Movies

‘GREASE’ (1978) – King of the high school musicals.

April 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

Grease is one of the better teenage musicals, (many would argue it’s the best), if for no other reason than the leads are charismatic and can actually sing! I suppose to refer to it as a teenage musical is a bit of a liberty, given that only one of the ten actors and actresses portraying high school students was actually a teenager at the time (and even she was nineteen and barely scrambled [...]

SIXTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT1

April 4, 2018 // 6 Comments

The American backers for the projected James Bond film Dr No (1962) were unimpressed with Sean Connery’s test footage. Co-producer Cubby Broccoli sent a memo to his partner Harry Saltzman: ‘Feel we can do better.’ In fact, they could not do better at all. Cary Grant, James Mason, Michael Redgrave, David Niven and Rex Harrison were all established stars and were not about to handcuff [...]

FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT7.

April 2, 2018 // 6 Comments

        Martin Milner The brilliant film noir Sweet Smell of Success (1957) was to have starred Robert Vaughn in his breakout role, but the draft intervened and he was sent off to do national service. Martin Milner inherited the role of Steve Dallas in this superb classic and Vaughn had to bide his time a little longer until the part of Napoleon Solo (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) came along.   [...]

FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT6.

March 31, 2018 // 0 Comments

The two leads in Carnival Story (1954), Steve Cochran and Anne Baxter, did not enjoy each other’s company during the shoot. ‘One minute I was Mother Cabrini, helping him with his complicated love life’, Anne said later, ‘the next kicking him out of my tiny penthouse for attempted rape. He was a handsome, talented, undisciplined bastard.’ Years later, when nobody would hire him anymore, [...]

FOUR BRITISH WARTIME CLASSICS

March 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

  The British have always been exceptionally good at making movies about World War Two. They seem to possess a knack for underplaying heroism which, unfortunately, tends to make warfare even more heroic than any amount of gaudy flag-waving might otherwise imply. Americans would probably be the first to admit that flag-waving, my country right or wrong stuff, is their style and they are proud of [...]

THE 10 WORST ‘BEST PICTURE’ OSCAR-WINNERS.

March 23, 2018 // 0 Comments

Selecting the ten worst winners of the ‘Best Picture’ Oscar is a whole lot tougher than choosing the ten best. Why? Because I have not always bothered to see a lot of the rubbishy ones. Only recently I sat through several of those I had avoided like the plague for decades and, having done so, I can now fully appreciate why I avoided them. A few of the very early winners, such as Wings [...]

BEST PICTURE OSCAR WINNERS – THE BEST AND THE WORST.

March 21, 2018 // 5 Comments

There have been some quite wonderful ‘Best Picture’ Oscar winners since 1927/8 and there have been some shockers, too. Just for the heck of it, I went through the list and jotted down my top ten and my bottom ten. If anyone agrees with either list I shall be flabbergasted, for we all look at movies from a hundred different perspectives. I have arranged my lists from ten to one. Number one in [...]

FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT4.

March 19, 2018 // 6 Comments

Director Charles Laughton thought Robert Mitchum was one of the finest actors in the world and he also respected him as a person. He wrote in Esquire about the American who starred in his masterpiece The Night of the Hunter in 1955: ‘All this tough talk is a blind, you know. He’s a literate, gracious, kind man, with wonderful manners, and he speaks beautifully – when he wants to. He’s a [...]

FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT3.

March 17, 2018 // 2 Comments

In the 1955 Hitchcock picture To Catch a Thief, there is a scene in which John Robie (Cary Grant) is discussing the cook’s ‘sensitive hands’ with an insurance agent and casually mentions that those hands once strangled a German general without a sound. For German audiences, however, the words were changed and he tells the man she had once caught a lion escaped from a circus with her bare [...]

FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – PT2.

March 15, 2018 // 2 Comments

  Tea and Sympathy (1956) could have been a fine movie, but the Production Code Administration (PCA) and the Catholic Legion of Decency (CLOD) did all in their considerable powers to emasculate it. And they succeeded. No matter how many times the screenplay was rewritten, they continued to find it ‘morally unacceptable’. Loew’s theatre chain and several other major chains refused to [...]
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