Monday, June 18, 2012

159. The Man In Grey

The Man In Grey
Directed by Leslie Arliss

First of all, what was the deal with the kid in blackface?  What was the purpose of that guy?  They seriously couldn't find a black child in all of England to play the kid?  Judy Garland looked more convincing...

You actually have to endure quite a few black slurs during this film that are so cringe worthy that I almost advise not to see it.  However, it also possesses quite an interesting story line.  The film centers on Clarissa, who is married to the man in grey.  She brings her "friend" (aka enormous bitch) into her house who promptly begins an affair with her husband.   There is actually a love square in this one and a fair amount of crazy involved which always make for an interesting movie.

The Book, however, apologizes for the lackluster plot line and advises that you focus on the setting and costume design (which was quite impressive).  So I guess you are not supposed to enjoy the story.  However, I think it was a fun way to spend afternoon (albeit not enormously stimulating).

RATING: ***-- (when is awkward blackface going to stop??!?)

Interesting Facts:

A success commercially, but not critically (hey, what do you want from me?  Wikipedia is just not delivering).


  1. I thought it was particularly awkward that the boy in blackface referred to the actor as black-white man. You can't have a kid in obvious blackface addressing the fact that another character was in blackface! Ridiculous.

    I did like the scandal of the story though. Fun to watch, but I don't know if it will be particularly memorable

  2. A groan and a yawn from me, I am afraid. I found it a stupid movie about stupid people and that always pisses me off. In the Danish edition it was removed and I understand why. The blackface was just symptomatic.

  3. Wow forgot about this one so I guess it wasn't that memorable for me either!

  4. Blackface kid: Where to begin? Even if we leave aside the hackneyed stereotype of the character, why is he speaking in southern plantation slang with a well-to-do English accent? And why is he about eight throughout a film which seems to cover a ten-year time period in everyone else's lives? Every time someone ruffled his hair, touched his hands/face or he was sent out into the rain I panicked that his unconvincing make-up was going to rub off.

    Stupid people: I agree with this general principle and found it applying here in places. There's only so much naive trustingness from Clarissa I can sympathise with.

    Off into the sunset: At the end where they romantically decide to get on the first bus they see and go off together, then run across the road and jump on a double-decker, I like to imagine it went around the corner and terminated next stop at some ugly bus depot. "Oh, erm, what shall we do now? Do you want to get a different bus? We could wait until this one goes out again. I wonder how long that will be?" etc...

    1. Major cringe. Mickey Rooney level cringe. Also, I imagined that's how the Graduate ended as well.