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OLD TIME CINEMA PROGRAMME

UK, 1952 (MIFF 1958, Programme 36)

This is a faithful but not too serious reconstruction of a film show one might have seen at the Gem or Electric Palace in 1915. The feature is Will Barker's The Road to Ruin (which "The Times" described as "the greatest moral lesson ever preached from pulpit or stage"), in which the oldest invertebrate undergraduate of all time (obviously possessed of mechanical abdominal support) sees in a dream to what depths of degradation &ndash: gin and horse nobbling, child beating and wife slaughter &ndash: one may sink to by neglecting the advice of dear old mother. Due to the value of mother's love the film subsequently enables this Oxford man to graduate cum lauda honoris, in three months.

In support we have another "heavy" The Passions of Men ("a modern drama that palpitates with fire and power") &ndash: the story of a girl who is tricked into staying the night at her employer's house and an "intensely laughable photoplay", The Lovesick Maidens of Cuddleton about a handsome young doctor and his young women patients. A newsreel and Making Christmas Crackers add to the programme.

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