Oracle, The

Date: 1953
Director: C.M. Pennington-Richards
Production Company: Group 3

Stars: Robert Beatty, Joseph Tomelty, Mervyn Johns, Michael Medwin, Virginia McKenna, Gillian Lind, Ursula Howells, Arthur MaCrae
Location(s): London, Middlesex

Region(s): ,

Storyline:

An oracle foretells the next day’s racing results to a newspaperman, resulting in a national uproar.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

Also known as ‘The Horse’s Mouth’ (US Title)

 

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As thunder rumbles in the distance, a forecast for fine weather during the early morning is broadcast by the BBC. Broadcasting House on Portland Place, London W1.

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Looks like Peter got there after the rain.

Contrary to the prediction, the sun shines brightly at midday. The Elizabeth Tower of the Houses of Parliament in SW1.

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Peter provides this comparison . . . albeit over four hours later!

The camera tilts down to find a man reading a copy of the Daily Post. Westminster Bridge Road with the the Houses of Parliament in the background.

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More likely to find someone talking a "selfie" these days......as I kept finding! (RL)

Cut to an establishing shot of Fleet Street in London EC4.

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A good ground level match from Peter.

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These are the Fleet Street offices of the film's Daily Post where Timothy Blake works as the obituaries and births editor.

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Deciding to take a bird watching holiday, Timothy heads to the coast for a sailing as part of his journey to Inish Beg, a remote island off the Irish coast. Peter Brown points out that Timothy is clearly talking the scenic route to Ireland as this is of a down express at Berrylands (between New Malden and Surbiton, Surrey). (RL)

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The camera pans with the train hauled by 34025 'Whimple', a Southern Railway Merchant Navy class locomotive. To support his identification Peter has provided a 60's photo of the gantry but it is also quite apparent in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berrylands_railway_station#/media/File:Berrylands_Station_1792587_4742c46e.jpg. (RL)

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Local Postmaster Terry Roche (Joseph Tomelty) greets Timothy Blake (Michael Medwin) on the beach where the newspaper man has landed.

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The next sunny day, the Postmaster tells Timothy that it's going to rain as he sets out to see if he can spot a Great White Tailed Sea Eagle.

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Dressed in summer clothes, Timothy walks through the village.

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A Woman takes her washing in as Timothy passes.

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A little further along the road pram hoods are put up and raincoats are donned.

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Householders close their windows.

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An Elderly Gentleman opens his umbrella.

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As Timothy watches the scene unfold, the sky turns dark.

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By the time the Elderly Gentleman passes Timothy, a downpour has begun.

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Whilst bird watching in the hills, Timothy sees Terry approaching a derelict cottage.

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As the Postmaster enters, Timothy makes his way down the hill.

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The curious newspaperman goes inside the seemingly empty building after Terry has left.

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After the truth is told about the Oracle living in the cottage, the Postmaster's niece Shelagh Roche (Virginia McKenna) asks about Timothy's job.

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The Farmer prepares to lead his cow away after Terry prescribes a bottle of tonic for the beast and the Farmhand (Derek Tansley).

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As he watches the three walk away, Terry comments that the cow probably has the most brains.

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An excited Timothy asks Terry if he can meet the Oracle.

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Reluctantly, Terry takes Timothy to the old cottage.

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While Timothy dictates the winners of the race meeting at Hurst Park to Peggy at the office, a plane takes off from North Down Airport.

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Daily Post editor Bob Jefferson (Robert Beatty) watches the plane carrying his Wife to Paris before returning to the office and firing Timothy.

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Carrying a picnic with them, Timothy takes Shelagh bird watching.

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Terry calls Timothy back when a call from Jefferson comes through.

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The Oracle's predictions of race winners has a devastating effect on the racing world. Kempton Park Racecourse on Staines Road East in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey.

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Only one Man watches a rider walk his horse around the course in a one horse race. Kempton Park Racecourse, formerly in Middlesex.

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Timothy waits for Terry after the angry islanders have instructed the Oracle to go back to answering only their questions following one last question for the newspaper.

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With only one question left to answer, the Daily Post holds a competition asking the readers what it should be.

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A young girl posts her entry. The corner of Hartington Road and Queen’s Road in Southall, Middlesex. The area is just around the corner from Southall Studios and was also seen in 'Miss Robin Hood', 'The Gay Dog', 'Date with Disaster' and 'Three Steps to the Gallows'.

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The prop pillar box is moved to the City. Somewhere in the post-war landscape around Bread Street or Watling Street EC4 with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background.

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A War Veteran posts his question.

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Back on Inish Beg Shelagh goes looking for Timothy.