Review: Girl Stroke Boy
Blu-ray: Girl Stroke Boy (1971)
Based on a play by David Percival, Girl Stroke Boy is about two ageing parents (Michael Hordern and Joan Greenwood) who think they are quite progressive in their thinking because they are fine with the fact that their son Laurie (Clive Francis) is going to bring home his West Indian girlfriend to visit for the first time (this was the early 1970s!).
Their moral compass begins to spin though when their son arrives with the androgynous Jo (Peter Straker), whom they are not sure is either female or male, leading to uncomfortable conversations and situations between them all as the parents try to work out if their son is gay or not.
The performances are great, especially Michael Hordern who can deliver any line of dialogue and make it sound riveting with his wonderful voice, and while some of the humorous setups are clearly signposted, there are still a few laughs to be had…with one big smile coming when a young Patricia Routledge appeared on screen.
It is of course very dated by now and the laughs were few and far between for me (I think I’d have enjoyed the stage play more), but the performances by all involved and the “quirkiness” that ran throughout kept me invested in everything until the end.
A worldwide blu-ray premiere on 17th January 2022 makes this the best possible way to watch it.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New restoration from a 4K scan of rare surviving film elements by Powerhouse Films
- Original mono audio
- As Simple as That (2022, 14 mins): actor and pop star Peter Straker recalls his experience of making the film
- The BEHP Interview with John Scott (2018, 99 mins): far-reaching discussion of the composer’s work, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project
- Ahead of Its Time (2022, 17 mins): film historian and curator Alex Davidson considers the impact and relevance of Girl Stroke Boy
- A Couple of Beauties (1971, 29 mins): innuendo-laden comedy short starring Manchester-based female impersonator Bunny Lewis
- Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with new essay by Jane Giles, archival interview with Peter Straker, a look at the reception of the source play Girlfriend, an overview of contemporary critical responses, new writing on A Couple of Beauties, and film credits
- World premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 2,000 copies for the UK (4,000 copies for the world)
Review by Dave from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.