Directed by: James Broughton
Countries & Regions: United Kingdom
Studio: British Film Institute
Length: 36 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 15 February 2010
Cat No: BFIVD831
Screen ratio 1:1.33
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The Pleasure Garden (Broughton, 1952)
Cast: John le Mesurier , Lindsay Anderson , Hattie Jacques , Maxine Audley , Jean Anderson , Jill Bennett , Diana Maddox , Kermit Sheets , Derek Hart , Hilary MacKendrick , Gladys Spencer , John Heawood , Victoria Grayson , Daphne Hunter , Mary Lee Settle , Gontron Gouldon
Fifties bohemia translated onto the big screen in a plea for free expression by poet James Broughton, filmed in the ruins of Crystal... Read More
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.