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  • 13 Graves (2018)

    ​​​​​​
    Another entry in the Essex wide-boy with shotguns and an attitudes sub-genre, and it has all the usual ingredients of drug deals, swearing, vicious gangsters, swearing, over bearing mothers, swearing...etc. etc. This time round the all-too familiar routine comes with the added bonus of supernatural visitors from beyond the (titular) graves (all swearing, obviously).

    If Danny Dyer was in it, then it could be summed up as a film with nothing to recommend it, as he isn’t, it barely qualifies as worth mentioning.

    Comment


    • Ian Fryer
      Ian Fryer commented
      Editing a comment
      The only thing I can say in defence of this sort of gangster cheapy, which I am no fan of, is that it gives British filmmakers the opportunity to learn their trade working in a genre with an established fan-base which gives them a decent shot at raising a budget, seeing their film actually find a decent-sized release, and making its money back. Hopefully some of the people involved will go on to better things.

  • Bed and Breakfast (1937). Mini-budgeted drama set in a palatial B&B where very little of any interest occurs. Only running 47 minutes, the film seems much longer and apart from Mabel Poulton, most of the rest of the cast are unknown: in fact, three of the male leads look like triplets. Choppily edited (no film editor credit I see) and ineptly directed by Walter West, I certainly do not advise the proprietrix Mrs. Lucas to apply to go on FOUR IN A BED.

    Comment


    • Ian Fryer
      Ian Fryer commented
      Editing a comment
      Wikipedia lists the running time as being some ten minutes longer, which might explain the choppy editing, if that figure is accurate (a big if, I know!).


  • The Last Man to Hang (1956) Warning! Spoilers ahead. This Terence Fisher directed Warwick/ACT production plays like a mash up of Witness For the Prosecution and Twelve Angry Men, the year before those films were made. It only runs for 75 minutes but seems to have been pruned in post production from something longer and even more boring.
    Plank like Tom Conway is dissatisfied with his marriage to boring Elizabeth Sellars and takes up with Eunice Gayson. Devoted housekeeper Freda Jackson witnesses some potentially compromising scenes between Conway and Sellars and after a tedious mix up over sleeping tablets, Sellars is rendered unconscious and taken to hospital. Here there is a mix up over the allocation of rooms between Sellars and an unidentified woman admitted at the same time. Jackson sees Sellars being wheeled out of the "wrong" room very much alive and seizes the chance to get revenge on Conway by identifying the other (now deceased) woman as Sellars. Conway is arrested at London Airport as he is about to fly off with Gayson by Russell Napier, having a break from Merton Park's Scotland Yard series and here demoted to Detective Sergeant. Things move on to the Old Bailey, with David Horne doing a Charles Laughton impression as the defending counsel. Things look black for Conway as the jury, some of whom have been introduced via half-hearted vignettes of their personal lives, seem convinced of his guilt. Never fear, for Victor Maddern is on hand to play Henry Fonda and before we know it they have all changed their minds and Conway is acquitted. Back home, Jackson breaks down in tears and tells Conway that Sellars is alive and well and they drive off to a house for an (unseen) reunion. Meanwhile the police have conveniently, if unaccountably, turned up and arrest Jackson.
    The massive problem with this is, of course, what on earth happened to Sellars, who is never seen again after the hospital scenes. She would surely have told people who she was when she came round, so where was she during the trial? Was she in cahoots with Jackson to get Conway out of the way, if so why would she want him back, and more to the point why would he want her back when he found out (as he surely would)? A far better scenario would have been for Jackson to have held Sellars prisoner, for Conway to be found guilty and for Sellars to escape in the nick of time to save him from the gallows!
    Oh, and for connoisseurs of unusual credits this offers you John Schlesinger as Goldfinger!
    This went out in September 1956 on the Gaumont circuit as the bottom half of a double bill with Columbia's Blake Edwards comedy He Laughed Last.



    I
    expect you spotted Anthony Newley in one of his cheeky chappie roles
    Newley usually steals any film in which he appears, evven in a minor role...!

