Encore (1951)

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Directed by Harold French, Pat Jackson, and Anthony Pelisser
Written by Eric Ambler, T.E.B. Clarke, and Arthur Macrae from stories by W. Somerset Maugham
UK/1951
Two Cities Films
First viewing/Amazon Instant

 

Doctor: That nonsense about Englishwomen being icebergs is a mere fallacy made up by the French.

I’m coming to the tail end of my 1951 viewing.  I was so pleased to still have this good film to cap off the year with.

Encore is an anthology of three of Somerset Maugham’s short stories, each with a different director and writer.  The first two are in a comic vein.  “The Ant and the Grasshopper” is about a wastrel’s (Nigel Patrick) series of successful con jobs to get money from his stuffy elder bother. My favorite, “Winter Cruise”, is about a prim shopkeeper (Kay Walsh) who drives everybody on board crazy with her incessant chatter.  On the return voyage, she is the only passenger and the crew decides that only a shipboard romance will shut her up.  The final story is a drama incongruously called “Gigolo and Gigolette”.  A high-wire artist (Glynis Johns) and her husband have struck it rich with a very dangerous act in which she dives into a flaming pool of water only five feet deep.  The story explores what happens when she suddenly loses her nerve.

encore-w-somerset-maugham-kay-walsh

An unrecognizable Kay Walsh

I thought all the stories were clever and well-acted.  I laughed out loud more than a couple of times at the one with Kay Walsh.  My husband liked the movie very much too.  Recommended.

Clip – SPOILER

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