I recently watched this romcom car caper made in 1953 and really enjoyed it. The movie starts with a young man rushing out of work early as he is taking ‘ Genevieve to Brighton for the weekend.’ Lucky girl you might think! Genevieve turns out to be his beloved vintage car……..
John Gregson is Alan Mckim and his wife of three years, Wendy, is played by Dinah Sheridan. He and friend Ambrose ( Kenneth More) always take part in the annual ‘London to Brighton Veteran Car Run’ with their classic cars. John is usually accompanied by a long suffering Wendy ( Genevieve has a bad habit of breaking down) and Ambrose takes a different girlfriend every year. This year he has met a fashion model called Rosalind ( Kay Kendall) whose cute st Bruno ‘Suzy’ is along for the ride too. 🙂
Ambrose and Rosalind make it to Brighton easily in Ambroses 1905 Spyker but the McKims journey is punctuated by several breakdowns and tired and irritable after their experience they discover that the guest house Alan has booked isn’t exactly the Ritz. Comedy moments when a huge town clock chimes across from their window causing their whole room to vibrate!
At dinner that evening with Ambrose and Rosalind , a rather tipsy Rosalind points out to Alan that Ambrose is always very friendly towards Wendy. Ambrose was the one who introduced his friends on the London to Brighton rally in 1949. John begins to feel jealous when Ambrose gets Wendy up to dance and even a surprising trumpet solo from Rosalind doesn’t lighten his mood.
After arguing with Wendy a sulky John decides to go and work on Genevieve and runs into Ambrose walking Suzy as Rosalind has passed out. Ambrose pokes fun at the car and in a fit of impulsive anger Alan bets him One hundred pounds that Genevieve can beat his car in a race back to London. The one who is first across Westminster Bridge has won.
So the next day much to the two ladies horror all bets are still on with the men doing their best to scupper the other’s chances. The race involves all manner of calamities and capers but boys will be boys hey. This is a fun film and I guess the real stars of the show are the two classic cars. But there’s fun and romance too, some fetching driving outfits a ditsy cameo from Joyce Grenfell and a lovable st Bruno. All good!
Have you ever driven from London to Brighton?