THE EM­PIRE CLAS­SIC SCENE DAVEN­PORT (Ray­mond Hunt­ley):

THE WAY AHEAD CHO­SEN BY HUGH GRANT LUKE (John Lau­rie): Stuka, sir. BREWER (Stan­ley Hol­loway): Focke-wulf 190, sir. STAINER (Jim­mie Han­ley): Lysander, sir.

Empire (Australasia) - - Re.view -

Hugh Grant: "I've al­ways loved that David Niven World War II film, The Way Ahead. They're all very gloom and things are go­ing very badly in his pla­toon. So he says to one of his men, 'Got that ma­chine of yours?' 'Yes, sir.' 'Well, play it, and the rest of you, for heaven sake, sing!' And they all sing Lily of La­guna. It makes me cry ebery time." INT. CAFÉ RISPOLI — DAY

Lt Jim Perry (David Niven) is ad­dress­ing his pla­toon, who have gath­ered in the Café Rispoli.

PERRY: I had hoped we would have seen rather more en­emy air­craft around here than we have done, so that you could have kept up with your air­craft recog­ni­tion with­out us­ing th­ese model things. How­ever, all we have seen is a cou­ple of rather dreary-look­ing re­con­nais­sance planes, so we’d bet­ter just run through the Ger­man types to make quite sure you haven’t for­got­ten them.

He un­folds a chart and points at the air­plane on it.

PERRY: We’ll start off with a few ques­tions. What’s this one? Daven­port? Messer­schmitt 109-F, sir. PERRY: That’s right. This one. Luke? PERRY: That’s right. He picks up a model plane. PERRY: Brewer? Perry puts it down. He picks up another model. PERRY: Stainer? PERRY: Par­sons, what’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween a Lysander and a Hen­schel 126?

PAR­SONS (Hugh Bur­den): Dif­fer­ent un­der­car­riages, sir. The wings of the Hen­schel are swept back, and on the Lizzie they look as if they’re swept for­ward but they aren’t re­ally. Perry looks at his man. Si­lence. He recog­nises that morale is low. Some­thing is needed.

PERRY: Stainer, have you got that ma­chine of yours?

STAINER: Yes, sir. PERRY: Well, play it and the rest of you, for heaven’s sake, sing.

Stainer pro­duces his ukulele and starts strum­ming Lily Of La­guna. Brewer starts hum­ming along, the men join him with whistling. They start singing.

ALL: “She’s no gal for sit­tin’ down to dream, she’s the only queen La­guna knows...”

Perry checks to see if they’re all singing. Rispoli, the café owner (Peter Usti­nov), looks on.

ALL: “I know she likes me/i know she likes me/ Be­cause she says so/she is my lily of La­guna/she is my lily and my rose/she’s my lady love, she is my dove, my baby love.”

Perry joins in. And now his men fully com­mit, their voices ris­ing and build­ing as one as the song draws to its con­clu­sion.

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