Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Mandy by Alexander Mackendrick
Reviewed by Linda Marric
To celebrate the 65th anniversary of the release of Mandy, Studiocanal have brought out a brand new restoration of this well loved Ealing Studios Classic on Blu-Ray and DVD. Considered by many to be one of the best productions to come out of the legendary studios, Mandy gained a huge success and notoriety when it was first released in 1952, and went on to earn a special place in the hearts of all those who've come across it since.
Based on Hilda Lewis’ novel The Day is Ours which was first broadcast as a serial on BBC Woman’s Hour in 1950, and directed by Alexander Mackendrick (The Ladykillers, Whisky Galore), Mandy is as poignant today as it’s ever been. The film tells the story of a little deaf girl named Mandy (Mandy Miller) and the struggle her parents go through to give her a normal life despite the difficulties facing her ahead. Christine (Phyllis Calvert) and Harry Garland (Terence Morgan) have no idea that their child was born with a disability until they start to notice that the toddler is unresponsive to noises around her. After the initial shock and heartache, the couple must decide how best to educate the child. Things start to fall apart when the parents find themselves at loggerheads which soon starts to pout a strain on their relationship. Against Harry’s wishes, Mandy is enrolled by her mother into a special school under the guidance of teacher Dick Searl (Jack Hawkins), whose unconventional teaching methods don’t seem to be to everyone’s liking. As Christine and Searl start to form a strong bond, the child’s parents must put their differences aside for the good of their child and her future.
With a stellar cast and brilliant performances all around, Mandy is a real piece of social cinema history. Mackendrick’s exquisite directing style allows for the story to be told in a very natural and believable manner and can be commended for approaching this subject in such an open way especially for its time. It would be disingenuous to say that Mandy hasn’t aged a little, but if you were to keep in mind that this was made 65 years ago, the film is not only an amazing achievement for Ealing, but is also a brilliant reminder of how eclectic the studio’s output was in those days. A fantastic story told in a beautifully nuance way.
Director: Alexander Mackendrick Writers: Hilda Lewis (adapted from "The Day Is Ours" by), Nigel Balchin (screenplay) Stars: Phyllis Calvert, Jack Hawkins, Terence Morgan |
Mandy is out on DVD snd Blu-Ray on the 12th of June.