This tape opens with the end of Love Me Tonight, a black and white film starring Maurice Chevalier, and ends with a dramatic scene of a woman standing in front of an approaching train.
There’s a trailer for The Travel Show. I had an odd reaction to this. The music they use under this short trailer is one of the variations from Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Not the famous one, Nimrod, either. But just that tiny snatch of a piece of music I know very well suddenly made me slightly tearful. Sometimes, beautiful music does that to me.
Now on to Brigadoon, a curious musical from the team that brought you My Fair Lady. I’ve mentioned it before on another tape, and I didn’t know what to make of it then.
It’s a bit “Americans do Scottish”. A woman wakes up and caresses her lucky heather.
Brigadoon is a village that wakes up for one day every hundred years. To escape witches, I think. Or something. Gene Kelly and friend, on a hunting holiday in the highlands, stumble across it on the one day it’s awake.
Kilts are all very well, but those tartan trousers are a crime against nature.
Gene Kelly falls in love with a woman in the village, played by Cyd Charisse.
The plot of the film, such as it is, concerns an angry young man, upset that he’s been trapped in this village, mostly because the girl he fancies is getting married to another villager. Yes, it’s toxic masculinity again. Plus, since the village was cursed 200 years ago, this is only the second day of the curse as far as they’re concerned. You’d think he’d give it a week before getting really arsey. He’s probably upset because he also has to wear the tartan trousers.
The plot, such as it is, sees Kelly in love with Cyd Charisse, and the angry young man deciding to leave the village, which will make the whole village disappear or something equally bad. He’s totally Brexit. And while he’s trying to leave the village, and the whole village is pursuing him, by night, by torchlight, Gene Kelly’s friend decides that’s a great time to go hunting birds with his rifle, and wouldn’t you know it, he shoots the angry young man.
So now he and Kelly have to leave the village, and Kelly goes back to his awful New York social life. To be fair, his fiancee seems rather dull and self involved.
So he breaks it off with her, tells his friend to book some plane tickets, and hotfoots it back to Scotland. Where a miracle happens and the village is back, so he and his love can be reunited and live forever (which for them will probably be a couple of months). This is their emotional reunion, shot is a huge, wide shot. I mentioned last time how there’s not a single close up in the whole film.
And there’s only one memorable song in the whole film – ‘Almost like Being In Love’.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 11th May 1996 – 13:40
After this, a trailer for Wednesday programmes.
Then, the rest of the tape is an hour and 15 minutes of Gigi, a film also starring Maurice Chevalier, featuring ‘Thank Heaven For Little Girls’, a song which is not in the least bit creepy. (It is.)
The tape ends during the film.