Gentle satire of English and Welsh
By a customer
from Cardiff, Wales
, 23 Mar 2009
This was the fourth Ealing Comedy of 1949. The first three -- Passport to Pimlico, Whisky Galore and Kind Hearts and Coronets -- were box-office hits and remain all-time classic films, but this fourth film is largely forgotten. Perhaps that's because it relies on gentle satire of both the English and the Welsh, and some of the humour is rather predictable. Two brothers from a fictional South Welsh mining village ('Hafoduwchbenceubwllymarchogcoch') in the valleys north of Cardiff, win a prize from a national newspaper -- a trip to London with tickets to the English-Welsh rugby international at Twickenham, plus a large cash bonus. Setting off on the little Valleys Lines train ('it's only five minutes late -- change at Cardiff General') they arrive at Paddington in a train load of Welsh rugby fans and completely miss the newspaper representative (Alec Guinness) who's been sent to meet them, and who unwisely puts out a call for 'Mr Dai and Mr Twm Jones' and then wonders why three hundred Welshman mob the station office ... The rest of the film continues in the same vein, gently mocking English stereotypes of the Welsh and Welsh stereotypes of the English. Our two heroes do have to run for their money, but eventually arrive safely home, their group augmented by one and the honour of Wales intact.
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