    Newley appears because he was under contract to Warwick at the time. The deal with Warwick provided a slightly bigger budget than ACT could afford as well as a Columbia pictures international distribution guarantee ...

    The girl in the car scene with Newley was actress Gillian Lynne, who was also a dancer and choreographer, who later became very famous for her stage and film work...

    Comment


    • All Creatures Great and Small (1974). As I have only seen the occasional episode of the slightly later TV series, there's no real problem in my accepting Simon Ward as James Herriot and Anthony Hopkins and Brian Stirner as the respectively fiery and wayward brothers Farnon in this slice of standard Sunday afternoon fare (even though there's arm up a horse's backside barely 9 minutes in). An everyday story of veterinary folk with pleasing Yorkshire backdrops, we see the young James join irascible Siegfried on animal adventures and James finds time to fall in love and get married as well as rub a few farmers up the wrong way. Lisa Harrow plays Helen Alderson with John Collin as her father, a role he continued on TV, and Freddie Jones, T. P. McKenna and Harold Goodwin are among the sometimes roguish rustics. IMDb has this down as a TV movie, but it was certainly originally a cinema release, although it's difficult to see how well it would've done in overseas sales.

      Comment


      • agutterfan
        agutterfan commented
        Editing a comment
        It was made for U.S. TV but released theatrically elsewhere, EMI distributed it in the U.K.

    • Made 1972
      sad film but real so very real the 70,s still seem like yesterday to me . .
      John Castle is only reason i kept watching ,
      eveyone else is unlikeable .
      inthe mould of a Alan clarke or Ken loach type social comment .
      Last edited by AlecLeamas; 21st July 2019, 10:16 AM.

      Comment


      • Juliet Naked (2018)

        Not as saucy as it sounds, but a gentle romcom set in a British seaside resort with some heavyweight Hollywood stars being twee- think Nothing Hill. Rose Byrne is engaging as a mousy museum keeper who, with the biological clock ticking, finds herself with a partner, Chris O’Dowd, who is more interested in a, obscure American singer than his own love life. Enter Ethan Hawke as said American singer.
        ​​​​​​​
        Amusing without being funny, witty without being incisive.

        Comment


        • narabdela
          narabdela commented
          Editing a comment
          I enjoyed the film, and can also recommend the book, by Nick Hornby, on which it's based.

      • The Deadly Affair (1966). Slow moving wordy affair rather than deadly, but still a quite intriguing John le Carre (sic) spy thriller with James Mason as George Smiley, renamed Charles Dobbs, here investigating the apparent suicide of a top civil servant who he had just cleared for security purposes in connection with a promotion. Soon it's apparent there's international devilry at work, but much closer to home than Dobbs first realises. Harriet Andersson plays the faithless wife he still adores, Maximilian Schell a wartime colleague who suddenly re-enters his life and Simone Signoret is the widow of the dead civil servant. Kenneth Haigh is a fellow spy while Roy Kinnear appears as a luckless third-hand car dealer, Max Adrian suitably camp as the "Adviser" nicknamed Marlene Dietrich and Harry Andrews very reliable as usual as a tough though slightly narcoleptic retired police inspector aiding Dobbs. We also get lots of bowler hats and an extended performance of Edward II from The Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Sidney Lumet with lots of close-up reaction shots, this is worth sticking with until the end.

        Comment


        • So the title was an accurate description of the film

          Comment


          • Originally posted by AlecLeamas View Post
            Made 1972
            sad film but real so very real the 70,s still seem like yesterday to me . .
            John Castle is only reason i kept watching ,
            eveyone else is unlikeable .
            inthe mould of a Alan clarke or Ken loach type social comment .
            Director John Mackenzie went on to bigger things: A Sense of Freedom (about Glasgow gangster Jimmy Boyle and his subsequent rehabilitation), The Long Good Friday, The Honorary Consul and The Fourth Protocol, amongst others.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
              All Creatures Great and Small (1974). As I have only seen the occasional episode of the slightly later TV series, there's no real problem in my accepting Simon Ward as James Herriot and Anthony Hopkins and Brian Stirner as the respectively fiery and wayward brothers Farnon in this slice of standard Sunday afternoon fare (even though there's arm up a horse's backside barely 9 minutes in). An everyday story of veterinary folk with pleasing Yorkshire backdrops, we see the young James join irascible Siegfried on animal adventures and James finds time to fall in love and get married as well as rub a few farmers up the wrong way. Lisa Harrow plays Helen Alderson with John Collin as her father, a role he continued on TV, and Freddie Jones, T. P. McKenna and Harold Goodwin are among the sometimes roguish rustics. IMDb has this down as a TV movie, but it was certainly originally a cinema release, although it's difficult to see how well it would've done in overseas sales.
              I saw this in the cinema when it came out - have to say, I found it tedious but I was only 11...

