|CLIMBING HIGH (director: Carol Reed; screenwriters: Stephen Clarkson/story by Marion Dix & Sonnie Hale/Lesser Samuels; cinematographer: Mutz Greenbaum; editor: Michael Gordon; music: Louis Levy; cast: Jessie Matthews (Diana Castle), Michael Redgrave (Nicky Brooke), Noel Madison (Gibson), Alastair Sim (Max), Margaret Vyner (Lady Constance Westaker), Basil Radford (Reggie), Mary Clare (Lady Emily Westaker), Torin Thatcher (Jim Castle), Francis L. Sullivan (Madman); Runtime: 78; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Michael Balcon; VCI Entertainment; 1938-UK)|
|"Genial lightweight romantic
by Dennis Schwartz
filmmaker Carol Reed ("The Man
Between"/"Trapeze"/"The Key") effectively directs this
predictable genial lightweight romantic musical
comedy. The script by Lesser Samuels and Stephen
Clarkson is based on the story by Marion Dix and
Brooke (Michael Redgrave) is a wealthy socialite who
falls for the poor Diana Castle (Jessie Matthews). He
meets her after being a passenger in a car driven by
his chauffeur (Basil Radford)
that slightly injured her in a traffic accident. Diana
rebuffs the smitten Nicky, who asks her out on a date.
Meanwhile through her communist roommate, Max (Alastair
Sim), Diane gets a gig as a model. Nicky
meets her again outside her new workplace and helps
her dislodge the heel of her shoe stuck in a grating.
In order to know her better, Nicky poses as a model
and gets hired by the same agency she works for.
is upset when he reads in the newspaper an engagement
announcement he didn't approve of placed in the paper
by his girlfriend, the aristocrat gold digger Lady
Vyner). He realizes he doesn't
love her, but is crazy about the spirited Diana. Diana
responds warmly to Nicky's romantic gestures, until
she discovers the lie and rejects him. Her protective
big brother Jim (Torin Thatcher),
a macho logger, returns to London after working in
Canada and wants to straighten things out when he
learns his sister is engaged to a man who is also
engaged to another woman. To get a clear prospective
of things, Jim, sis, Nicky and the boss of the model
agency (Noel Madison), trek
together to the Swiss Alps.
It's easy to guess which lady our hero eventually ends up with in this entertaining and uplifting war time film, that charms you rather than overwhelms you as it tussles with mistaken identity issues and questions over marriage expectations.
REVIEWED ON 1/13/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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