Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The original 60s

I've stated in the past that I was born in 1972, so I often don't care for the effect that Baby Boomers have has on our culture of trying to view everything through a prism of the events that occurred during their formative years, especially from the assassination of John Kennedy to the resignation of Richard Nixon. I tend to find later-day movies set back in the 1950s and 1960s tedious. But the stuff that was originally made back then can be a lot of fun, because the contemporary nature of the films makes them seem less self-conscious and less trying to make a point. That, and the set design of movies like The Quiller Memorandum (West Berlin), Bunny Lake is Missing (London), or Imitation of Life (Lana Turner's house in the suburbs) feature trippy sets that weren't trippy then because the people thought they were the height of modernity. Such is the case with the movie Georgy Girl, which is airing tomorrow morning at 7:45 AM ET on TCM.

Lynn Redgrave stars as Georgy, a wallflower who teaches music to young children in the great old house owned by her father. Her father's boss James (James Mason) looks on Georgy both as the child he never had, and as a lovely young woman he could have a relationship with if only he didn't have a wife; in fact, he offers Georgy a relationship as his mistress. Georgy, meanwhile, has a friend in Meredith (Charlotte Rampling) who is carrying on with the would-be playboy Jos (Alan Bates), who would be a playboy if he had the idle wealth to do it; as it is, he's just a ne'er-do-well. Georgy finds Jos exciting, and to be honest, she, Jos, and Meredith have an interesting dynamic together.

It gets even more interesting when Meredith gets pregnant by Jos. She doesn't want the child at all, but Meredith has motherly instincts and would be more than willing to take care of the children, to the point that she'll move in with Jos, even if he isn't the best father for the child. Things get much more complicated with the death of James' wife; this frees James from having to have Georgy as a mistress, and with Georgy looking after Jos' and Meredith's child, there's a ready-made child for him to take care of, too.

Georgy Girl is interesting, albeit a product of the 1960s. There's the famous theme song, and the street fronts that no longer exist. And the maternity ward in the hospital: the hospital scenes in this movie visually much different than those in an American movie of the same time like The Fortune Cookie. As for the story, it's good if one that I find unrealistic, but then, I'm not a woman. I don't have people like Jos or James chasing after me.

Georgy Girl has gotten a DVD release, so if you're in one of the more westerly time zones where this one is going to show up really early tomorrow, you don't have to worry about getting up.

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