Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cinema Tuesdays {Genevieve}

For August, I thought that I would cap Road Movies. No, not the ones with Hope, Crosby and Lamour but ones about the perils of the road trip. Genevieve is from 1953 and won the BAFTA for best British film.
This is Genevieve and she's from 1904. Alan's grandfather bought the car new and his father used to make the run from London to Brighton and back every year before the war and Alan's been making it since. He spends all of his spare time tinkering with Genevieve.
Alan's wife Wendy wears a cool double breasted suede waistcoat.
This is Alan's best friend Ambrose who also drives an antique car, only he makes the Brighton run every year with a different girl.
Ambrose spends a lot of his spare time hanging around Genevieve, Alan and Wendy, inviting himself over to lunch and drinking all of the sherry. But he did introduce Alan to Wendy.
Naturally Wendy would rather stay home and go to a cocktail party then spend two days driving to Brighton and back in an unreliable car without a roof.
But she gives in when she finds the new hat that Alan was going to surprise her with.
The movie was made with the cooperation of the Veteran Car Club, so you get to see a lot of bizarre and whimsical cars.

Kay Kendall plays Rosalind, Ambrose's date this year. She brought her dog with her.

Don't you just love her comfortable pants? And her shawl collar and pixie hat are just the cutest!

Alan accidentally cancelled their reservations, so he and Wendy have to get a room at the only other available hotel. Next to the big clock. Comes with peeling wallpaper at no extra cost.

At the party that night, Alan becomes worried as to whether or not Wendy had an emotional experience when she went with Ambrose on the '49 run.

And Rosalind gets bloto and decides to play the trumpet before passing out in her chair.

So Alan and Wendy have a fight when they get back to the hotel.
And then Alan decides to spend all night tinkering with Genevieve. Then Ambrose shows up and he and Alan end up betting £100 as to who can drive over Westminster Bridge first.
The girls don't like the bet and the boys are too stubborn to call it off and so the race is on.

Through run-ins with sheep,
The police, who insist that Genevieve is doing 50 miles.
While Ambrose and Rosalind come upon the local water hazard.
But the race continues, through bits falling off the cars and break downs.
Of course, the slow and short older drivers.
And then the traditional fist fight.
Eventually, the race is neck and neck when they reach London.
So, why does Alan insist on driving a 50 year old car that he can't really afford? For the same reason why we wear vintage. Kindly older gentlemen who stop him and say "That's the first car I ever bought m'boy. Proposed to my wife in that car. I never thought I'd see one again."
This is what Alan and Wendy's row house looks like.
Just look at how little traffic there was.
Throughout the film, the members of the car club refer to their cars as vintage, whereas we would call them antique and the cars on that truck would be vintage.
Is that fog or pollution?

Genevieve is available on VHS, Region 2 DVD and on a multi-region NTSC DVD.

I couldn't find a trailer, but here is the hotel scene:

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