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Kingfisher [Import]

Rex Harrison , Wendy Hiller , James Cellan Jones    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Short and sweet at 77 minutes, this 1983 made-for-TV adaptation of William Douglas Home's play is delightfully cast, with Rex Harrison, who originated the role of Henry Higgins in the musical My Fair Lady, and Wendy Hiller, the original Liza Doolittle in the 1938 classic Pygmalion. Recreating his stage role, Harrison is at his fussy best as the self-absorbed Cecil, a celebrated author now in his "dotage" and desirous of "a second spring." His spirits are rejuvenated by news of the death of a romantic rival, and he sets out to strike "while the iron is hot" to woo his widow, Evelyn (Hiller), the woman Cecil let get away 50 years before. "I haven't lived, not yet," Cecil tells Hawkins (Cyril Cusack), his faithful, albeit perhaps too attached butler (Cyril Cusack). Hiller is the charming embodiment of a woman who Cecil aptly describes as "everything the doctor ordered in one lovely girl." But Evelyn, just returned from her husband's funeral, is wary of the impetuous Cecil. Over the course of an afternoon and a libation-fueled evening, they talk and reminisce, to the increasing disapproval of Hawkins. But is Cecil 50 years too late? The pleasure of Harrison and Hiller's company more than compensates for the somewhat slim plot. Like the titular bird, The Kingfisher is "a lovely little creature." --Donald Liebenson


Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First love remembered and a second chance Sept. 10 2006
By bernie TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
How many of us remember the great love of our youth. And for some reason or other the one that got away. Where is he/she now and is it possible for providence to give us a last opportunity to correct this?

Three great actors play out the scenario. As Cecil (Rex Harrison) discovers that his love Evelyn (Wendy Hiller) that getaway 50 years ago has been recently widowed and is passing by his home on the way from the funeral.

For 50 years Evelyn was married to an avid golfer who died on the seventeenth hole. Why did they get married? For 50 years Cecil decided never to marry and lived with his servant Hawkins (Cyril Cusack) who is not looking forward to the impending meeting.

This film is based on "The kingfisher: A comedy in two acts" by William Douglas Home and we are voyeurs watching these people and of course the kingfisher. You will have to watch again for all the nuances'. Also notice the extras on the DVD.

Be sure to watch Rex playing a character named Cecil in "The Honey Pot" (1967).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GEM OF A SMALL FILM Feb. 8 2006
By JamesJames - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The previous reviewer clearly has a bigotted axe to grind. Why else would they use a line like "...appears to have as its point the fashionable cliche that homosexual love is as important as heterosexual love." And then follow it with, "Or something like that."

This film is based on the stage play. It is small. It is quiet. It is literate. And it is very funny. And yes, the acting is splendid. A great turn for actors in their seventies/eighties. Remember - it is next to impossible to find three lead roles when you're that age.

The sole complaint is that the transfer, from film to DVD, is not the best. For the first 20 minutes or so the film moves slightly up and down - a function of the film not being locked in its gate. This calms down soon after. Most people won't even notice it, with the proliferation of 'moving cow' camera techniques, these days.

Pay no attention to the homophobic, inappropriate remarks bizarrely expressed by the other reviewer. (What were they smoking when they watched this film?) The film is not about homosexual or heterosexual love. It's about growing old, about love lost, chances missed, and that it's never too late to seize the day - and to laugh!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First love remembered and a second chance Sept. 9 2006
By bernie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
How many of us remember the great love of our youth. And for some reason or other the one that got away. Where is he/she now and is it possible for providence to give us a last opportunity to correct this?

Three great actors play out the scenario. As Cecil (Rex Harrison) discovers that his love Evelyn (Wendy Hiller) that getaway 50 years ago has been recently widowed and is passing by his home on the way from the funeral.

For 50 years Evelyn was married to an avid golfer who died on the seventeenth hole. Why did they get married? For 50 years Cecil decided never to marry and lived with his servant Hawkins (Cyril Cusack) who is not looking forward to the impending meeting.

This film is based on "The kingfisher: A comedy in two acts" by William Douglas Home and we are voyeurs watching these people and of course the kingfisher. You will have to watch again for all the nuances'. Also notice the extras on the DVD.

Be sure to watch Rex playing a character named Cecil in "The Honey Pot" (1967).

The Honey Pot ~ Rex Harrison
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy for the viewing May 12 2007
By Carolyn D. Parsons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Years ago this film was a special on HBO. I recorded it....a couple times even. I never tired of the acting, the writing, the visual delight. These actors know how to act and knowing what is coming up, each time I see it, is part of the fun. I wore out 2 tapes I had made and for several years I tried to find a copy. When they finally put it on DVD no one was happier than I was.

Everyone should treat themselves to this film. It is a prize.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and humorous Oct. 26 2009
By J. Knoke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
To watch these magnificent actors was a joy. Rex Harrison has always been a great actor, whether portraying a Pope, Emperor or, in this case, a lonely bachelor. Dame Wendy Hiller was a special kind of actress who could make any character she portrayed become real. Who stole the show, tho, was Cyril Cusak. What a very funny man he was and so subtle in his role in this movie.
Wonderful character study.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kingfisher June 7 2009
By Raymond N. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
A true delightful treasure of the small screen. Very fine acting one that can be watched many times without tiring. Written and delivered with great wit and charm. The cinematography is excellent and adds to the charm of the piece. If you enjoy good literary works and don't wish to be confronted with sex and violence then this is for you. The plot is simple. It is about a couple reuniting after 50 years. A personal favourite and viewed many times without ever tiring of it.
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