Office", and another is blindfolded. That child appoints each of the other children a town. Those children then sit in chairs; when the General Post Office calls out a pair of towns, those children must stand, clap hands, and exchange seats before one can be tagged by the Blind Man. The one who is tagged changes place with the Blind Man.
If the Blind Man is struggling, the General Post Office can announce "General Post", whereupon everyone must stand, clap hands and scramble for a chair before the Blind man can tag anyone. It's a scene of chaos and hilarity.
Robert Henderson Bland -- his best-remembered screen role is as Jesus in FROM THE MANGER TO THE CROSS -- is a tailor in a small English town in 1912. He and Lilian Braithwaite, the daughter of local aristocrat Dawson Milward, are in love with each other, but the family naturally disapproves. He decides to return to London, and she offers to go with him, but he convinces her it would not work. Then World War One comes along and he winds up the Colonel of her brother' regiment...
J.E. Harold Terry wrote the play this movie is based on, and Elliot Stannard opened it up in a fine screenplay, about the stuffiness and class-ridden structure of pre-war and wartime England. Although the arc of the plot will not surprise anyone, director Thomas Bentley demonstrates a fine visual flair for the vignettes that illuminate the eras' moments. Although, in the light of fixed history, the moment's concern may seem trivial to a modern audience, it is a well-rendered contemporary portrait.