              Comment


              • Originally posted by zabadak View Post

                I saw this in the cinema when it came out - have to say, I found it tedious but I was only 11...
                I was much older than that, and yes, it was tedious

                Comment


                • Mr Rose: The Frozen Swede - from season 2 of this Granada Television detective series broadcast 1968. I picked this up cheap in the Network Sale and the first episode was a delight, with William Mervyn as the retired police inspector investigating the death of Barbara Shelly's husband, found shot to death in Mr Rose's own walk-in freezer. I'd wanted to eee this for a while and my hunch was rewarded - the dialogue by scriptwriter Robert Holmes is sparkling, providing Wildean wit which is performed with relish by Mervyn, an actor perfectly aware that he is inhabiting the role of his lifetime. Excellent support also from Arthur Pentelow (Henry Wilks from Emmerdale Farm) as a scruffy, hectoring police inspector who is no match for Mr Rose:

                  "Are you going to let him make a complete fool of himself?"
                  "Nature must take its course."

                  Comment


                  • agutterfan
                    agutterfan commented
                    Editing a comment
                    It's just a shame Gillian Lewis as his PA Drusilla Lamb didn't carry on from series 1.

                • Director John Mackenzie went on to bigger things:
                  interesting direction he took .
                  Last edited by AlecLeamas; 24th July 2019, 11:30 AM.

                  Comment


                  • A Taste Of Honey (1961)

                    Original playwright Shelagh Delaney joins forces once again with stage director Tony Richardson in adapting their 1958 stage play for the big screen. With the help of an outstanding cast and impressive cinematography the result is carried off with great aplomb, delivering perhaps the most poignant of all the early 60s kitchen sink dramas.

                    The closest thing we get to an angry young man in this one is Robert Stephens's sleazy, one eyed businessman, indignantly rejecting the presence of his new wife's awkward, adolescent daughter Rita Tushingham and thereby driving a wedge between her and her feckless floozy of a mother, played with fabulous, scene-stealing relish by the wonderful Dora Bryan.

                    Newcomer Tushingham carries the central role with admirable chutzpah - her disaffected Jo, falling pregnant to sailor Paul Danquah (with whom she created some beautifully tender, bittersweet scenes) later sets up home with gay textile design student Murray Melvin who brings real subtlety and depth to his own outstanding performance.

                    It's a powerful, touching film with a brave sense of doomed hope and a careful balance of topical grittiness with thoughtful fragility, juggling themes highly controversial for the time with both sensitivity and panache.
                    Last edited by Tonch; 24th July 2019, 11:41 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Not a film but a stage production of The Lady Vanishes, directed by that old Sandbagger Roy Marsden. Juliet Mills plays the Dame May Witty role of the vanishing Miss Froy, while her husband Maxwell Caulfield co-stars as Dr. Hartz. The Michael Redgrave role of Gilbert (here renamed Max, the characters name in Ethel Lina White's original novel) is played by James Boswell, who bears quite a resemblance to Redgrave and, much to my surprise, turned out to be the understudy in the role. The production is also blessed with a very decent Charters and Caldicott in the shape of Robert Duncan and Ben Nealon.

                      Definitely worth seeing if the production is touring near you.

                      (EDIT: Tour dates here - https://www.kenwright.com/portfolio/the-lady-vanishes/)
                      Last edited by Ian Fryer; 27th July 2019, 10:26 AM.

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