Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hey There, 1966

They aired Georgy Girl on Turner Classic Movies and I watched it, twice.

It is one of my favourite movies, but I've only seen it a few times. It doesn't often play on TV - and I recall a few years ago I couldn't get it on DVD. (I'm sure that's changed.) While searching for it, I stumbled upon Lynn Redgrave's website and left a note telling her how much I loved the film Gods and Monsters.

I was too young to see Georgy Girl when it came out in 1966, although I believe in 1967 I went to see Blow UP with my older brother, which features Lynn Redgrave's older sister.

I recall the Redgrave sisters were on the cover of Time Magazine in 1966 for my family subscribed to Time. Well a drawing of them in profile.

Anyway, a few years ago I rented the video tape of Georgy Girl from the local video store guy (who is now long gone) and I recall thinking "This is a very mature movie."

It could be called a quirky movie, too, but I think it is a movie that toys with the genres. Georgy Girl was popular when it came out, despite its 'frank' themes, (as the publicity for the movie described it at the time) because it pretends to be a Disney film, in tone and editing style, and slighty over the top characters, but it is really a European art film, a bittersweet tragi/comedy in subject matter and the unconventional almost flippant way it deals with said subject matter.

I wonder if Edie or Flo went to see this movie. I wonder if they would have been shocked by the matter of fact mention of abortion and the unapologetic promiscuity.

Lynn Redgrave plays Georgina, the daughter of a butler and maid, who, because she is tall and ungainly and not 'birdlike' as is the ideal, rejects modern standards of female behavior. She has a roomate, played by Charlotte Rampling, Meredith,who is a classic Swinging London party girl. One of her many boyfriends is a failed floutist, Jos, played by Alan Bates.

Georgy is homely, in the literal sense although not in the genuine sense. Georgina, despite her lack of effort, just misses being beautiful, as it is said in the movie. She likes to cook and she likes children. She is also witty and wild in her own way and her father's boss, played by James Mason, James has a major crush on her. Indeed, he wants her to be his mistress.

Meredith gets pregnant with Jos' child (for the third time) but decides on a whim to keep it, to get Jos to marry her, despite the fact that neither of these people is homely or responsible.

And the ending is a weird one. When Meredith rejects the child and when Jos, who does fall in love with Georgina, also proves not ready for parenthood, Georgina marries James.

A great movie, really, well cast although only James Mason was well known at the time. No soundtrack, except for certain vignettes, so you are left to decide for yourself what emotions you feel as you watch the characters do their thing.

Of course, the movie starts with the famous signature song, Georgy Girl, that has lyrics that describe Georgy's life. My husband, who was only 10 in 1966 and who wasn't at all in touch with the mass media Zeitgeist, knows that song even if hadn't heard of the movie. It was unavoidable in 1966.

I always identified with the line "always window shopping but never stopping to buy" because I never had any money for clothes. I suspect, had I seen the movie in 1966, I would have been frustrated that Georgy just didn't get James to pay for some nice clothes.

Georgy Girl is based on the book by Margaret Forster. And I see it was directed by a Montreal born man, Sylvio Narizzano, who was educated at Bishops in Lennoxville in the E.T... so it suits this website.

I have a news letter to edit in French and English, but we are finally snowed in here, in Montreal, after a slow start, which is annoying, as it is March.