The making of ‘West Side Story’ (1961)

April 20, 2016 admin 6

  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. […]

Top Movies – the ‘honorable mentions’.

February 20, 2016 admin 8

  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 […]

The 4 ‘Romeo & Juliets’ – enough already!

November 25, 2015 admin 6

  The chronic problem with casting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is finding actors who are both young and experienced enough in stage acting to carry it off. After all, in Bill the Bard’s play Juliet is just fourteen years old. MGM producer Irving Thalberg unwisely chose to tackle the problem […]

The three ‘Beau Gestes’.

November 15, 2015 admin 0

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 […]

‘The Godfather’ (1972)

August 22, 2015 admin 2

  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 […]

The real ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’.

August 8, 2015 admin 11

  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 […]

Gandhi ( 1982 )

May 12, 2015 admin 0

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 […]

‘The Sound of Music’ ( 1965 )

April 25, 2015 admin 12

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 […]

Ben-Hur ( 1959 ) – why 11 Oscars?

April 12, 2015 admin 4

  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 […]