Message from the Highams Park Society: This month, the Highams Park Society (HPS) Film Club is showing a film that differs from the one on the original programme. HPS were unable to buy a high quality DVD of “South Riding” so another film is being shown instead.
“Last Holiday” (1950) is a little known film written and co-produced by J.B. Priestley. It has echoes of of “An Inspector Calls”, is a thoroughly enjoyable dark comedy and has certainly stood the test of time. More details of the film are shown below.
Doors Open: at 1.30 pm and the film is at 2.00 pm
Tickets: £3.00 for Highams Park Society Members and £5 for non-members: includes, tea, coffee and home-made cakes.
Last Holiday – Plot Summary
George Bird (Guinness), an ordinary, unassuming but well-spoken salesman of agricultural implements, visits a physician for a routine check-up and is told he has Lampington’s disease, a newly identified condition which allows him only a few weeks to live. He accepts the doctor’s advice to take his savings and enjoy himself in the little time left to him.
A bachelor with no family or friends, Bird decides to spend his last days at an upmarket residential hotel among its elite clientele. By chance, a salesman in a used clothing store has acquired two suitcases, covered with international labels. The cases are full of a deceased Lord’s bespoke tailored wardrobe that perfectly fits Bird. Bird acquires the wardrobe and luggage that give him the appearance of a wealthy gentleman.
Bird’s unassuming attitude generates a great deal of interest among the hotel’s residents because he wears the same expensive clothes as all the other guests. He is seen as an enigma to be solved, with wild speculations offered as to his identity and possible noble lineage. The hotel’s housekeeper (Walsh) guesses the truth, and Bird confides his secret to her. Bird quickly acquires friends and influence, falls in love (possibly for the first time in his life), sets wrongs to right, and is offered lucrative business opportunities. But these successes only serve to make him reflect on the irony that he will have no time to enjoy them.