The three ‘Beau Gestes’.

November 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

So far the classic PC Wren novel Beau Geste has made it to the screen on three occasions – in 1926, 1939 and 1966 – with varying success. It has been nearly fifty years since the last version, so one expects the industry might be gearing up for another crack at it, although the plot does have one serious drawback. No women. Well, none to speak of that is. And that means no romance, no sex [...]

The truth about the making of ‘From Here To Eternity’ (1953)

September 9, 2015 // 22 Comments

  When James Jones wrote his best-seller From Here to Eternity, he based it on his own experiences in the US Army on Hawaii just prior to the Pearl Harbor bombing. The original manuscript contained extensive use of the word ‘fuck’, which made it totally unacceptable to the Catholic group called The National Organization for Decent Literature, who blacklisted it and brought considerable [...]

‘The Godfather’ (1972)

August 22, 2015 // 2 Comments

  It has been over 40 years since The Godfather first hit the screens and created a sensation. A lot has been written about the making of the film, its stars and its director. And more gets written every day. I thought it might be interesting to sort through the thousands of bits and pieces regarding this phenomenal picture, and to select the more interesting or unusual tidbits for your [...]

The real ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’.

August 8, 2015 // 5 Comments

  One of the many movies I look at in Movies Based On True Stories (2015), is the 1962 biopic, Birdman of Alcatraz, starring Burt Lancaster as the ‘birdman’ Robert Stroud. As a sample of what you can expect to find in this, my second book, I thought I might post some facts here for your perusal. The real story is such a far cry from the one depicted in the United Artists film that it [...]

Gandhi ( 1982 )

May 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

Below is a direct excerpt from my book, Movies Based on True Stories. These are my comments on just one of over 400 movies assessed in the volume. Not all are as long as this particular critique, although a few (Titanic, Zulu and The Alamo, for example) may even be longer. I make no apologies for my views on Mr Gandhi, for they are derived from data obtained from several accounts by reputable [...]

‘The Sound of Music’ ( 1965 )

April 25, 2015 // 12 Comments

Enough has been written down the decades about this iconic musical to last a lifetime. I thought it might be interesting, instead, to find out what has happened to the cast members in the interim. Here is a brief rundown on the major players. Where possible I have included pictures of each player as he or she appeared in the movie, and how the children grew into adulthood, some 50 years down the [...]

Ben-Hur ( 1959 ) – why 11 Oscars?

April 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Every so often a movie comes along that has the Hollywood crowd and the critics tripping over one other in their eagerness to shower it with honours. William Wyler’s 1959 epic Ben-Hur is one such picture. It was nominated for twelve Oscars and won an unprecedented eleven. Only Karl Tunberg’s screenplay missed out. The word had spread prior to the Oscars that Wyler considered it to be a [...]

Jaws ( 1975 )

March 17, 2015 // 8 Comments

  Peter Benchley wrote Jaws after reading about the great New Jersey shark scare of 1916. The grand-son of Hollywood wit Robert Benchley, he even scored a cameo in the movie playing the reporter on the beach. He strongly resented the finale planned for the picture, so strongly in fact that he was ordered off the set. He felt the exploding gas tank idea was unrealistic. And he was right. A [...]

Goldfinger ( 1964 ) – a stupid movie?

March 9, 2015 // 10 Comments

Goldfinger (1964) was the third of the James Bond franchise offerings, and it was released at the height of Bond fever that seemed to grip movie-goers world-wide. It all began back in 1962 with Dr No, the picture that not only launched Sean Connery on the unsuspecting women of the world, but Ursula Andress on the unsuspecting men as well. It is interesting to note that the two greatest [...]

Balibo ( 2009 ) – Australia’s shame?

March 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

    In 1975, five Australian based members of a news crew went missing during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. The group consisted of two Australians, two Britons and a New Zealander. This film focuses on a sixth Australian journalist, Roger East, who went to the highly dangerous area to find out what happened to them. Balibo is the name of the tiny coastal town in what used to be [...]
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