Movies

‘THE CRUEL SEA’ (1953 – A British masterpiece.

September 24, 2017 // 2 Comments

                        For some reason or another I had never gotten around to watching, in its entirety, the British World War Two drama The Cruel Sea until just recently. I read the novel by Nicholas Monsarrat on which the picture is based when I was a boy, but the movie itself seemed to somehow slip by me. It came as a pleasant surprise, therefore, to find that the film has not [...]

SNAPSHOTS Vol 2

September 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS (1937)                                   I have watched Captains Courageous only twice because, frankly, I cannot abide Spencer Tracy’s portrayal of the Portuguese fisherman Manuel. In fact, I only watched it the second time because of Freddie Bartholomew’s superb performance and to see Lionel Barrymore ‘box his ears’ better than [...]

The making of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (1962).

August 11, 2017 // 1 Comment

  Lawrence of Arabia (1962) is a remarkable movie for many reasons, not the least of which is that it runs for 227 minutes (the restored Roadshow print) without a single word being uttered by a female! No women, no romance and no love story. Most Hollywood experts would automatically label it ‘destined for box-office failure’ on those grounds alone. And, no doubt, many of them did. They [...]

‘The Red Badge of Courage’ (1951) – John Huston’s ruined masterpiece.

August 9, 2017 // 2 Comments

  The most extraordinary thing about Stephen Crane’s American classic novel The Red Badge of Courage is that it was written 30 years after the US Civil War had ended, and penned by a young man who, at that time, had never experienced war in his life. In fact, he was born six years after the American Civil War had finished, yet everything about the feelings and reactions of his leading [...]

The ‘CARRY ON’ pictures Pt 3.

July 2, 2017 // 5 Comments

  CARRY ON UP THE JUNGLE (1970)   Joan Sims and Frankie Howerd in Carry on up the Jungle By now the regulars in the cast were starting to have delusions of grandeur. Jim Dale turned down the role of the Jungle Boy because he felt the dialogue he was expected to deliver was mostly grunts and gibberish. Terry Scott was cast instead. After Kenneth Williams refused the lead role of Professor [...]

The ‘CARRY ON’ Pictures Pt 2.

June 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

  CARRY ON COWBOY (1965)   Margaret Nolan in Carry on Cowboy Voluptuous Margaret Nolan makes the first of her six ‘Carry On’ films here playing Miss Jones. Not only was she beautiful, but she also showed a genuine flair for comedy. James Bond fans will recall her as Dink in the opening scenes of Goldfinger (1964). She was also ‘the Golden Girl’ we see in the opening credits of that [...]

The ‘CARRY ON’ pictures – Pt 1.

June 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

  There were 31 ‘Carry On’ pictures all told. The first, Carry on Sergeant, reared its substandard head in 1958 and made money. The last, Carry on Columbus, was screened in 1992. They were all low budget servings of British music hall humour consisting of sexist jokes, remarks and plots, delivered by a British repertory company whose actors became household names in their own lifetimes. [...]

‘PSYCHO’ (1960) – Hitchcock’s masterpiece.

June 18, 2017 // 0 Comments

  Paramount did not think much of the source material for this picture. But Alfred Hitchcock did. Recognizing its potential, he anonymously purchased the screen rights to Robert Bloch’s novel for a paltry $9,000, then went around buying up as many copies as he could find, just to keep the ending a secret. He also had the entire cast and crew swear an oath not to divulge any of the plot to [...]

The making of ‘Love Me Tender’ (1956)

June 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

  I was ten years old when my grandparents took me to see Elvis Presley’s first picture, Love Me Tender. I think they were curious to see what all the fuss was about. I had been reading history books for a few years by then, mostly books about wars and the American Civil War especially. I knew it pretty well and nowhere did I read that Rock & Roll started towards the end of it. Yet [...]

‘MACBETH’ (1971) – Polanski’s take on The Bard

June 12, 2017 // 1 Comment

   Roman Polanski and writer Kenneth Tynan shared similar views on what this production of Shakespeare’s play should look like. They intended to have Lady Macbeth do the sleepwalk scene stark naked; they wanted to depict death more realistically and they wished to inject a lot more violence than was usually seen in such productions. But first they had to raise the money. Almost as a last [...]
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