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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

British Cinema Matinee - Light Up the Sky




Some of the old British retro movies from the 1950s and the early 1960s had a grand feel good factor about them. Light up the Sky was one of those afternoon matinees that came on t.v. during the mid-week afternoon in the late 60s early 70s. 

I remember catching it completely by surprise and finding it a very charming, enjoyable, and rather moving story. I was just a kid when I first saw the film and could not recognise the actors as being anyone special. I knew Tommy Steele because he was rather famous back then. I did not recognise the Young Benny Hill (Benny Hill Show) or Dick Emery (Dick Emery Show) at the time.

There was also the actor Johnny Briggs of Coronation Street and Ian Carmichael too. Plus a host of many other, soon to become, t.v. stars.

The film was about an air gun crew stationed in a field in Kent with the code name Agincourt. They work a search light and try to shoot German bombers during the night time raids in the war. As war goes the group of men seem to be having it all fairly cushy compered to many who are overseas fighting the war in far off places.

Our group of characters are arguing and joking during the day in the usual camaraderie way. A group of lads doing their thing. Ian Carmichael plays the officer who rides around on a motorcycle inspecting the various air gun crews and Agincourt is one of his inspection points. 

The film develops nicely as we learn of the men's little personnel problems. Tommy Steele and Benny Hill are brothers who want to go on stage and do a comedy double act with singing too. It is one of the most charming movies I have seen and is a story with wonderful moving themes. The backdrop of the war and the blitz make the story all the more insular for our little gun crew stationed in a filed in Kent. Marvellous movie and sad because they don't make them like this anymore. It is a basic and very simple little story that moves anyone. 



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