Encore (1951)

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
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.


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.


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