Fire Over England (1937)

  • Maybe it’s the mood I’m in, but I feel like there should have been way fewer capital letters in both the opening credits and the written intro. Those text styles paired with that music (which sounded like final credit music, not opening music, by the way – someone fucked that up) was too much. I did not retain any of the information, because it was being yelled at me. Highly unpleasant.
  • I’ve been watching too many movies about royalty recently – I probably need to stop. QUEEN CHRISTINA (1933), A ROYAL AFFAIR (2012), now this…? Too many! Must cut back.
  • Ohhh. So this is the other movie in which Flora Robson plays Queen Elizabeth. I remember reading that when I watched THE SEA HAWK (1940). Cool.
  • (By the way, she’s awesome at it.)
  • “Little man, little man – ‘must’ is not a word to use to princes.” — Queen Elizabeth
  • The costumes in this are stunning.
  • I didn’t believe for a second that Richard/Michael (Lyn Harding/Laurence Olivier) were father/son. Definitely no signs of Immediate Chemistry. It kind of made me immediately not care about either of them.
  • Elena is a Spaniard? That’s funny, because the actress playing her (Tamara Desni) is a German & also sounds like one.
  • Michael seems to be intent on cheating on poor Cynthia (Vivien Leigh), rather immediately. “She’s probably married by now,” he says, as he sings his stupid little romance song with Elena.
  • “Keep away from me! Wah! I hate you! You’re Spaniards! Wah!” — Michael

(That may have been slightly paraphrased.)

(But wow, is Michael annoying.)

  • Flora Robson is absolutely fantastic.
  • “I’m very tired. In a few years, I shall be asleep forever. Why should I care what you young people do?” — Lord Burleigh (Morton Selten)
  • Alright, Michael. All you have to do is go tell the King of Spain The Secret Plan. Shouldn’t be too hard. Except for the fact that you know nothing about The Secret Plan, and it’s probably a matter of life and death. Best wishes!
  • Oh, fuck. It’s Elena!
  • Geez. Michael’s going to use this gathering as an excuse to play his damn romance tune. Saw that one coming, as soon as Elena stepped back on screen.
  • Michael…if you’re not careful, Elena might poison you.
  • Nope – I overestimated her. She won’t even tell her HUSBAND and his buddies that Michael’s loyal to England. Because she’s a dope who’s in love with a two-timing, hastily emotioned castaway. How disappointing.
  • Are you serious?! Elena’s husband is going to help Michael escape, without Michael spending even 1 minute in prison? This guy Michael gets all the breaks!
  • The composer/arranger of the music made it sound like the movie was ending as Queen Elizabeth was riding up the hill in the wilderness (right before she gets to camp and is reunited with Michael). Weird. There were still 10 minutes left!
  • This movie was ALL Flora Robson. She kicked ass, and the rest of the characters were boring. If this movie came out today, she would be a shoe-in for a Best Actress Oscar. The Academy eats this shit up these days.
  • I didn’t particularly care for Laurence Olivier in this. Maybe it was partly because of the way his part was written – but mostly, I just don’t think he was that great.
  • Vivien Leigh was fine – but there was barely anything for her to do.
  • I’d maybe watch a sequel of this, where we follow what happens after Michael & Cynthia are married, where their characters are also written better. That could be fun.
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