Sunday, June 10, 2018

Not So Bright

I was watching the well-regarded 1948 version of The Winslow Boy.  Early on, we see people in church singing the hymn "All Things Bright And Beautiful."

The chorus is quite familiar:

All thing bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all

Then, in the movie, they go into the verse, singing:

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God mad them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate

Wow.  Not exactly what you'd expect.

The words were written in the 1800s, when supporting the class system wasn't that controversial.  I understand this verse is generally omitted in modern times.

I'm not sure how it would have sounded in 1948.  The Winslow Boy was adapted by Terence Rattigan from his play, and is about a very proper British family in 1912.  Whether the hymn was meant as a comment on the situation, either in a straightforward or sly way, I don't know.


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