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  • Clockwise (1985). John Cleese in Basil Fawlty mode appears in just about every scene in this display of escalating frustration and desperation as a time-obsessed headmaster trying to reach Norwich, not for the quiz of the week, but as chairman of the year to address a conference of fellow greying masters-in-charge. The old "left?, yes, right" scenario gets him on the wrong train and things go from bad to worse to calamity. Along the way John encounters pupil Sharon Maiden who's having an affair with music teacher Stephen Moore and she literally drives John without L-plates to distraction and beyond: how he ends up in a wood dressed as a monk is the least of his problems. Alison Steadman plays his misunderstanding wife, Penelope Wilton is an old flame and there's a great bit of distracted old lady stuff from Constance Chapman, Ann Way and especially a muttering Joan Hickson. Although some of the sequences work better than others, there are quite a few laugh out loud moments in Michael Frayn's story and director Christopher Morahan ensures there's little relief from indignity piled upon humiliation for old John.

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    • Classic Cleese! Yes, the sub-plot about the Schoolgirl And The Master was disturbing even then but doesn't get in the way too much. This is a farce, as much as FT was farcical, but the slowly unravelling Cleese plays his part brilliantly.

      In the early scenes, Cleese's character is shown as a stickler for punctuality, hence the title, and the fact that he is being more and more delayed by events out of his control contributes to his escalating hysteria, with funny results (I would say "hysterical results" but that would be doing the subtlety of the writing and acting a disservice).

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      • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier...Spy (2011)

        ​​​​​​
        A masterful adaptation of Le Carre’s complex novel, built around a powerful (and Oscar-nominated) performance from Gary Oldman and an accomplished supporting cast including: Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong. I saw it in a hushed cinema (something of a rarity) when it first came out and it loses nothing of its power on the small screen.
        Last edited by Paxton Milk; 6th June 2019, 08:02 PM.

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        • Ian Fryer
          Ian Fryer commented
          Editing a comment
          I loved this film - my god, was it really eight years ago?

        • Paxton Milk
          Paxton Milk commented
          Editing a comment
          I’m afraid so. Watching it last night was like seeing it for the first time, I had only the vaguest, but warmest, memories of it- and I had completely forgotten who the mole was!

      • Another Me (2013)

        A teenage take on The Man Who Haunted Himself, with Sophie Turner as the sixth former with a doppelgänger as a stalker. Turner has since matured into a vaguely interesting character on Game of Thrones but carrying a movie is a stretch too far for her, despite a supporting cast that includes Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Rhys Ifans, Geraldine Chaplin and Clare Forlani. In fairness, she isn’t helped by a plodding script that struggles to sustain the thin plot for a mere 86 mins.

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        • Stan & Ollie (2018). A love letter to that unforgettable double act with Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly often making you forget they're not the real thing. The film deals with "The Boys" near the end of their careers and the personal issues that re-emerge as they head towards final fade out on tour in 50s Britain. Yes, there are goofs and inaccuracies and the "elephant" film that gets referred to is only one of a handful Ollie made without Stan, not necessarily for Hal Roach, and apparently all with Stan's blessing, so the strife between them is somewhat artificial, but that's forgivable given the lovely performances from Messrs. Coogan & Reilly and Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda as "The Wives", true successors to the likes of Mae Busch and Daphne Pollard. Rufus Jones is also notable as an oily Bernard Delfont. It's the first film I went to the cinema to see for some years and it's sad it got a limited release and wasn't up for any Oscars. Kudos to writer Jeff Pope and director Jon S. Baird as well as the prosthetics design turning the leads into L&H.
          Trivia: the western town back projection Coogan and Reilly dance to in a recreation of a scene from Way Out West is the same piece that was used in the original film.

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          • Well it just had to be "The Love Match" (1955). Arthur Askey and Glen Melvyn (who wrote the play) are two football crazy railway workers who are desperate to get into City V United but trouble lies ahead for Arthur as he is in court for throwing a meat and potato pie at the ref (William Franklyn) who he subsequently finds out is his new lodger. Thora Hird is his wife and Shirley Eaton with a lovely northern accent is his daughter. James Kenney is his son who ends up playing for the opposition in the big match. Lovely cameo from Rob Wilton as a magistrate and Edward Chapman as Arthur's boss whom I half expected to be called Mr Grimsdale !!!. Danny Ross is very good as a gormless suitor to Shirley who shows unexpected prowess on the dance floor .Anthea Askey and Patricia Hayes are also involved. Some lovely old black and white football footage courtesy of Bolton Wanderers, Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic.

