DVD Rating: ***1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Mandy

It is hard to find extras when a film is older than the launch of the DVD. However this time they have done well.

The interview With Mandy Miller is not a two-way as you might expect but an elegant older woman sitting in an empty screening room talking straight to camera. She is erudite, self-effacing and delicately witty.

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She was never keen on acting, she says That was her elder sister. She liked ballet, inspired by The Red Shoes. Her father was a variety radio producer and one day he bumped into Michael Balcon who said, "Bring your daughter along to the studio."

He meant the acting daughter, not the dancing daughter, but Mandy had to go along too. She must have been five. Sandy Mackendrick was in the canteen and happened to see "this funny little face behind a sticky bun" and offered her a tiny part in The Man In The White Suit with Alec Guinness. She took it and enjoyed herself because the crew kept feeding her toffees. This was when sweets were rationed. After that she did a screen test for Mandy and was offered the part. Mackendrick, she says, "was a dynamic, intense man", who at one crucial moment in the filming screamed so loudly in her face that she responded in kind exactly on cue. Her mother told her, "You're not special, you're an ordinary little girl" and when people stopped her in the street and said,"Your daughter looks awfully like Mandy Miller," she replied, "She does, doesn't she? Lots of people keep saying that."

The other extras are a stills gallery which shows Mandy having fun on set and a Radio 3 audio review by Simon Heffer, which is long and detailed, praising the film to the skies. Although serious and intellectual by nature this cannot be described as pretentious, or anything less than an excellent piece of writing.

Reviewed on: 11 Jun 2017
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Mandy packshot
A teacher tries to help a deaf and mute child to communicate.
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Region: 0

Ratio: 1.37:1

Sound: Dolby Digital Mono

Extras: Interview with Mandy Miller, BBC Radio 3 The Essay: Heffer on British Film – Mandy: Audio featurette by Simon Heffer, behind the scenes stills gallery

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