The Clouded Yellow on DVD

Thursday, 25 March 2010 11:31

This 1950 British film stars a dashing Trevor Howard ("Brief Encounter", "The Third Man") and a smouldering Jean Simmonds ("Spartacus", "Guys and Dolls") as a desperate pair of lovers on the run from both the police and the secret service. Don’t let the odd title of the film put you off, all will be explained as you delve into the mystery and suspense that entertain you throughout this film’s 90 minute running time.

David Somers (Howard) is a recently retired Secret Service spy who takes a job cataloguing butterflies for Nicholas Fenton (Barry Jones). Somers meets Fenton’s niece Sophie Malraux (Simmonds) who is a confused and troubled young woman. Jess Fenton (Sonia Dresdel) is Sophie’s aunt who seems intent on confusing her further.

The Clouded Yellow DVDHick, a local man, is intent on bothering both Jess Fenton and Sophie; he teases Sophie and steals her comb (a gift from her late mother who died in mysterious circumstances). It is obvious from the start the Sophie finds Somers an attractive older man and she begins to fall in love with him. As their relationship develops Somers is drawn to Sophie. Jess does not approve of their relationship but cannot stop its course.

When Hick is found murdered all the evidence points to Sophie as the offender. Somers takes Sophie with him to London to escape and try to clear her name. Both are hunted and chased around the country eventually culminating in a roof top chase through the dockyards of Liverpool.

Will Sophie be caught or will the true murderer be unmasked?

With many similarities to Hitchcock’s 1939 version of "The 39 Steps" starring Robert Donat and his excellent "North by Northwest" with Cary Grant, this film has everything: a handsome leading man and a beautiful woman; murder; suspense; and intrigue.

There is a decent story line that is simple to understand without any unnecessary embellishments. The characters are all well drawn with proper background stories and the viewer will want to know what will happen to them. Howard and Simmonds have a real chemistry between them is believable; you will want them to succeed in their quest to solve the murder and clear Sophie’s name.

Other notable stars include a small but important role for Kenneth More ("Reach for the Sky") and Geoffrey Keen (Minister for Defence in several Bond films). Kenneth More plays a canny spy helping with the hunt for Somers although you suspect he may want his former colleague to succeed in his escape attempts.

The films locations are diverse, with well known London landmarks replaced by Newcastle, The Lake District and Liverpool as the film progresses. The fretful journey through the Lake District is particularly reminiscent of "The 39 Steps" with our hero and his girl clambering over rocks and waterfalls with the police closing in on all sides.

The picture quality is good although the sound is occasionally quiet with louder musical interludes. Unfortunately as with many of these older films there are no extras.

“The Clouded Yellow” is a single disc DVD out now from Eureka Entertainment. It has a running time of 90 minutes approx, a ’PG’ certificate, and an RRP of £15.99, or less from



Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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