Go to Blazes (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus helps steal a fire engine to aid him and his buddies with their robbing
Three crooks Bernard (David King), Alfie (Norman Rossington) and Harry (Daniel Massey) get caught after they rob a jewellers and it's only because a fire engine stopped all the traffic enabling the police to catch up with them. Spending a couple of years in jail the three hatch a masterplan to get hold of their own fire engine to ensure there'll be no traffic getting in their way this time.
This 1962 British film is full of that happy-go-lucky charm that British sixties cinema had in abundance. The three lovable crooks' shenanigans never feel all that criminally wrong and more like a good old London bit of fun that they might get away with (despite the fact it's a pretty hard crime on paper). The three leads bounce off of each other well along with a fun bit of support from Robert Morley as Arson Eddie and Dennis Price as the bent fireman who comes in to train the lads. Also of note, the film also features a very young Maggie Smith as a love interest.
Go to Blazes winds up being quite a fun romp and despite the story getting a little over complicated, with the criminals deciding they might need to learn how to be real fireman due to the fact they were mistaken as fire fighters during another botched attempt to rob a jewellers, the sixties film doesn't really lose its light hearted charm.
This small release of a British oldie has a pretty routine presentation. The image is full of grain and quite a few scratches. The transfer generally has a very soft feel to it and because of that detail suffers quite a bit, especially in wider shots but on a plus side colours are very nicely captured and the bright sun of a British summer's days does a lot to give the image here a warm nostalgic feel to it.
The simple stereo track is quite lively with its playful sixties score and that score makes up a good amount of screentime as it feels like the primary storyteller with its upbeat backdrop to the dialogue free scenes. The dialogue itself is clear and strong and the relatively simple approach to sound effects - smashing shop windows and fire engine motors - all sound of their time as opposed to crisp and clear like modern filmaking. Once again it's a film that sounds its age and outside of that there's no technical issues at all.
This one gets a bare bones release, so no features here I'm afraid.
This British caper movie was a whole lot of fun. It was light, charming and very much an example of the UK's film industry in the sixties with an enjoyable cast and some light chuckles. The DVD release doesn't do too much of a clean up but the presentation is still adequate with both A/V feeling dated but still perfectly acceptable.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable for all
Release Date: 9th January 2012
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolbry Stereo 2.0 English
Subtitles: English HoH
Easter Egg: No
Director: Michael Truman
Cast: Dave King, Robert Morley,Daniel Massey, Dennis Price. Maggie Smith
Genre: Comedy and Drama
Length: 79 minutes
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