I need to comment on myriamlenys' review: The opening scenes were filmed in Finchingfield, a village near here. I have lived most of my 75 years in the area and can assure you that so soon after the war things were very run down and backward. It would be surprising if there were more than two cars in the area (e.g. local doctor), very few tractors (still horses), few radios and certainly no TV; a bus perhaps once a week, few strangers. The village is now a tourist honeypot and people even have mobile phones, which would not have lasted long with Jennifer around!
A factory girl from Hoboken does a one-month swap with a British girl and is billeted in an isolated West Country hamlet of 30 houses, no mains services, many rustic eccentrics, and a daily five-mile cycle-ride to the factory. Michael Rennie and she have an on/off courtship under strain from Government plans to develop the area. Her involvement embarrassingly results in national publicity. A rather pleasing glimpse into England of 1949 and how we saw ourselves. Some good chuckles and memorable lines here and there.
A 1932 British farce is bound to have lots of childish overacting. If you can put up with that you may find some seriously funny bits: some crazily overdone Spanish dancing, and best of all if you (like me) find pantomime horses amusing, then this pantomime bull will crease you.
Great, hilarious slapstick with lots of laughs for all ages. However, it's a slander against poor old Cromwell, who enjoyed wine and dancing, and also appreciated the fine arts. He also granted religious freedom and stopped the fines for not attending church. I don't think the Commonwealth was quite as Nazified as is shown here!
Someone on line has expressed doubts whether Ramanujan really was beaten up by soldiers, suggesting that the episode was an invention of the director and added for effect. I would tend to agree, but can anyone tell us the truth? Even if a policeman was not on his beat nearby, I would have thought that in Cambridge some public-spirited citizen would have intervened. Anyway, would Tommies on leave really have acted that way? Were there similar incidents to give credibility?
There is now a 14-minute clip of this film on youtube. The story cannot have taken place during the Civil War because it is about moving the fugitive slaves ahead of their pursuers from the south, which obviously stopped when hostilities commenced. 'Except for Me and Thee' is a prequel of 'The Friendly Persuasion' and describes how Jess and Eliza had first arrived in Indiana.
Because it looks more serious,I think that this 1975 film looks more promising than the 1956 one, which was largely poking fun at the Friends, and has loud music almost constantly intruding. In both films the men are dressed in black, which was discouraged by Friends during most of their history, though changes came in Victorian times. Jessamyn West's book 'To See the Dream' describes the making of the 1956 film and the struggles she had to keep the best bits. Highly recommended. 2017: I have finally obtained a DVD of this 1975 film from TrueTVMovies@yahoo.com, cost £26 inc.p&p to UK. Interesting, exciting and worth watching if Quaker history is your thing. A violent scene near the end. As usual, being teetotal is regarded as fundamental to Quakers but in the 1850s (when this is set) it was a new idea and many never complied.
I usually enjoy malcolmgsw's reviews but this time we have to agree to differ: I consider this, far from being the worst British film, rather amongst the best. Of course, it depends upon what one considers important, how one views our history and the changes in politics. Not long ago, millions of Brits had a vision of a better and more just way of managing things and hopes for a better life for all. This film may have helped the Attlee government gain power the next year, but now all is lost and gone since Clause 4 was thrown out in 1995. The present generation is unhappy but doesn't seem interested in the hopes which this film is concerned with. The acting and the lighting effects are powerful, so it really wouldn't do to sit with one's eyes shut. Of course, if you're hoping for light entertainment and giggles, this film is not for you. It ought to be mentioned that the verse of poetry is taken slightly out of context: 'I dreamed that was the new city of Friends' with a capital 'F', meaning Quakers. It was about the hopes for the founding of Philadelphia in 1681. When a child, Walt Whitman was deeply influenced by a powerful Quaker preacher, and it shows in verses such as this. I can't imagine Whitman would mind his words being applied to this story.
Having read Alex da Silva's comments on Marjorie Fielding's accent, I watched the film again and find that they just don't apply: she really does not say 'heppening' nor 'ectually', which was the way idle rich, aristocrats and royalty spoke. Her accent goes with the educated lower middle-class which the family is supposed to be. Charles Williams' music contributes to much of the film's charm. Otherwise, there isn't much excitement or intrigue and yet I keep going back to it. If you go onto the Pathé website you can find a short clip of the film being made in Hungerford in September 1945, with glimpses of the actors relaxing. I recommend Barbara White in 'It Happened One Sunday' where she does a very good Irish accent. I'm hoping to find 'While the Sun Shines' where she takes the lead in the 1947 film adaptation of the Rattigan comedy play, but it seems to be unobtainable at present.