Movies

‘The Seven Year Itch’ (1955) – not a good movie.

August 20, 2016 // 2 Comments

  Some movies seem to take on a life of their own. Suddenly and often inexplicably, they are lauded as masterpieces, works of art, living statements of the times. Easy Rider (1969) is one such film. I have always thought it was an over-rated ‘nothing’ picture, inhabited by two ‘druggies’ and one non-actor, but for reasons known only to the critics and the publicity people in [...]

The making of the first Bond film – ‘Dr No’ (1962)

August 12, 2016 // 8 Comments

  In 1961 author Ian Fleming sold a six-month option to all his James Bond novels and short stories (those already penned and future ones), with the exception of Casino Royale, which he had previously sold, to entrepreneur Harry Saltzman. Harry formed Eon Productions with Albert R. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, and they started looking around for a director and an actor to play Bond. Ian Fleming, [...]

Four memorable lady movie villains.

July 23, 2016 // 2 Comments

  The history of movies is literally riddled with iconic male villains, but not so many women have been fortunate enough to sink their teeth into a genuinely meaty, nasty role. One of the first (and best) appeared in Hitchcock’s 1940 classic Rebecca. Dame Judith Anderson positively oozed malevolence as Mrs. Danvers, although she did receive a little help from the director. Hitch, with his [...]

Some observations about ‘Shakespeare in Love’ (1998)

July 21, 2016 // 4 Comments

  It is not often that you go to the movies and immediately the film begins you know you are in for a good time. That was how I felt about Shakespeare in Love the moment the camera panned around the replica of the Rose Theatre and I heard the beautiful theme music of Stephen Warbeck. Of course, connoisseurs of the Bard will most likely hate the thing but, since I find Shakespeare boring [...]

The making of ‘The Great Escape’ (1963)

July 19, 2016 // 5 Comments

In World War Two Stalag Luft III was an enormous POW camp in Germany, encompassing 59 acres surrounded by over five miles of perimeter fencing and housing some 10,000 Allied servicemen of the Fleet Air Arm. Renowned author Paul Brickhill wrote the book from which this film is taken. He was imprisoned at Stalag Luft III after being shot down in his Spitfire over Tunisia in March 1943. While in the [...]

The making of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (1960)

July 17, 2016 // 6 Comments

  The Mirisch brothers, Walter, Marvin and Harold, produced a number of highly profitable movies in the fifties and sixties – Some Like it Hot (1959), West Side Story (1961), The Pink Panther (1963) and In the Heat of the Night (1967) were among them. The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape were two more. The iconic western cost $2 million to make, was shot on location in Mexico, and it [...]

A closer look – ‘On the Riviera’ (1951).

May 10, 2016 // 0 Comments

    This was a typical Danny Kaye offering, one that show-cased the considerable comic talents he was blessed with. Sadly, his over the top style dated quite quickly (much like that of Jim Carrey later). Watching most of Danny’s films today is hard work, the probable exception being the very funny The Court Jester (1955). I chose this one to investigate primarily because of its [...]

PT 109 (1963) – JFK biopic and not a girl in sight.

April 30, 2016 // 4 Comments

  Most baby-boomers (like me) are familiar with the story of the PT-109, so this precis is for those late-comers who are, perhaps, a little less intimate with the war record of John F Kennedy, the man who would later become the 35th President of the United States, albeit all too briefly, from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. Lieutenant Kennedy was posted to the Solomon [...]

The making of ‘West Side Story’ (1961)

April 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

  It has been fifty-five years since Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet was re-located to New York City and transformed into the musical West Side Story. In place of the feuding Montague and Capulet families of Verona we are given two rival New York gangs – the Jets and the Sharks. The white Jets are led by Riff, the Puerto Rican Sharks by Bernardo. Romeo becomes Riff’s best buddy Tony; [...]

Top Movies – the ‘honorable mentions’.

February 20, 2016 // 8 Comments

  MORE GOOD MOVIES THAT JUST MISSED MY TOP 50 Science Fiction Terminator 2 – Judgment Day (1991) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Roger Patrick Brilliant effects, James Cameron directing. Planet of the Apes (1968) Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Roddy McDowall The classic Sci-Fi movie. Even Heston is good. The Final Countdown (1980) Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross The [...]
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