Before they both dilly dallied off to Hollywood Vivien Leigh and Rex Harrison starred in one or two film productions back in old blighty. If my Wikipedia research is also correct they may have done some plays too in there time. This feature they call Storm in a Teacup is one of those “British” pictures. In it a local politician (Cecil Parker) is brought into ridicule by Rex Harrison’s journalist after a dispute over one of his constituents dogs. Vivien Leigh plays the magistrates daughter who in that classic 1930’s screwball comedy way loathes then comes to passionately love the foolish Harrison. Come on I’m not spoiling anything that’s how they all play out.
Well… Storm in a Teacup is pleasant I should say, if slight. Very slight in fact. Based on a play of the same name producer Victor Saville must have thought he had found a match for the likes of His Girl Friday‘s tommy gun banter between it’s two leads. That was the impression I had at least. Sadly Leigh and Harrison (who looks grotesquely young in this, to the point that it doesn’t even look like Rex Harrison) are, frankly, two British. There delivery too clipped and theatre bound, though it was early in their cinematic careers. Cecil Parker seems to have the mood of the piece down. He shouts and splutters as the bemused dignitary who just can’t understand why there’s such a fuss over the fact he won’t help a woman’s sick dog. To be honest I was with him. I didn’t really see this trifle of a plot device coupled with the central romance much cause for making a motion picture out of it.
I was tempted to say that this was a charming, watch on a Sunday afternoon affair. To be honest though the longer it lives in the memory the more bland the events seem and how irritating the story is. A whole town and legal institute brought to it’s knees because a loud mouth woman has some issue with her dog and heaven forbid things should happen to a fwuffy little puppy instead of people being sick. Well this film makes me sick. If you’re wondering why I haven’t concisely said why the dog is sick and it’s the politicians problem is because I’ve honestly forgotten and I can’t be bothered to go back and research that little nugget. Storm in a Teacup is a forgotten five pence piece of a film that doesn’t really need to be revisited.
The only reason for it not being a total write off is the spirited performances of some of the supporting cast. Leigh and Harrison look as bored as I was.
Dir: Ian Dalrymple, Victor Saville
Scr: Donald Bull, Ian Dalrymple
Starring: Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison, Cecil Parker
Prd: Victor Saville
DOP: Mutz Greenbaum
Music: Frederick Lewis
Run time: 87 mins
Storm in a Teacup is available on DVD from May 25th 2015 via Simply Media