Question regurading "Liam"(about history)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnS, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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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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  2. Ross Williams

    Ross Williams Supporting Actor

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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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  3. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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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]
     
  4. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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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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  5. Ross Williams

    Ross Williams Supporting Actor

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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]
     
  6. 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).
     
  7. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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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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  8. andrew markworthy

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    Bill, fascinating info (it's possible I suppose that the curfew was confined to only parts of the country).
     

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