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Brass Monkey
Brass Monkey
Actors: Avril Angers, Michael Brennan, Lynn Evans, Carole Landis, Herbert Lom
Director: Thornton Freeland
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2007     1hr 24min

Based on an old British radio show, The Brass Monkey is a fast-paced British mystery and comedy thriller. Caroll Levis stars as a radio personality who attempts to prevent a connoisseur of Buddhist artifacts from stealing...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Avril Angers, Michael Brennan, Lynn Evans, Carole Landis, Herbert Lom
Director: Thornton Freeland
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: TeleVista
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 09/11/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/1948
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1948
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 24min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Carole Landis Fans Must See This
MrsSchmidlapp | Hollywood, California | 09/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was so happy when I found out Brass Monkey was being released on DVD. Most people have probably never heard of this small British film but it's worth watching. The main reason to see it is because it stars the very talented and very beautiful Carole Landis. This is one of the last movies she made before her tragic death in 1948. Carole plays a singer who gets involved with the theft of a valuable brass monkey. She gives a wonderful performance which shows she could have a had a long career. Brass Monkey is a mystery but there is also a lot of singing and laughs. Caroll Levis and Terry Thomas play themselves in the film. The highlight is getting to see Carole sing the haunting "I Know Myself Too Well". If you are a fan of Carole Landis this is a movie you must see. If you are not a fan of Carole you need to watch this movie and see why she was such an amazing star!"
Murder, a brass monkey and a teen who plays Flight of the Bu
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 12/01/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"There is an awful charm about this British movie from 1948. I thought it couldn't get worse or cornier...and then it did. Don't misunderstand me. Brass Monkey is a comedy murder mystery that is harmless and good-natured. Several of the actors give it their all, like the teenager who plays Flight of the Bumble Bee on her accordion.

The plot is a thin idea that's used to feature a popular British radio personality, Carroll Levis playing himself, and his program of talented discoveries. The plot? It seems that long, long ago three monkeys were made of what was much later discovered to be brass. They disappeared ages ago, but then were rediscovered, separated, lost and now, individually, are worth a lot of money. Two have been "collected." Reuniting them with the third will bring out the worst in both comedy and murder. And all because, after hanky panky at British dockside customs, the third monkey is misplaced in Carroll Levis' office by his ditzy secretary.

Brass Monkey uses this plot to showcase the spirit and heart of show business, with crooks and killings thrown in for contrast. We see a lot of that spirit and heart, and odd talent, amongst those trying out for Levis' radio program. Levis' live broadcast of his show is where everything comes together. The murderer will be discovered, but only after we witness with open mouth two of the worst comedy songs I suspect Terry-Thomas ever performed, as well as that teenager and her bumble bee, a geezer with his musical saw who is madly applauded when he tells us how many children and grandchildren he has, and a contortionist who aims her leotard-covered crotch directly at the camera while Terry-Thomas sings of his love of show business people. There's Avril Anger who uses her own name to play the secretary. She was a talented and versatile performer, skilled at raucous songs. She does a fine job with one here. Anger was a well-known performer in Britain. She was one of the first female stand-up comedians, a comic actress who could sing, dance and handle serious roles. For someone who meets her for the first time in this movie, she's a bit like Gracie Allen in the ditzy department as the secretary and Betty Hutton knocking about when she sings. Terry-Thomas, who could be so good at times (just watch him in School for Scoundrels: "Oh, hard cheese, old chap!"), tries so hard playing Terry-Thomas that it's both painful and endearing. Herbert Lom gives us a sinister villain determined to find the missing monkey. Best of all is the emaciated Ernest Thesiger as an elderly and single-minded collector.

And then there's Carole Landis. Anyone could have played her part as Kay Sheldon, an American songstress Levis discovered five years earlier. Now Sheldon is a big-time singer, come back as the featured star on Levis' show. This was her last movie. She was a troubled woman who made bad choices in her men. Landis, in my opinion, was no great shakes as an actress, but she was blond and attractive. That's always enough for Hollywood until the bloom wears off. By the time she made this British movie she was on the skids. She soon committed suicide, some say because of an unhappy relationship with the married Rex Harrison. For most of the movie Landis is simply acting by the numbers. Her one attempt at deliberate overacting is embarrassing.

Do I regret having spent five British pounds for Brass Monkey? No. I like old British movies. I like British comics like Tommy Trinder, Arthur Askey and Norman Wisdom. At least I didn't spend $22.49, which is what the DVD costs in the U.S. The brochure enclosed with the DVD contains biographies of Terry-Thomas, Lom and Landis. There are no extras. The DVD transfer equates to an old VHS tape."
S. P. Escobar | oakland, ca United States | 10/12/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The movie is a bit boring, not much of a plat and story. It's too sad that this may have been Carole's last film. She adds a lot to the movie the few times she's in a scene, she was the best!

Being on a DVD-R didn't help much either."