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Question regurading "Liam"(about history) (1 Viewer)

JohnS

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I saw the movie Liam the other night and really enjoyed it.
But I have a question.
The movie takes place in Britian during the depression.
But at night, there is a gentleman that walks the streets at night with a long pole, and he stops at peoples windows and taps on the window with the pole.
Who is he?
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Ross Williams

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I saw it a while back and had the same question. I kind of figured he was the "alarm clock" of the time. I suspect he worked for the coal company and went around waking up all their employees. You see him knocking on their window while the dad still has a job, he stops when dad loses his job.
Just my theory though. Anyone know for sure?
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JohnS

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But, Didn't he also knock on the children's window(Thresa/Liam's)
Ross,
Did you like Liam? Are you going to get it on DVD?
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[Edited last by JohnS on November 14, 2001 at 11:25 AM]
 

Bill McA

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During this period in the U.K., there was an electrical blackout curfew period in which all homes had to extinguish the lights after a certain hour.
This man would then walk through the streets and 'rap' on the windows of any home that still had their lights on after curfew.
The rap was a friendly reminder and anyone who didn't put out their lights would be reported to the authorities by this man.
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Ross Williams

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Thanks Bill, that makes much more sense than my "explanation". I saw this about 6 months ago (200 or so movies ago) and my memory isn't perfect on what happened. I thought he was tapping on the windows around dawn, so that was my thought.
John, I think it's an okay film. I felt the performances were good. But the points that the filmmakers were trying to make were too forced. I like to think for myself. Not have the films lessons crammed down my throat. Such as:
Spoiler:The girl being burned by her father. It just seems silly and way to coincidental.
I don't plan on buying it, but may revisit it in the future. I think that Angela's Ashes, which is basically the same story, was a much superior film.
[Edited last by Ross Williams on November 14, 2001 at 06:34 PM]
 

andrew markworthy

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Bill, it's not that I don't believe you, but I've never heard of a curfew on lights during the 1930s. I've just phoned my parents (who were alive then) and they haven't heard of it either. During World War II, there was a very rigid blackout, but in that case street lighting was never used.
Are you *sure* that the scene wasn't very early morning? A man was employed by most local councils to go round extinguishing the street lamps (which were lit by gas) using a long pole. For a small weekly fee he'd tap his pole on the window to wake up the inhabitants (i.e. act as a human alarm clock). This is the origin of the British term 'knocked up' (and yes, I know what it means in US slang - it means the same in Brit slang as well, but for some strange reason the two meanings of the phrase exist quite happily side by side).
 

Bill McA

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Andrew
My own parents told me the 'blackout' version (I'm a U.K. citizen).
I haven't yet seen this film, so I don't know if this scene takes place at dusk or dawn.
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