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The Pleasure Garden (Broughton, 1952) DVD

James Broughton, 1952


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Film Details

Directed by James Broughton

Produced in 1952

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - British Film

MovieMail's Review

James Broughton’s ‘valentine to the land of Edward Lear, Shakespeare and pantomime’ is a thoroughly charming celebration of love and desire that fascinates as much because of its location – the ruins of the Crystal Palace gardens and terraces in 1952 – as its subject.

John le Mesurier plays the frock-coated Minister of Public Behaviour, Col. Pall K. Gargoyle, determined to stamp out the least sign of indecency or lewdness in the place he wants to turn into a cemetery. When not putting ‘Do Not’ signs around the place, he is attaching fig leaves to statuary. Fortunately, there is a fairy godmother – a Mrs. Albion, played by Hattie Jacques – who comes along in his wake and sets the characters in the park skipping, loving and dancing once more with the aid of her magic scarf.

A classic piece not-entirely-innocent 1950s Bohemia, The Pleasure Garden won the Prix de Fantaisie Poetique at Cannes in 1954, and is an irresistible time capsule for viewers now.

on 1st July 2009
Author of 94 reviews

The Pleasure Garden (Broughton, 1952)

Film Description

A classic piece of 50s Bohemia by an American poet. Set in the ruins of the Crystal Palace Gardens, Filmed amongst the ruins of the Crystal Palace Gardens, it tells of the efforts of Colonel Pall to suppress romance and free expression, and his battle against the Fairy Godmother who is a champion of lovers, artists and the Pleasure Principle. Starring British stalwarts John Le Mesurier and Hatti Jacques the film won the Prix de Fantasie Poetique at the Cannes Film Festival of 1954.

DVD Details

Certificate: E

Publisher: BFI

Length: 36 mins

Aspect ratio: 4:3

Format: DVD B&W

Region: 2

Released: 15th February 2010

Cat No: BFIVD831

DVD Extras

  • Bonus film: The Phoenix Tower (UK, 1957, Colour, 40 mins): This BICC / CAS Production about the building of the BBC's Crystal Palace Television Tower was one of a number of short subject colour films to be shown on BBC2 as a 'test trade transmission', screening first on March 14, 1964, and for a final time on April 13, 1964. After these transmissions, the film was made available to hire to film clubs and the like, but has since fallen out of circulation. Presented here in a version transferred from 16mm to analogue U-Matic tape, and some years later recorded from U-Matic to Digibeta, this important and unique historical record can be seen and enjoyed once again
  • Hard of Hearing subtitles on both films

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