Saturday, 5 February 2011

Bombay Waterfront (aka Paul Temple Returns) [DVD]


The final one of the Paul Temple films I own, this is better than Send For Paul Temple but not as good as Calling Paul Temple. John Bentley returns as Paul, and I do rather like him in the role, with yet another actress doing duty as Steve. Patricia Dainton is very pretty, but really rather too young.



All three of these DVDs have left me wondering about the way I presonally see Steve: when I listen to the radio programmes I always visualise her as akin to Myrna Loy’s Nora Charles in the Thin Man films or Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, but the films usually portray her as extremely fresh-faced and not especially sophisticated. Perhaps I’m so used to American films, and so out of touch with what Britain was like in the 1940s and 1950s, that the Steve I imagine simply wan’t a British type. On the other hand, I can imagine Kay Kendall pulling off the role of Steve with more dash and wit than any of the actresses in the films, and perhaps the actress was changed frequently simply because they were never quite right.

The DVD is titled Bombay Waterfront, but the credits say Paul Temple Returns, and that’s actually a better title. The waterfront in question doesn’t play that much part in the film, which has a plot centred on an archaeologist (Christopher Lee, being rather less menacing than he later managed in Hammer films) and a mysterious formula. There's usually something everyone's looking for in a Paul Temple tale, and in this one the formula is it. Overall the film is lacking in thrills, it’s too easy to spot the villain and the attempts at red herrings.

I’m really pleased to have all three of my Paul Temple films on DVD, but they aren’t as enjoyable as the radio plays. Somehow the pictures are better on radio…

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