Based on the play by Bill Naughton (best known for penning the zeitgeist-capturing Alfie three years earlier), Spring and Port Wine is an unashamedly old-fashioned affair with charm to spare. A delightful family comedy, the tale examines the yawning generation gap between a strict yet kindly father (James Mason) and his obdurate daughter (Susan George). The bone of contention initially seems to be nothing more serious than a herring, which slowly emerges as a red herring. The old-fashioned patriarch is left reflecting that ‘You can spend a lifetime creating a family and break it up in a weekend’.
The film boasts a fine cast of British actors and authentic Bolton locations. Mason plays Rafe Crompton, an engineer at a Bolton cotton mill. His large family includes wife Daisy (Diana Coupland, best known for Bless This House ), daughters Hilda (George) and Florence (Hannah Gordon) and sons Harold ( The Likely Lads’ Rodney Bewes) and Wilf (Len Jones).
Rafe’s orderly routine is overturned when Hilda refuses to eat herring for her evening meal. A battle of wills begins between father and daughter, with the rest of the family eventually drawn into the problem. Meanwhile, Rafe also has to contend with his other daughter when a sheet metal worker, Arthur (Keith Buckley), proposes marriage to her. All of these problems pale, however, when Daisy realises the reason Hilda can’t bear to eat the fish.
UK / 101 minutes / 1970
James Mason as Rafe Crompton
Diana Coupland as Daisy Crompton
Susan George as Hilda Crompton
Adrienne Posta as Betty Duckworth
Hannah Gordon as Florence Crompton
Rodney Bewes as Harold Crompton
Arthur Lowe as Mr. Aspinall
Len Jones as Wilfred Crompton
Bernard Bresslaw as Lorry Driver
and this just in
Savage Wilderness (1955, Victor Mature, James Whitmore)
Victor Mature, the ’50s star once dubbed ‘a beautiful hunk of man’ but now often unfairly labelled the Sylvester Stallone...
Let Him Have It (1991, Chris Eccleston, Paul Reynolds)
Let Him Have It is Peter Medak’s vividly dramatized account of the infamous and still controversial 1952 Craig-Bentley case focused,...
Legend Of The Lost (1957, John Wayne, Sophia Loren)
Henry Hathaway’s Boys Own adventure Legend Of The Lost is given extra curiosity value by Ben Hecht’s philosophical script. John...
I Could Go On Singing (UA 1963, Judy Garland, Dirk Bogarde)
In I Could Go On Singing Jenny Bowman (Judy Garland) is a great singing star. A Palladium season brings her...
Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes (1970, Robert Stephens, Colin Blakely)
This entertaining addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon saw Billy Wilder come up with a new adventure for the famous...
A Million Little Things: Pilot (Series Premiere ABC 26 Sep 2018)
Pilot: hey say friendship isn’t one big thing, it’s a million little things; and that’s true for a group of...
A Million Little Things: Band Of Dads (Episode 2 ABC 3 Oct 2018)
Band Of Dads: The group tries to be there for Sophie as an upcoming father-daughter dance recital approaches, and when...
Modern Family: I Love a Parade (Season 10 Premiere ABC 26 Sep 2018)
I Love a Parade: The Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan are going to be setting off more than a few fireworks when they...
Bus Stop (TCF 1956, Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray)
Bar-room singer Cherie in Bus Stop was Marilyn Monroe’s first screen performance after she had retrained at Lee Strasberg’s Actors...
Guns Of The Magnificent Seven (1969, George Kennedy, James Whitmore)
After the success of The Magnificent Seven the men were no longer mere movie icons. They were also a popular...
Amorous Prawn, The (1962, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker)
Director Anthony Kimmins and Nicholas Phipps collaborated on the slick script for The Amorous Prawn a lively screen version of...