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Half a Sixpence (1968)

Tommy Steele , Julia Foster , George Sidney  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tommy Steele, Julia Foster, Cyril Ritchard, Penelope Horner, Elaine Taylor
  • Directors: George Sidney
  • Writers: Beverley Cross, Dorothy Kingsley, H.G. Wells
  • Producers: George Sidney, Charles H. Schneer, John Dark
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001AW070
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,082 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Half a Sixpence" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Adventures of Arthur Kipps and his new-found wealth in Edwardian London's music halls.
Genre: Musicals
Rating: NR
Release Date: 6-APR-2004
Media Type: DVD

When orphaned shop clerk Arthur Kipps inherits a fortune, his future seems assured--but money doesn't buy happiness, as the gawky lad learns when he mixes with the swells. The splashy musical Half a Sixpence was adapted from H.G. Wells's novel, Kipps, and it saw considerable success as a stage vehicle for the exuberant Tommy Steele. The film version gets caught in that mid-1960s mode of the lumbering super-production (the kind that helped kill the movie musical). Lavishly mounted by old pro director George Sidney, and boasting some echt-sixties photography by the great Geoffrey Unsworth, Half a Sixpence offers its share of eye candy. The blowhard presence of Cyril Ritchard and the spectacular dancing of Grover Dale help. Then there's Tommy Steele, whose stage-scaled performance is all teeth and hair; he attacks the razzmatazz numbers with ferocity--maybe more ferocity than charm. Songs by David Heneker. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Half a Sixpence on DVD--Better Than None April 10, 2004
Contrary to what another reviewer has said, Half a Sixpence was a throughly delightful show on stage, at least on Broadway, thanks to a great performance by Tommy Steele, a charming cast, and wonderful choreography by Onna White who went on to do the choreography for the film version of Oliver! The movie version of Sixpence didn't quite have all the charm of the show, but it does have Steele, who gives his all, a touching performance by Julia Foster as Anne, and Grover Dale from the Broadway cast (who would also appear in the Demy film musical The Young Girls of Rochefort. The production values are pleasing to the eye. I'd say one of the flaws of the movie is the unimaginative choroeography by Gillian Lynne (who eventually worked on Cats)--I'm not sure why White wasn't available. The movie includes most of the score of the show, but it cuts one of the show's best songs, Long Ago--it's sung briefly by a chorus at the beginning and is also used as background music but it was an important number in the show because it reaffirmed the love of Kipps and Anne. Having said all this, Half a Sixpence is worth owning because it is an example of lavish filmmaking we don't get to see much anymore. And it's a good musical that for some reason isn't performed very much, at least in the US. I just wish they would have done an interview with Steele about being in the musical. I believe this movie did much better in England than in the US when it was originally released.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A constant joy May 26, 2004
I resent the Amazon reviewer's caustic remarks about the movie, Richard and Steele. This movie was a true delight from beginning to end. The dancing was glorious and lots of it. The songs by this time were old friends. Incidentally, I've heard the cast recordings of the London, Bway and movie versions. A few songs were the same in all 3, others came and went, which I thought was odd. Tommy Steele (35 years ago, can you believe it!) was wonderful as was everyone, it was a little long (2 hours and 25 minutes), but it was always fun and exciting. I loved it. Incidentally, the villains were just nasty enough to get their point across, nothing to enrage you, and their comeuppance was also just right, not some scathing triumph. I found the whole thing a pleasure, just as I did 35 years ago.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Widescreen and Stereo at last! April 7, 2004
By A Customer
British entertainer Tommy Steele appeared in three big-budget, reserved seat musicals within a year's time - 1967-1968, and then never made another musical film again. While Steele is one of the only assets in Disney's interminable "The Happiest Millionaire", he was much more well utilized in "Finian's Rainbow" as Og the Leprechaun. But his biggest starring role was in the film that came between those two - the gigantic film version of the stage musical "Half a Sixpence". Directed by George Sidney, the film massively realizes what had been a fairly middle-weight, mediocre stage show. Until this DVD release, the film has never been available on home video in its original Panavision aspect ration, with four track stereo surround. And what a difference this transfer makes from the cropped, grainy VHS tape of the film! Splendidly designed, beautifully shot, elegantly scored, and using both studio sets and sweeping location footage, the film is at least as big as "Hello, Dolly!". And that's pretty big for the movie screen. Stuffed with huge production numbers, long takes during the dance sequences, and a terrifically souped-up musical score (thanks to Irwin Kostal), this is truly one of the most dazzling, spectacular movies of its era. The DVD has no extras, but the transfer is quite wonderful to see, and it is indeed the full roadshow version, with intermission and entr'acte music included. What a wonderful treat to see this old-fashioned, razzle-dazzle picture presented in its full glory. Show this to someone under the age of 30, who has no idea how entertaining those big musicals of the '60s really were. Smashing, tuneful, and as the ads proclaimed "The biggest bloomin' musical of the year!"
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HALF A TRANSFER IS BETTER THAN NONE April 14, 2004
For the longest time I thought I was the only one in the world who could be hoping against hope for a widescreen stereo DVD of "Half A Sixpence" and thought it would never happen. I'm delighted to be proven wrong on both counts.
While I had no problem with what looked like a fine visual transfer, the stereo sound seems to be from faded magnetic tracks that have not been restored. It all sounds a bit muted, and in one scene one of the channels has a wobbling-hissing sound underneath the dialogue and music. I just wish they would have gone the extra step to polish the great soundtrack. But still, half a "Half A Sixpence" is better than none; this is a lavish, fun, boisterous musical.
Now if they would FINALLY release "Flower Drum Song" in widescreen and stereo...Anyone know what's taking so long?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I recently watched this video again and I had forgotten how truly nice it was to watch two people who love each other, find out the true meaning of that love, and what our riches really are. I even remembered the songs, and delighted in the dance scenes. Just a fun movie with a terrific lesson to be learned that you cannot buy your happiness. Tommy Steele is fun to watch. I hope he is still dancing!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite close to what the stage musical was like, but opened up...
Very enjoyable. Quite close to what the stage musical was like, but
opened up physically with, among other things, a gala boat race. Read more
Published 4 days ago by New Yorker
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Unfortunately, the DVD skips or stops throughout.
Published 7 days ago by Carliss P. Retif
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good for all
Published 15 days ago by Ken Haney
5.0 out of 5 stars Although campy by today's standards, this movie takes me ...
Although campy by today's standards, this movie takes me back to my boyhood. It was made in a simpler time without the obligatory sex, violence, or innuendo that permeate most... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
always fun to watch
Published 3 months ago by sue lieber
2.0 out of 5 stars Tommy Steele, an acquired taste. Overdone.
Tommy Steele,an acquired taste.Overdone.
Published 3 months ago by Philip
5.0 out of 5 stars Tommy Steele.
Tommy Steele.
My wife is a hardened fan of Tommy Steele since the late 50s when he first came onto the scene. Read more
Published 4 months ago by brian barrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Movie
I saw the stage play and loved it. I saw the movie when it first came out and loved it. I was glad that they released it on DVD
Published 6 months ago by Alan Marvel
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the entire sixpence and then some!
Tommy Steele (the leprechaun in "Finian's Rainbow") is perfect in this role, so full of energy and enthusiasm he should be twins at least. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Skip Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
I saw this in Holly Wood many years ago when my husband and I were dating, I completely enjoyed it then and upon finally finding it again to purchase I was thrilled. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Wendy Anderton
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