Sunday, 14 February 2010


Stuck for something to watch? Here’s a new DVD of a seldom seen film that’s well worth a look.

Ginnie (played by Sylvia Sims) and Billa (June Ritchie) are two nightclub hostesses (nudge, nudge) in this black and white kitchen sink drama set in early 60’s London (that’s me sold then). They share a flat and a friendship that is tested by jealousies as Ginnie becomes involved with rich married businessman Bob (Edward Judd) and Billa falls pregnant and has the strain of forcing her schoolmaster father (William Hartnell) to open his eyes to her lifestyle.

All of the main cast are good but Sims is particularly convincing as the unpredictable Ginnie. “I want out. Out!” she says early in the film. “Out where?” Billa asks. She hasn’t got an answer so huffs exasperatedly and changes her mind every two minutes about her relationship with Bob and what she does want. The film is centred on the girls’ relationship and none of the male characters come out with much credit. Bob leaves his wife for “a tart”; his father offers Ginnie a job “entertaining” his business partners; Billa’s father calls his daughter “trash”; the doctor has a dirty glint in his eye as he rubs Billa’s shoulder; and the only other men are the fat lecherous types pawing over girls in Soho nightclubs. “They’re not worth it. None of them” says Billa. “Damn them all” they agree.

There’s a surprising moment near the end that caught me unawares and you’re left with a feeling there’s a bit more to the girls relationship than shown on screen. Elsewhere there are loads of London street scenes (always welcome) and period detail that adds to the overall enjoyment of a well made film.

The World Ten Times Over is released on DVD by Studio Canal/Optimum Classic.