Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Tag Archives: noel coward

The Un-Chilly Elegance of Frieda Inescort

“I’m so aristocratic on stage it’s a wonder I don’t come out blue when I take a bath.” Probably best known as the hopelessly haughty Caroline Bingley in Pride and Prejudice—who seemed to smell cabbage whenever Elizabeth Bennet stepped into the room—Frieda Inescort took a wry view of her typecasting. But there was so much …

Continue reading

BRIEF ENCOUNTER: The Rain, the Sane, And Mainly Lots of Pain

When I was invited to join the “April Showers” celebration of rainy movie scenes, the first one that came to mind wasn’t something like this… or this… or this. You see, I’m Irish. So of course I thought of this doomed, guilt-ridden duo. The scene in Brief Encounter where Laura (Celia Johnson) tears through the wet streets after …

Continue reading

THE NITRATE PICTURE SHOW: When the Screen Glistened with Real Silver

There’s a reason they call it the Silver Screen. In the early days, reels of nitrate film contained actual silver. Most of these precious spools were melted down by studios for their metal content or neglected until they turned to dust, liquefied or burned in warehouse fires. But not all are lost—and earlier this month, the passionate film-preservation …

Continue reading

THE ASTONISHED HEART: The Flip Side of BRIEF ENCOUNTER

Ah, Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter! An achingly realistic portrait of the repressed, thwarted love of Laura and Alec, two grown-ups too fundamentally good and decent to act on feelings that are stronger and deeper than any they have ever known. Now imagine that Alec had grown sick and tired of being so damn noble and …

Continue reading