For anyone who travels the congested roads of Britain these days the utterly delightful Genevieve will provoke a wistful, nostalgic sigh of regret for times gone by when there were no motorways, traffic jams were almost non-existent and friendly police motorcyclists riding classic Nortons (without helmets) cheerfully let people driving vintage cars race each other along country lanes. Even in 1953, Henry Cornelius gentle comedy must have seemed pleasingly old-fashioned, concerned as it is with the antics of two obsessive enthusiasts on the annual London to Brighton classic car rally. The principal quartet could hardly be bettered: though John Gregson is something of a cold fish as Genevieves proud owner, the radiant warmth of Dinah Sheridan as his long-suffering wife more than compensates. Kenneth More is ideally cast in the role of boastful rival enthusiast and Kay Kendall has possibly the best comic moment of all when she astonishes everyone with her drunken trumpet playing.
Cornelius also directed Ealings Passport to Pimlico, so his sure eye for gently mocking and celebrating British eccentricities is never in doubt. The screenplay by (American writer) William Rose now seems like an elegy to a way of life long disappeared: the pivotal moment when Gregson stops to humour a passing old buffer about his love of classic cars comes from a vanished era of politeness before road rage; as does the priceless exchange between hotel owner Joyce Grenfell and her aged resident: "No ones ever complained before", says the mystified Grenfell after Gregson and Sheridan moan about the facilities, "Are they Americans?" asks the old lady, unable to conceive that anyone British could say such things. Genevieve is both a wonderful period comedy and a nostalgic portrait of England the way it used to be.
Actors Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson, Kay Kendall, Kenneth More & Joyce Grenfall
Director Henry Cornelius
Certificate Universal Suitable for All
Screen Fullscreen 4:3
Languages English - Dolby Digital (1.0) Mon
Subtitles English for the hearing impaired
Duration 1 hour and 35 minutes (approx)
Region Region 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.