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            • No Sex Please - We're British (1973). A popular stage farce translates itself unevenly to the big screen despite the presence of such seasoned pros in the field as Beryl Reid, Arthur Lowe and Ronnie Corbett and while Ian Ogilvy demonstrates a flair for comedy, it's all so over the top that the humour often descends into irritation.
              Stephen Greif send supplies of pornographic pictures, films and books to the wrong address and they end up at the tied flat above Barclays Bank where Arthur is the local Mary Whitehouse. Newly weds Ian and Susan Penhaligon enlist the "help" of bumbling Ronnie to dispose of the items. Complications ensue which involve the police (David Swift), a bank inspector (Michael Bates) and strippers (Valerie Leon and Margaret Nolan). Things really reach the bottom when we're treated to the sight of Michael Bates' bare bum . . . and it's not even blurred, TPTV!

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              • The Black Rose (1950). 13th Century England and Saxon Walter of Gurnie is disinherited so with his chum Tristram the long bowman heads abroad for adventure and ends up in the company of warlord Bayan who's intent on learning the secrets of Cathay while doing a goodly spot of invading as well.
                Despite some exotic locations, excellent Technicolor photography from Jack Cardiff and efficient direction by Henry Hathaway, this one is a bit of a plodder as Walter is grumpily played by Tyrone Power who is well named as he gurns throughout the film. Jack Hawkins is far more in the spirit of things as Tristram as is Orson Welles as the wily Bayan. Cecile Aubry plays the title role, a young girl who escapes from a harem into the company of our two heroes and why she falls for stony faced Walter, heaven knows. Solid support is provided by Finlay Currie, James Robertson Justice, Michael Rennie and in one scene, Herbert Lom, and although there's a fair bit of dubbing going on (George Woodbridge and Laurence Harvey for example speak with forked tongue), I'm not convinced Peter Sellers gave voice to Alfonso Bedoya, Herbert's smiling servant who gets Ty and Jack into the eastern-bound caravan.

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                • Ian Fryer
                  Ian Fryer commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I was watching a Peter Sellers documentary the other day and he said himself that he provided the voice (I realise that Sellers was not the most reliable narrator of his own life and career!). The clip that they played certainly sounded like Sellers in Goon Show mode.

              • The Queen (2006)

                As someone with no interest in the current monarchy, I have avoided this movie in the past. Set at a time when the nation was struggling to come to terms of the death of Diana, it shows HRH struggling to come to terms with the 20th Century.

                While I don’t quite buy the story’s perceptive, I found Helen Mirren’s performance astonishingly good, whether it’s actually ERII or not is irrelevant, she creates a complex and moving characterization. Michael Sheen was also very good, though again I can’t quite buy his decent bloke persona.
                Last edited by Paxton Milk; 10th June 2019, 11:16 AM. Reason: human fallibility!

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                • I think you mean Michael Sheen.

                  Nick

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                  • Originally posted by Nick Dando View Post
                    I think you mean Michael Sheen.

                    Nick
                    My god, I am all over the place with names! Old age has started to gain on me now.

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                    • Have been doing a comparison viewing of three police comedies: Ask A Policeman (1939) starring Will Hay, Spare A Copper (1940) starring George Formby and Norman Wisdom's On the Beat (1962).

                      The Will Hay movie is great fun and far more cynical than the others,Hay's comedic persona being always an incompetent and low-level corrupt authority figure. It also looks to be made on a shoestring compared to Spare A Copper, made only a year later. Made at Ealing Studios, the Formby movie is piece of wartime musical propaganda and still passable entertainment. A young-ish Bernard Lee plays a baddie and the wonderfully-named Warburton Gamble plays a senior policeman. This really looks like some money was spent on it, with some excellent model work during the finale.

                      George plays a reserve PC desperate to get accepted into the Police, which is pretty much the same plot as On the Beat, only Norman is even lower on the pecking order, being a parking attendent at Scotland Yard. Wisdom turns down the sentimentality and delivers what is at times a terrific comedy piece.

                      The highlight of the film is a wonderful silent comedy-inspired chase sequence which Buster Keaton would have been proud of. This is the one in which Norman turns out to be the double of an Italian gangster/hairdresser.

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                      • I caught a bit of The Titfield Thunderbolt on BBC2 the other day - what a lovely, bright, sharp print they showed. Far better than the DVD of the film that I own! Yesterday they showed a great print of Lucky Jim, too.

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                        • Originally posted by Ian Fryer View Post
                          I caught a bit of The Titfield Thunderbolt on BBC2 the other day - what a lovely, bright, sharp print they showed. Far better than the DVD of the film that I own! Yesterday they showed a great print of Lucky Jim, too.
                          We've just watched 'School for Scoundrels' on BBC2 HD and the print quality was pin-sharp and clean as a whistle and captured the sunshine brilliantly. A super film that sucks you in, wondering what the next 'ploy' will be. Cracking performances by all concerned. Watching Delauney getting wound up to the max is delightful.
                          Last edited by Andy2; 13th June 2019, 10:00 PM.

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                          • A good week for Britmovie fans on BBC2 this week as apart from the aforementioned two, they have also shown Lucky Jim and The Man in The White Suit. The week closes with The Lavender Hill Mob tomorrow. Today's School for Scoundrels was pitched against I'm All Right Jack on Talking Pictures. What a great choice !!.

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