Storm in a Teacup
Comedy / Romance
Storm in a Teacup
Comedy / Romance
Frank Burdon is a new reporter on a small-town Scottish paper. He's told to interview local politician William Gow, then left in charge of the paper overnight. He sees Gow being high-handed to a woman who can't afford to license her dog, and decides to run that story instead of the expected puff piece. Both are decent men, but a little too proud to back down, and the battle escalates into a criminal case... but at the same time, Burdon and Gow's daughter Victoria are falling in love.
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July 20, 2018 at 03:53 PM
A Hidden Gem
Hidden from me, anyhow - I'd never heard of it until browsing through my local library's video collection. Imagine an Ealing comedy as directed by Frank Capra. All of the acting is first-rate (and Vivien Leigh, pre-"Gone with the Wind", was about as beautiful as any woman could be), and the sets are unusually lavish for what must have been a medium-budget film in its time. The characters are strong yet sufficiently complex to lift the story above the simplistic comic melodrama it might have been - I can't imagine many American films of the time (or of this time) that would allow the "villain" of the piece enough courage to face down and walk through a mob that has just publicly humiliated him and is ready to attack him. The comedy is wonderfully handled, especially during the scene in which a pack of dogs runs rampant through the villain's stately home, and during the climactic courtroom scene. (The film's funniest line makes sense only in the context of the film: Ursula Jeans' anguished "Harold, he called me a woman!") "Storm in a Teacup" is a genuine delight.
An apparent piece of froth hides a satire of Hitler
Why isn't this excellent comedy better known? More to the point, why is it so consistently misinterpreted? Most commentators view it as an amusing piece of froth about the provost of a small Scottish town (Cecil Parker) ordering that a dog be put down because its owner cannot pay for its licence. There's Vivien Leigh as the provost's daughter and Rex Harrison on top form as the journalist who makes the silly story national news. It's all very funny and delightfully played by all concerned. But underlying this story (adapted from a German play by James Bridie) is a subtle satire of dictatorship as was then current in Germany and Italy. Parker's role is very clearly based on Hitler, a times quite unsettlingly so, and it is in the bold but successfully intermingling of whimsy with dictatorial manners that the film gains its particular power. Cute it may seem to be, but Victor Saville was a wise and quite a subversive soul, and you'll find few other films from this period that so ably blend the dark with the light. Take a look at it again and see what I mean!
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Amusing 1930s' British comedy with the future Scarlett and Dr. Dolittle.
Rex Harrison portrays a newly arrived British journalist in Scotland who uses his new job at a newspaper to take on the local political bigwig in this pleasing British comedy. The unfortunate circumstance is that while he battles the politician, he happens to be falling in love with the politician's beautiful daughter, Vivian Leigh. The issue at hand is the life of a dog that Leigh's father has coldly ordered to be put to sleep. It seems that its owner could not afford a dog license. Dog lovers should enjoy one scene in particular where what seems to be hundreds of dogs of all shapes and sizes raid the politician's mansion.