12 Days Wonder

Here it is, your Shadowplay Christmas present — Wendy Toye’s ON THE TWELFTH DAY (1955).

Toye, a former ballet dancer, is a notable figure in British cinema — alas, British cinema didn’t know what to do with her after her impressive shorts, THE STRANGER LEFT NO CARD and this one, which shows a slight Powell-Pressburger influence, I think. She’s still among us, so raise a glass of egg-nog to her continued health.

Maybe because of her dance-school background, one of Toye’s distinguishing traits as director is her predilection for somewhat campy leading men!

16 Responses to “12 Days Wonder”

  1. Was it REALLY based on an original idea by someone called Christopher Wanklyn? Happy Christmas!

  2. A Happy and Peaceful Christmas to one and all:


  3. Yeah, the Wanklyn credit is an eye-opener. Reminds me of the credit on The Horrible Dr Hitchcock to one “Frank Smokecocks”. Maybe one of Wendy’s gay friends using a pseudonym? Nop, just Googled it and it’s a perfectly legit surname.

  4. And what did she give her true love for Christmas? On the first day of Christmas, she gave him a Wii. On the second day of Christmas, she gave him two Wiis and a Wii. On the third day of Christmas, she gave him three Wiis, two Wiis, and a Wii. And so on, except for the fifth day, on which she gave him FIVE GOLDEN RINGS, four Wiis, three Wiis, two Wiis, and a Wii. So yes, he ended up with a lot of Wiis, but they weren’t laying or leaping. Still, it seems like presents were better in the old days.

  5. This song sung by Joe Dassin, son of Jules Dassin, is quite similar to Carrickfergus:


  6. Belated seasons greetings to you, David, and thanks for Hitchcock Year (with which I am still catching up in fits and starts – between work and small child my internet time is getting severely compressed) – hope to see you again in 2010!

  7. That’d be great. All the best for the new year. Just started work on the Family Plot post…

  8. david wingrove Says:

    Wow! I saw this short film when I was around 8 years old, projected onto a folding screen (remember those?) at a children’s Xmas party.

    Never had any idea where it came from or who made it. What a simply magical surprise!

  9. I’m delighted! I saw it on TV when I was around the same age. When I got interested in Toye I suddenly realized it was hers. Then I got a helpful chap at BritMovie to provide a copy. Lovely how she uses talents like Searle and Val Valentine, a frequent Launder & Gilliat collaborator, and fashions something more interesting than their usual film work (title drawings for Searle, St Trinians scripts for VV).

  10. Marvellous! I’ve added it to my Ronald Searle tribute Blog

  11. Please do! A shame Searle didn’t design more movies, this one’s lovely.

  12. […] most important female filmmakers, has died aged 92. I’ve written here, here and here about her short film mini-masterpieces. Though Toye’s feature films generally didn’t […]

  13. Being cheeky – do you think you could upload this film in one piece to some torrent site or 1-click filehost? And do you have more of her rare shorts and films, like The Teckman Mystery or The King’s Breakfast?

  14. I have most of them, and can probably get the rest. I’ll email them to see how to get them to you…

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