The First Churchill episode 8. How I laughed to see a mistake which has carried over to the DVD. There's supposed to be a shot which is Syon House, Brentford, where Queen Anne is living, attended by Lady Marlborough. But what do we see before this rather obvious picture? The head of the person who is setting it for the camera!
Ah, the old days of television!
The only segment that I thought didn't quite work in terms of production was the Romanov section, where the spectacle really is required because of the nature of the Russian court and the scale of the story. The acting and script were quite good but the setting with the combination of tape and location you mention doesn't quite come off. However I am comparing it with a favorite film of mine - Nicholas and Alexandra - and that comparison is unfair.
Nah I just have a good eye for colour.
He did give a stunning performance in Peter Gunn though.
Right now I'm trying to track down a copy of his performance as Rees Mathry in the Philco Television Playhouse episode "Beyond This Place" - he won the Sylvania award for that. I do have a lead and hope I am successful. :)
Catherine was never quite the same after Francoise died, apparently she was very close to her. I saw both in "The Young Girls of Rochefort" and they so easily pass for twins it's amazing.
Ghost Train (1941)
My first Arthur Askey movie, tight little story with a climactic ending. Very enjoyable.
Started with The Conspirator directed by Robert Redford and starring Tom Wilkinson,James McAvoy and Colm Meaney.Courtroom drama about the trial of Mary Surratt,landlady of the boarding house where John Wilkes Boothe plotted against Lincoln.Thought it was well done but then I'm a sucker for historical films.Followed this with The Wicker Tree,sequel or more accurately,rewrite of the original Wicker Man film.this time a pair of annoying Texan missionaries take the place of Edward Woodward's character,Honeysuckle Weeks does the Britt Ekland femme fatale bit in various states of undress.The whole thing wasn't badly done,but didn't really have anything new to say.still,it was way better than the awful Nicholas Cage remake.Finished off with the latest Big bang Theory.
Escaping the deluge I watched Terence Fisher's 1959 Hammer film Stranglers of Bombay in 19th century India officers of the East India Company stuggle to bring to justice members of the thugee cult.
IMHO an above average effort form Hammer ( I'm not a big fan of a lot of their output ) helped by Guy Rolfe in the lead and in particular a good supporting part for Allan Cuthbertson ( who if he isn't a Forum Favourite certainly should be ).
Entertaining if fairly gruesome given the age of the film.
Merchant Ivory's Quartet. Set in Paris in the 20s this had penniless Isabelle Adjani taken in by English couple Alan Bates and Maggie Smith. As Bates is a bit of a roue things don't end up particularly well. You would think there's enough there to be going on with but this never grabbed my attention. Surely Paris in the 20s wasn't quite so drab?
The Bofers Gun (1968)
Nicol Williamson at his very best in Jack Golds skillfully directed study of post war army life. Gunners Williamson and John Thaw reek havoc at an army base in Germany one night, with Williamson's Gunner O'Rourke taking on all comers, notably David Warner's well meaning but ineffectual Lance Corporal. Williamson's chat to the Bofers, whilst on guard duty, is particularly heart rending with both man and machine seemingly obsolete.
Great support from Ian Holm, Richard O'Callaghan, Donald Gee, Peter Vaughan Glynn Edwards and Barry Jackson
Unmissable...If you can find a copy.
I watched Lawrence Huntington's Contraband Spain, Richard Greene and Michael Denison are respectively U S and British customs officals seeking out a counterfeiting gang in Spain.
Shot on location in and around Barcelona and Dover which was nice however the acting left a lot to be desired and the "witty" interplay between Messrs Greene and Denison was just embarassing, Richard Greene remembered he was playing an American for about the first one and half lines after that he gave up and we could have been listening to Robin Hood . Most enteretaining moment Michael Denison offering to show Mr Grrene the town as " Barcelona is such a gay city " ( with no hint of irony ! )
One strange thing imdb says the film is colour but my copy was in glorious monchrome does a colour copy exist or is imdb incorrect ?
The Blu-ray of "The Lavender Hill Mob". Loved the picture quality - was disappointed with the sound, loads of "wow", especially in the Eiffel Tower sequence. Never noticed that on my older DVD.
Hound Of The Baskervilles (1939)
Another outing for this old favourite. I love Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce plays Watson as far more astute than in his later appearances.
The Man Who Never Was (1955). My memory of this film is that it is in black and white instead of good old Eastmancolor, no doubt due to its frequent Sunday afternoon showings in the old days of BBC1, and in fact, it is really a black and white kind of film. More real life wartime obscurification in the spirit of I Was Monty's Double, though for me Clifton Webb is rather on another plane as the Hon. Ewen Montagu of the wavy navy (the genuine article turns up uncredited in one scene). The usual suspects for this kind of film pop up, including Admiral Laurence Naismith and General Geoffrey Keen (no Victor Maddern or Sam Kydd, mind you), and sadly second-billed Gloria Grahame is wasted, but thankfully it's all pulled together rather nicely by Ronald Neame.
It sounds to me that police detective Robert Brown is dubbed by Howard Marion Crawford for some reason.
At the BFI Southbank for the still absolutely marvellous 1940 film 'The Thief of Bagdad', a wonderful colour spectacle in which John Justin and June Duprez, good though they are, are upstaged by a lovely fun performance from Sabu and a scene-stealing one from Conrad Veidt.
It might be shaky, it might have dubbing issues, the special effects may look very clunky - but it is still a great film