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Beer on DVD  no46

Poet's Pub (1949) The illustration of The Downy Pelican isn't the DVD cover, and an original film poster would cost you £200 to buy. My film came boxed with Hotel Sahara (1951) as "2 Classic British Movies". Eric Linklater's novel was re-published in 2012 so there might have been a chance of a re-issue for the DVD at something less than the £33.49 which that has gone up to.  You can also get it as a copy disc from www.oldrarefilms.com for £1.99 + £1.99 for shipping.

Saturday Keith is an Oxford rowing blue and scriber of doggerel who finds himself appointed manager of the beautiful but run-down Downy Pelican (believed to be the "le Talbooth" restaurant in Stratford St Mary, Essex nowadays).

He drops into the pub: "Not much trade, eh? Pity, must have been quite a decent pub"

If you want clear soup, you get thick, diluted from the tea urn! Most of the menu is "orf"  - a regular gag line after the War.

"Bring me a pint of bitter.................Look at this! When was your beer engine last cleaned?"

"If there's any complaints, perhaps you'd like to make 'em to my husband says a very young Pat Hayes (always working class).


"I see above the front door that you are one Frank Nott licensed to provide accomodation, food and drink for travellers"

"That's right".

"I've seen the accommodation - it's unbearable. I've tasted the soup - it's uneatable. I've sipped at the beer - it's undrinkable".

"There's another pub in the village if you're so particular".

"Yes I am particular".

"The charge for lunch is five shillings".

"I haven't had any lunch".

"You've had the soup!" (smashes his fist down on the laden bowl - soup everywhere)

"On the contrary - we seem to have shared it".

(From the next table) "Mr Keith, come over and sit at our table. Do sit down....I'm Lady Mercy Cotton and this is my son Quentin..... He knows you of course but of course you don't know him".

(Landlord) "Now look here, I don't want people like you in my hotel".

"Did you say your hotel Mr Nott?"

"Then you're quite wrong, I'm afraid. It's mine. My husband's always buying me pubs.... my hobby - one must do something. So do go away. If you don't believe me, ring up Cottons Breweries. Now, Mr Keith, When can you start? You're going to manage this hotel for me. I decided that when I heard your views on the duties of innkeepers".

There's a typical rôle for James Robertson Justice, too - did he come out of the womb like that? Did you know that he was one of the founders of Scottish Television?

How's this for a cast list, especially the uncredited ones?
Derek Bond ... Saturday Keith (Nicholas Nickleby 1947)
Rona Anderson ... Joanna Benbow (married Gordon Jackson, was Miss Lockhart in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)
James Robertson Justice ... Prof. Benbow (Lancelot Spratt of "What's the bleeding time?" fame)
John McLaren ... Van Buren 
Barbara Murray ... Nelly Bly (Pamela in ATV's The Plane Makers)
Peter Croft ... Quentin Cotton (Crossroads)
Leslie Dwyer ... Holly (grumpy Punch & Judy man in Hi-de-Hi)
Joyce Grenfell ... Miss Horsefell-Hughes (don't do that George)
Fabia Drake ... Lady Mercy Cotton (A Room With a View)
Maurice Denham ... Constable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Denham)
Kay Cavendish ... Jean Forbes 
Andrew Osborn ... Williams (When The Boat Comes In/Dr Finlay's Casebook)
Iris Hoey ... Lady Keith 
others listed alphabetically: 
Vincent Ball ... Stacey (uncredited) ( A Town Like AliceRobbery Under ArmsCarry On CruisingCarry On Follow That CamelWhere Eagles Dare, Crossroads, The Flying Doctors)
Geoffrey Dunn ... Mr. Sedgwick (uncredited) (I Am a Camera, Quo Vadis)
Alexander Field ... Waiter (uncredited) 
Patricia Hayes ... Mrs. Lott (uncredited) (Edna, the Inebriate Woman)
Roddy Hughes ... Truscott (uncredited) (went on to produce mainly for ITV inc Count of Monte Cristo and Scarlet Pimpernel)
Sam Kydd ... George (uncredited)  (Orlando)
Arthur Lowe ... Coach Guide (uncredited) (Mr Swindley, Captain Mainwaring)
Philip Stainton … Mr Lott (uncredited) (Moby Dick, Reach for the Sky, Passport to Pimlico, The Ladykillers)

Anthony Steel ... Compton (uncredited) (Married Anita Ekberg, made his name in The Wooden Horse 1950)
Joan Sterndale-Bennett ... (uncredited) (regularly in The Good Old Days in the 60s)

a much cut-down version to be printed in O-to-K later in 2015 text ©RKW 2012