Underground

1928

Drama / Romance

0
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 488

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 28, 2021 at 03:47 AM

Cast

Elissa Landi as Nell
Brian Aherne as Bill
720p.BLU
850.86 MB
1280*944
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by robert-temple-1 10 / 10

A lost masterpiece of silent cinema beautifully restored and scored

This is a magnificent film, the first credited film directed by Anthony Asquith, who was then only 26 years of age. His youthful energy, verve, and daring innovation show! Probably Asquith never directed such a brilliant film again in his long career. From a film as wonderful as this one, it was impossible to climb higher. The title refers to the London Underground, and much of the film was shot in Waterloo Underground Station, where one of the main characters works as a member of staff, what was known as a 'guard', whose duty it is to be helpful to passengers (alas, if we only still had them!). The performances of the four lead players are positively electrifying. Norah Baring's portrayal of a highly-strung young woman who goes over the edge is one of the most finely-judged portrayals of madness precipitated by desperate emotional trauma which I have ever seen on the screen. It is a perfect marvel. Cyril McLaglen gives an equally well-judged performance as a 'cad' who uses and discards women, and who when thwarted turns to deadly violence. This is a very passionate film, showing great extremes of human emotion in an entirely convincing manner. The most charming and delightful presence on screen is Elissa Landi, a gamine working class enchantress whose lively and original expressions, captivating eyes, and intensity are truly overwhelming. She is every bit as captivating as Clara Bow in IT (1927). Landi should have risen to be one of the major stars of British cinema, but it never happened. Here she is 24 years old, but she had only 19 years to live, as she died of cancer at the age of only 43. She never appeared in genuinely major films, and most film-lovers will only have seen her in AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936). She must have been a most interesting person, as she wrote six novels in her short life, as well as poetry. The 'good guy' in the film who comes into conflict with McLaglen as the 'bad 'un' is sympathetically and charmingly played by the very gentle Brian Aherne, who loves Landi but has to fight for her. The shots of London in 1928 are amazing. A great deal of the action in the latter part of the film takes place at Lots Road Power Station in Chelsea, which generated the electric power for the Underground, and where McLaglen works. Some fantastic fight and chase scenes take place there, including some hair-raising ones on the roof, which were clearly inspirational to Alfred Hitchcock, who later emulated them. I was sad to see the scene in the park, which had such beautiful old elm trees. When I saw the young couple sitting with their backs up against the familiar corrugated bark of a large elm, I nearly cried. How long it has been since we had those elms, and they will never come again in our lifetimes! Dutch Elm Disease killed every one in Britain. The elms were the stately trees which once defined the English countryside and parks. The cinematography for this film by Stanley Rodwell, his very first screen credit, is outstanding, and there are many shots strikingly influenced by German expressionism. We get such wonderful shots of the Underground, including evocative moving shots going along the tunnels both towards and away from a point of light in the distance. The waiting crowds of 1928 on the platforms seem as real as yesterday in this crisp and brilliant frame by frame restoration by the British Film Institute of this great silent classic. There is a fascinating booklet with the DVD-Blu Ray box, and the extras are not to be missed. No one watching this classic can possibly be disappointed, as it is moving as a drama and spectacular as a vision of a lost era. I was amused to see a scene shot in the quaint little pedestrian street known as Thistle Grove, in Fulham, where a friend of mine once lived. It is a little-known charming secret of London, which has changed little in the past century. This film really sweeps one away, and ranks amongst the very best silent films ever made. It has been issued with a marvellous score composed by Neil Brand, which suits the film perfectly and greatly enhances its power and its sheer magic. Don't hesitate for one moment, but get this remarkable film without delay!

Reviewed by paultreloar75 8 / 10

Wonderful little movie

We went to see the newly restored version of Underground tonight, at the British Film Institute. The BFi restoration people have done a magnificent job in making the movie look fresh and vibrant, but the direction by Anthony Asquith is the thing that has really stood the test of time. The plot flows in a simple but effective way, and the actors do a great job in bringing life and soul to a lively London town.

Bill is impossibly clear-eyed and the shining light, Nell is similarly bright and cheerful, but Bert is much more mixed-up, with a mild malevolence that rebounds on him badly, and Kate has some wonderfully dramatic madness late on. The various set pieces are done well and progress things in am undemanding manner.

The new score by Neil Brand and recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra is heavenly, it suits the action on the screen to an absolute tee. I really can't think of much I didn't enjoy, the energy of the last denouement of the love dispute is thrilling, and there's a lot of gentle laughter to be hand beforehand.

The fact that the film closed to a round of applause from the audience says a great deal to me. A little peep of a bygone age, when men gave their seat up for women on public transport (when the woman in question actually wanted to sit down of course). Go see and prepare to fill your eyes with a cinematic feast.

Reviewed by oOgiandujaOo_and_Eddy_Merckx 9 / 10

Charmer

My viewing of this film was at the world premiere of the restoration on the 23rd October 2009 at a Gala in the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the London Film Festival.

This is the first time that the BFI have done a Gala for a film restoration at the film festival, and I think they were quite pleased with themselves, and so they should be. This follows on from their recent revival of Anthony Asquith's great movie The Cottage on Dartmoor which has found it's way into the hearts of quite a few British film lovers. Before this, to even many film buffs, British silent cinema meant nothing except maybe they know of Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger. Well British quality cinema did not start with Powell & Pressburger folks!

Approximately 80% of British silent output is destroyed as it was a fairly normal practise back in the days to recycle film stock for the silver content after the theatrical run had gone quiet. One of the great British film archives was liquidated for silver content after the owner went bankrupt. Apparently the celluloid content was taken to line aircraft wings!

To the movie, which concerns a love story that takes place for a large part on the then new phenomenon of the London underground. The movie takes some pleasure in exploiting the comedy value that arises from folks of all different social classes and walks of life sharing carriages in close proximity. Things have changed as I think it's really rather unlikely that you will run into a toff on the London underground. But perhaps they enjoyed the thrill of the novel back then.

Underground is mostly a love story, concerning two men vying for the same woman, Nell, whom they both meet on the Underground. Bert is a bit of a caddish upstart (if pushed a nasty upstart) who grinningly thinks to himself he's God's gift to women, which, however handsome he is, he is not, whilst Bill is a porter on the underground who is rather more genteel and respectful. In the real world it's probably a nice guy comes last situation, but on the silver screen it's pretty clear it's going to be Bill's who is favoured, right from frame one. That's not going to spoil the pathos though, really right the way through there's a significant amount of emotional sustenance. We want to know what Bert is going to have to say about it! The scene that worked the best for me was in the park where Bill and Nell have a picnic. It can be described with no other word than magical, it makes the heart swell with gladness. There's a combination of warmth, humour and nature that is transcendent.

Technically the film is quite advanced there's a pub brawl that works particularly effectively where a punch is thrown at the camera before light's out, so you get a POV knock out. The perpetually disinterested landlady had the audience in hysterics. It's a film really that if announced as an Alfred Hitchcock movie would not raise many eyebrows. There's enough sauce, humour and action to qualify.

The event took place in the Queen Elizabeth Hall and was accompanied by the Prima Vista Social Club who did a very good job. Particularly speaking, whenever there were instruments being played in the movie by extras, a member of the band switched over to said instrument.

The only slight issue I had with the film was that the characters (as in The Cottage on Dartmoor), are overmakeupped.

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