Amelia and the Angel

I posted a post the other day about Ken Russell’s early documentary film, A House in Bayswater. The film made such an impression on me that I scoured Youtube in search of other films he’d made around then.

It didn’t take me long to find Amelia and the Angel (1957), an amateur black-and-white film he made before he started making films for the BBC. I mentioned in the earlier post I referred to how Russell had actually, a few years before , been a tenant in the Bayswater house.  Watching Amelia, what I quickly realised -and  found enchanting-  was how he’d used his fellow tenants as actors in his amateur efforts.

Amelia is playing the part of an angel in the school play. Although warned by her dancing teacher to take good care of her wings, she defiantly takes them home. Her brother plays with them and ruins them. Will she be able to find replacement wings in time? A voice-over narrates it as if it’s a children’s moral tale but (like many such tales) it runs deeper than it first appears. The girl (played by Mercedes Quadros, daughter of the Ambassador of Uruguay) acts her part really well. Russell himself has a cameo role as the man she runs into in the street. And keep half an eye out for those other tenants from the Bayswater house…

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4 thoughts on “Amelia and the Angel

  1. It was a long time ago that I saw Ken Russell’s “Women in Love.” I didn’t even connect the name with the movie until I looked around for some information on Ken Russell. Thanks for posting these early films by Ken Russell. As a result of watching them, another good one came up on my YouTube side bar:

    1. It’s a good one, too, isn’t it? One I can’t find (and would love to see) is “Guitar Crazy” – it’s about the guitar mania sweeping Britain around that time.

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