Half a Sixpence

Half a Sixpence

4.5 2
Director: George Sidney

Cast: George Sidney, Tommy Steele, Julia Foster, Cyril Ritchard

     
 

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British musical star Tommy Steele had starred in Half a Sixpence in London and on Broadway, thus he was first choice for this garish film version. Based on the H.G. Wells story Kipps (previously filmed in 1941 with Michael Redgrave), Half a Sixpence tells the tale of a humble London drapery clerk (Steele) who inherits a fortune. He briefly forgetsSee more details below

Overview

British musical star Tommy Steele had starred in Half a Sixpence in London and on Broadway, thus he was first choice for this garish film version. Based on the H.G. Wells story Kipps (previously filmed in 1941 with Michael Redgrave), Half a Sixpence tells the tale of a humble London drapery clerk (Steele) who inherits a fortune. He briefly forgets his old mates and his faithful girl friend (Julia Foster), but soon discovers that High Society isn't his cup of tea. Filmed during the "monster musical" cycle fostered by The Sound of Music, Half a Sixpence isn't really suited for the spectacular approach dictated by co-producer Charles H. Schneer. Fortunately, the guiding directorial hand is the film's other producer: George Sidney, a veteran of MGM's Arthur Freed unit, who knew how to successfully weld music with story. Thanks to Sidney and star Steele, Half a Sixpence never gets too out of hand, though we'd argue with some of the eyestrain-inducing color choices in the bigger numbers. The film might have done better at the box office had the score yielded a few hit songs.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Like many other musical films produced in the wake of The Sound of Music's overwhelming success, Half a Sixpence was a resounding commercial failure. Even on Broadway, the material had been received very coolly; what had made the production work was its star and Onna White's exhausting choreography. The film version keeps star Tommy Steele, but replaces White with Gillian Lynne, whose work is fine, but nothing special. The story is exceptionally slight and overly predictable, and the weak dialogue doesn't help. The score is pleasant but not strong enough to overcome problems with the script, which places a tremendous burden on Steele and director George Sidney. Steele is consistent throughout, but Sidney's work varies wildly from sequence to sequence, and sometimes from frame to frame; there's an uncertainty in the cinematographic look of the film, with a helter-skelter use of soft focuses and gimmicks (altered-pace motion, etc.). However, several segments work very well, especially the Regatta, which is extremely well edited, and the subsequent dinner scene, which makes a clichéd situation seem somewhat fresh. Steele is good, although he doesn't have the commanding presence onscreen that one assumes he had live; his performance is a little too stagebound and a little too calculated. As Ann, Julia Foster is charming and very appealing, and Grover Dale's too-few dance moments are worth seeing. Sets and costumes are excellent, although they sometimes are diminished by inappropriate lighting.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/21/2013
UPC:
0883929311255
Original Release:
1967
Rating:
NR
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:25:00
Sales rank:
20,504

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tommy Steele Arthur Kipps
Julia Foster Ann
Cyril Ritchard Harry Chitterlow
Grover Dale Pearce
Penelope Horner Helen Walsingham
Elaine Taylor Kate
Hilton Edwards Shalford
Julia Sutton Flo
Leslie Meadows Buggins
Pamela Brown Mrs. Washington
James Villiers Hubert Walsingham
Jean Anderson Lady Betting
Allan Cuthbertson Wilkins
Aleta Morrison Laura
James Bolam Actor
Jeffrey Chandler Young Kipps
Sheila Falconer Victoria,Kate
John MacDonald Actor
Humphrey Kent Actor
Frank Crawshaw Actor
Sonny Farrar Actor
Jane Kells Actor
Donald Barclay Actor
Bridget Armstrong The Maid
Pat Ashton Pub Character
Sydney Bromley Pub Character
Gerald Campion Fat Boy
Golda Casimir Pub Character
Pamela Cundell Pub Character
Ray Davies Dancer
Roy Evans Pub Character
Sally Gilpin Dancer
Helen Goss Dowager
Reginald Hearne Policeman
Alastair Hunter The Postman
Caryl Little Dancer
Harry Locke Weight Guesser
Norman Mitchell Master of Ceremonies
George Moon Pub Character
Bartlett Mullins Carshott
Julian Orchard Photographer
Albin Pahernik Dancer
Iris Sadler Pub Character
Christopher Sandford Sid
Queenie Watts Pub Character

Technical Credits
George Sidney Director,Producer
Joan Bridge Costumes/Costume Designer
Beverley Cross Screenwriter
John Dark Producer
Elizabeth Haffenden Costumes/Costume Designer
Edward S. Haworth Production Designer
David Heneker Score Composer,Songwriter
Bill Lewthwaite Editor
Gillian Lynne Choreography
Peter Murton Art Director
Frank Santillo Editor
Charles H. Schneer Producer
Geoffrey Unsworth Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Half a Sixpence
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
18. Chapter 18
19. Chapter 19

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