Rent St. Martin's Lane / Talk About Jacqueline (1942)

3.7 of 5 from 49 ratings
2h 30min
Rent St. Martin's Lane / Talk About Jacqueline (aka Comedy Capers Vol. 2: St. Martins Lane / Talk About Jacqueline) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Double the comedy, double the fun!

Talk About Jacqueline (1942)
A girl with a chequered past tries to conceal it from her husband and lets her sister take the blame, hut confesses after a crash and all is forgiven.
St. Martin's Lane (1938)
A London street entertainer teams up with a lady pickpocket who is a good dancer. This attracts the attention of a theatre owner and opens doors for troupe.
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Marcel Hellman, Erich Pommer, Charles Laughton
Marjorie Deans, Roland Pertwee, Bartlett Cormack, Clemence Dane, Charles Laughton, Erich Pommer, Tim Whelan
Comedy Capers Vol. 2: St. Martins Lane / Talk About Jacqueline
Screenbound Pictures
Classics, Comedy
Top 10 European Remakes
Release Date:
Run Time:
150 minutes
English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W

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Reviews (2) of St. Martin's Lane / Talk About Jacqueline

Bone and Muscle - St. Martin's Lane / Talk About Jacqueline review by CH

Spoiler Alert

“A remarkable invention, the telephone - it's the perfect instrument for deception.” So observes Hugh Williams in Talk about Jacqueline (1942) after his wife (Carla Lehmann) has been trying to obscure the fact that her caller was an old flame. There were many men, across Europe, in her life before she chanced upon Williams when he was mis-allocated a place in her sleeping-car on the way north to Paris - and she chanced to meet him again at an English country house and goes in such pursuit (“forget the fox!”) that she takes a tumble from the horse and is soothed by his presence at her bedside while two cracked ribs knit themselves together.

The ribs' progress could be a metaphor as events ensue.

She assures one and all that, despite the doctor's orders, he is perfectly welcome as he is “a second opinion”. Indeed, he does have medical qualification. He is a specialist in snake venom. Presumably, in the laboratory he wears a different outfit. Throughout this film he sports a dinner jacket - except when in a smoking jacket. Hugh Williams - now probably rather less known than his son Simon - was a byword for suave, never more than than in the brilliant Brief Ecstasy (1937).

Here he adds a steeliness to a part in which neither a hair nor a word is ever out of place, even when his wife's past inevitably emerges (curiously a copy of Tatler coincides with “back number” as a contemporary phrase for previous lover) . Curiously enough, for a film made in wartime, all this was adapted by Henry Cass from a German film made five years earlier. His distinct touch was to add a comic element, in which Jacqueline's sister Joan (Joyce Howard) recognises the potentially explosive situation and makes bold to pass herself off as the notorious “Miss Marlow” who has ignited the society columns while Williams has been occupied with real vipers in foreign parts.

Joyce Howard - calling upon herself, needs must, to surrender her natural refinement to don a slinky dress while she knocks back a martini in one (“here's how!”) - gives a bravura performance which makes one wish that she had appeared in more films.

All works towards a country-house gathering in Emsworth, a Hampshire town which inevitably brings Wodehouse to mind (grim though its station is nowadays). There is some of his spirit in all this but its undertow of tragedy makes one keen to seek out the German version which somehow surfaced there in terrible times.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Review of St. Martin's Lane (spoiler). - St. Martin's Lane / Talk About Jacqueline review by Steve

Spoiler Alert

Ultra-sentimental melodrama set among the buskers who live off London's theatre district in the depression. The film opens with a montage of the West End and a soundtrack that can't help drifting into Rhapsody in Blue. It's a Broadway melody, but set in England; a story of the laughter and tears of the the big parade.

Charles Laughton is a middle aged veteran of the colourful slums who falls in love with Vivien Leigh, a skinny teenage waif he meets while she lifts Rex Harrison's cigarette case. They form a street act, until she makes it on the legitimate stage and leaves him behind to the bottle. It's shamelessly corny and Laughton overacts without impediment (he co-produced).

At times, his performance feels like a rehearsal for the hunchback. The film ends with him reciting 'If' to an indifferent theatre audience, and we blink away a tear... And yet, it is fabulously entertaining. Laughton and Leigh have tremendous rapport and while they play to the very back row, it's easy to get swept up in their chutzpah.

There are flavourful sets and lots of low-rent atmosphere as the street performers get squeezed out by the gentrification of the West End. The glorious lack of realism is its chief merit. All is comedy or tragedy in life's great pageant. It's an irresistible, though rather rich indulgence.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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