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DVD Review

DVD cover

Laxdale Hall


Starring: Ronald Squire, Kathleen Ryan, Raymond Huntley, Prunella Scales, Fulton Mackay and Jean Colin
Panamint Cinema
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: U
Available 04 April 2010

The few residents of Laxdale who own cars are refusing to pay their road fund licence because of the poor state of the only road which links them to the rest of Scotland. A parliamentary delegation including Samuel Pettigrew, M.P and Andrew Flett is dispatched to the Scottish Highland to quell the rebellion. Along the way they encounter resistance from school teacher Morag McLeod and her roguish dad, Roderick McLeod...

Laxdale Hall, a rarely seen British comedy, receiving its first release for home entertainment, is a 1952 gem about disquiet in a remote Highland community. While supposedly a comedy, there are few laughs here for a modern audience. But there are plenty of parallels that we can all relate to. For those fed up of paying an increasing amount of council tax when our services are being run down; or road tax when are roads are in such a state of disrepair, you'll be able to nod your head in recognition and smile at the residents of Laxdale as they make a political stand.

It was also interesting to see Prunella Scales (Fawlty Towers) appear in what was her first movie role.

There is an extra in the form of The Glen is Ours (30 min) 1946 documentary drama which stars Ealing stalwarts Edie Martin and Anthony Baird. This is a timeless parable of politicians at odds with their electorate. Recently de-mobbed Hector Andrews takes to the hustings to stop Cadisburn Glen being converted from a beauty spot into an amusement park. While the picture quality is pretty bad, most will be happy to finally be able to own this in whatever condition. There's quite a lot of poor dialogue and over the top acting, but then it probably seemed fine back in the mid-40s.

While this probably won't hold the attention of a modern audience, those that enjoy old black and white features will find this to be a cut above the average movie of the time.


Nick Smithson

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