Movies

‘SINCE YOU WENT AWAY’ (1944) – Wartime drama at its best.

December 5, 2017 // 2 Comments

SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944) I suppose it is a sign of my age, but every once in a while I like to select one of my favourite black and white films to watch late in the evening. I know it has nothing to do with the fact that these pictures are not in colour, but there is something about the quality of the screenplays that places these pictures in a class of their own. More emphasis on story and [...]

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957) – a timeless classic.

November 23, 2017 // 2 Comments

SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957)                                            After deliberately punishing myself by recently sitting through the lamentable 1956 soap opera Written on the Wind, I felt I owed myself a treat, so I sat back and watched the brilliant Sweet Smell of Success (1957) for the umpteenth time. And it was still wonderful. The two pictures were made within 12 [...]

‘WRITTEN ON THE WIND’ (1956) – a trashy soap opera.

November 21, 2017 // 1 Comment

WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956)                           I had the misfortune to again watch Written on the Wind recently, the first time I have done so since my grandparents took me to see the thing in 1958 at our local theatre. I was 11 years old. I didn’t like it then and I still don’t like it. It is a soap opera of the worst kind, one with scarcely any story, a mundane script [...]

‘NOTTING HILL’ (1999) – easy to watch and easy to fault.

November 3, 2017 // 0 Comments

NOTTING HILL (1999)                                                             The 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill was a huge success at the box-office, grossing a staggering $363.1 million worldwide. What started out as a ‘small picture’ evolved into a ‘blockbuster’, one that emphasized the pulling power of both its leads, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. [...]

‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ (1970) – History recreated.

October 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

                                              Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) was a joint enterprise between production film units from Japan and the United States. The picture was a genuine attempt to present the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941 from an unbiased historical viewpoint. The picture was a commercial flop in America but a major [...]

‘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 [...]
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