The Blue Parrot (1953)

This film runs on the BBC now and then, but I'd never seen it until I found a copy on DVD this week. I was wary; it's a 1953 'B' picture, and I was half-expecting to have to watch it through my fingers. Not so. It isn't anything exceptional in terms of setting or plot, and the leading man's American accent is atrocious, but Jacqueline Hill is really charming to watch; and from a "women in film" perspective, her role (she plays an undercover policewoman posing as a nightclub hostess) is pleasingly central to the narrative.

There's a slightly dodgy bit towards the end where she's tied up by the villain, and even after said villain is thwarted, the hero tries to kiss her before he unties her. It's kind of tastelessly handled to modern eyes, but Jackie goes a long way towards salvaging it by the way she plays the scene. Doctor Who fans will recognize that she did this sort of thing as Barbara Wright a lot, too: took slightly uneven material and improved it with the nuances of her performance. All in a day’s work.

Pictures soon...