Monday, 16 December 2013
The Afternoon Movie: The Amazing Mr Blunden
I don't remember the first time I saw The Amazing Mr Blunden but it must have been when I was very young because I remember the film being absolutely amazing, just like the title suggests.
Not so long ago, I saw it for rent on itunes for 99p and thought about watching it again. Then, the other day I actually did, but on youtube instead. Sorry itunes.
The Amazing Mr Blunden was one of those films from the 60s and 70s that time literally forgot. A children's film about a ghosts, old houses, mysteries and strange old men with bald heads. Made in 1972, (you really can tell) and set in 1918. This strange story and stranger film, I was actually relieved to find out it is based on a book, The Ghosts by Antonia Barber. The title of the book makes much more sense than the films'. The poster doesn't really explain much by the way either.
Set in 1918, Mrs Allen, now widowed by war, lives in a small house in London with her two teenage children, Lucy and James and baby Benjamin. The 'amazing' Mr Blunden visits them and asks them to visit a firm of solicitors who are in need of a housekeeper to look after an old house, Langley Park. When the family move into the lodge by the house, they hear rumours that the house is haunted by ghosts of the children who died in a fire 100 years ago.
After a few stops and starts, Lucy and James meet the ghosts, Sarah and Georgie Latimer who are able to travel through time by making a magic potion. Stop me if think this is already getting a bit silly. After their parents died, their uncle took over and married into an obscene family, the Wickens. The Wickens try to kill the Latimer children as they stand to inherit everything. But the Latimer children need Lucy and James to help them.
So where is Mr Blunden? If he is so amazing why isn't in this synopsis? He does come into the story briefly, only to disappear again and to hint there are three of him or something. No twist there.
Without giving it all away, it all ends a rather amusing montage of all the characters/actors saying goodbye over the credits. What joy!
Sadly this classic isn't quite a gem, however I strongly recommend you watch it, just for the period costume mystery ghost house feel about it. But I do guarantee that you will shout out 'but why is Mr Blunden amazing?' The answer, you'll never know, we'll never know.
This film boasts a famous cast too, with none other than Diana Dors the 'British sex symbol' as the wicked crone like housekeeper, Mrs Wickens.
Before and after.
The actresses that played Lucy Allen and Sarah Latimer went on to make other films, mostly low budget horror and TV. Mr Blunden himself, Laurence Naismith is quite a legend by the looks of his resume too.
I'm sure you can find this film somewhere, maybe in the conflicting genre department or maybe just have a look on itunes, its absolutely worth 99p to rent.