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The Pleasure Garden

UK, 1952 (MIFF 1958, Pleasure Garden)

Director: James Broughton

A light extravaganza by the Californian poet, James Broughton — a highly personal mixture of lyricism, mime, whimsy and caprice. It is a comic fantasy-, with music celebrating the victory of the pleasure principle.

A romantically decayed garden lies under the yoke of the puritannical Col. Pall, who is determined that none of its visitors shall enjoy themselves. The visitors are an odd lot, all lovelorn and given to daydreaming: a girl who wants to be a statue, a sculptor trying to find reality in abstraction, a bird-watching widow, a lonely girl named Bess chaperoned by a battle-axe of an aunt, a roving cowboy, a pretty cyclist hoping to run down a husband. Col. Pall, having made them all unhappier still, proceeds with his plan for turning the garden into a cemetery; but the good fairy Albion comes to the rescue of the disconsolate pleasure-seekers, and after acts of magic and a symbolic tug of war, the killjoys are properly dealt with and every lover finds a lass.

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