Monday, 28 March 2016

Mr Cinders (1934)
The Western Brothers
"Dutchmen get used to windmills,
The Spanish got used to Spanish flu,
If Germans can get used to sauerkraut,
I can get used to you."
A comic song that references Spanish flu - the virus that killed millions worldwide? Can you imagine the fury nowadays if something so destructive was treated so lightly. Just think of the Daily Mail's sense of righteous indignation!
But of course, this film wasn't made today. This was 1934, a time when some pretty dreadful British musicals were being made. And this is one of them. It's a reverse telling of Cinderella, the poor orphan cousin of a rich family (Clifford Mollison) who accidentally finds love with an American heiress (Zelma O'Neal).
Clifford Mollison

Zelma O'Neal
The 'comedy' is mainly offered through the songs of the Western Brothers, a singing duo who were popular stage performers who here take the 'ugly sisters' role.
Can I find anything interesting to say about this film? The best I can give you is a continuity error:
We see the Western Brothers walking beside the river, wearing blazers with knitted vests underneath ...
 ... spotting a half-drowned man on the riverbank they take off their jackets and dive in so they can claim the honour of having saved him. But their knitted vests have suddenly disappeared:
 However, by the time they drag him into the garden, their vests have miraculously reappeared:
 And we also see them identify the man by looking inside his suit to find his name on the tailor's label:
Yes, seriously, that's as interesting as it gets!
That said, I suppose I have to promote it since the kind people at Network DVD have gone to real efforts to make lots of old British musicals available. And, if they don't do it, no one else is going to. Then most of them would be lost, which would be a bad thing. So let's celebrate their efforts:
It is currently available as part of 'British Musicals of the 1930s, Volume 2':

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