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Crichton (Kenneth More, A Night to Remember) is the result of “a happy combination,” the son of a butler and a ladies’ maid. He performs his duties perfectly, keeping order among the servants of Loam Hall and providing every comfort to his master, Lord Loam (Cecil Parker, The Ladykillers). There is no more fervent believer that one should know his place. When tragedy strikes the Loams as a result of Lady Catherine’s indiscretion at a suffragette protest, Crichton suggests the family leave London and travel to the South Seas on their yacht until the unhappy episode can be forgotten. The ship overturns and the Loams and their party are washed onto a deserted island. Forced to reckon with their survival, it’s clear that only Crichton is equal to the task of managing the group, and the Loams dub him “Governor.” Based on a J.M. Barrie play, this is a charming and devilishly clever exploration of class distinction and its effect on love and social order. Directed by Lewis Gilbert (Alfie, H.M.S. Defiant), sumptuously photographed by Wilkie Cooper (The End of the Affair, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad), and featuring fine performances from Sally Ann Howes (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Diane Cilento (Tom Jones), and Martita Hunt (Great Expectations).

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CO39555 Admirable Crichton DVD (1957/Kenneth More) $19.95