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Watched Last Night

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  • Night Boat to Dublin (1946) - Very watchable thriller with the wonderful Robert Newton, the equally wonderful Herbert Lom in a supporting role and the ever reliable Guy Middleton. Well worth a watch.
    Last edited by Nick Dando; 7th May 2017, 01:27 PM.

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    • Boy with a Flute (1964). Another short, this one considerably more entertaining, and written, produced and directed by Montgomery Tully. Ursula Jeans has the title painting which she wishes to sell to Bill Nagy (whose hair suddenly gets longer in the second half of the film), but there is another owner of the painting and doubt is expressed as to the authenticity of Ursula's. Quite a neat little filler, with good performances from Ursula and Bill, Freda Jackson as Ursula's sister plus Andree Melly, Ernest Clark, Guy Doleman and Gerard Heinz. Topped and tailed for no real reason by Jeremy Hawk as "narrator".

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      • The Scales of Justice (TV series 1962>) Our Sunday lunchtime presentation today was another episode of this excellent series. We've watched it all before, but stuck for something to goggle at last Sunday we unearthed the box-set. We'd forgotten how good they are, so we've set about watching the whole thing again. Not the most exciting series in the world - far from it - but from the opening credits (which I always enjoy for their artistry and grooviness) there is an air of quiet quality. The early stories are somewhat dull, but things warm up (slightly) in later episodes. And you can play 'Oh, look who it is, what was he in?' as well.

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        • Death at a Funeral (2007)

          Peter Dinklage, a mysterious gatecrasher at a typically British middle class funeral, is the catalyst for a descent into chaos, crudity and farce. I enjoyed it, largely due to some fine performances from an ensemble cast and some some irrelevant toilet humour.

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          • Black Memory (1947). John Gilling wrote and acted as AD on this ultra-cheap crime thriller atmospherically lit by S. D. Onions, but directed in his usual pedestrian style by Oswald Mitchell. A chubby-faced Michael Medwin is Johnnie Fletcher, a tearaway in the mould of his contemporary Pinkie Brown, whose baleful influence turns Jane Arden into a life of crime. Johnnie's a thoroughly nasty one and finds himself up against Michael Atkinson as the rather fey Danny Cruff who sports Mr. Spock eyebrows and is haunted by his father being hung for a murder he didn't commit. Strictly (small) studio bound, it's gripping enough for its 73 minutes and it's good to see Sidney James so relaxed in his first film role as Eddie, a nervous cafĂ© proprietor.

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            • Whirlpool (1959). Another of the Rank Organisation's failed attempts at an international production, this one a travel show down the Rhine in a large barge with the charmless Juliette Greco and O. W. Fischer on board. It says something that both are out-acted by William Sylvester who plays a psychotic murderer and that things only get mildly interesting when he pops up. At least Muriel Pavlow and Marius Goring are also in the cast, but there's little they can do to halt the rapid sinking of this Eastman Color potboiler into a Rhenish whirlpool.
              Juliette and William are on the run from the German police personified by Peter Illing and Geoffrey Bayldon who spend most of the film watching from the sidelines as Lawrence P. Bachmann's dreary screenplay meanders along. O.W.'s only points of note are the full wig he's got on and a voice that's dubbed by Tim Turner using an intermittent German accent. There's also a lot of very poor back projection shots which director Lewis Allen decided to leave in and I note he promptly reverted back to TV again. However, Mr. Bachmann more or less introduced Ron Goodwin into the world of film, though Juliette's rendering of his title song is as flat as a gentle sail down the Rhine on a balmy day.

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              • Originally posted by Andy2 View Post
                The Scales of Justice (TV series 1962>) Our Sunday lunchtime presentation today was another episode of this excellent series. We've watched it all before, but stuck for something to goggle at last Sunday we unearthed the box-set. We'd forgotten how good they are, so we've set about watching the whole thing again. Not the most exciting series in the world - far from it - but from the opening credits (which I always enjoy for their artistry and grooviness) there is an air of quiet quality. The early stories are somewhat dull, but things warm up (slightly) in later episodes. And you can play 'Oh, look who it is, what was he in?' as well.
                Scales of Justice was not a TV series. Like the other Merton Park/Anglo Amalgamated productions of the 50s and 60s (Scotland Yard, Edgar Wallace), they were cinema supporting features that mostly played the ABC circuit. They were later sold to television but that doesn't make them TV series (in spite of what IMDb says) any more than films sold to television become TV movies.

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                • Originally posted by John Hamilton View Post
                  Death at a Funeral (2007)

                  Peter Dinklage, a mysterious gatecrasher at a typically British middle class funeral, is the catalyst for a descent into chaos, crudity and farce. I enjoyed it, largely due to some fine performances from an ensemble cast and some some irrelevant toilet humour.
                  For completist value I watched the American remake, made in 2010, with Peter Dinklage repeating his role. Interesting to see the difference in acting styles, tone and direction for what was essentially the same script, with an Afro-American family replacing the more Surrey based equivalents. On the whole, I think the British version was superior, though there were still laughs in the remake; comedy of manners and stiff upper lips in the face of embarrassment winning out over the broader humour of the Americans.

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                  • The Hangman Waits (1947). Drama documentary featuring The News of the World as the Daily Clarion following a "torso in a trunk" murder case. John Turnbull in his regulation double-breasted suit and creased mac is the Scotland Yard inspector leading the investigation which is not exactly difficult to solve, but it's done with a kind of naivety and bungling that makes it quite entertaining and a saving grace is it's only just over an hour long. A kind of dry run of the sort of thing soon to be seen in the Scotland Yard shorts.

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                    • Let's Go Crazy (1951). And crazy it is with Peter Sellers doing five roles (one of them a poor Groucho Marx impersonation) and an uncredited Spike Millian a goofy nightclub waiter and allegedly Eccles, though it's nothing like his GOON SHOW character. A series a possibly improvised sketches, most which are desperately unfunny, are punctuated by various variety acts, including a dance routine from future Morecambe and Wise producer Ernest Maxin and his partner Rae Johnson. A 31 minute curio.

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                      • The Spaniard's Curse (1957). Who killed Zoe Trevor? Not the convicted Basil Dignam, it seems. What starts out with potential for a quirky thriller sadly soon settles down into a routine murder mystery as the relevance of the title quickly recedes. However, the film's well served by performances from old hands like Michael Hordern, Henry Oscar, Ralph Truman and Roddy Hughes while leads Tony Wright, Lee Patterson and Susan Beaumont put in standard work. Nice night time photography by Arthur Grant.

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                        • Shadow of the Eagle (1950). A Valiant Film, it declares and we're off into 18th century adventure in Russia and Italy with Richard Greene as a poor man's Errol Flynn, but he's decidedly more bloodthirsty than Errol ever was. Richard's tasked to bring back to Russia an apparent pretender to the throne, but of course he falls for her as it's Valentina Cortese. Empress Catherine (Binnie Barnes) is not amused. Greta Gynt is as marvellous as ever as a bitchy jealous countess and the juicy villains are Charles Goldner and Walter Rilla. It's an hackneyed yarn but made on a fairly sumptuous budget, with some splendid location filming in Venice (interiors at Teddington!) and although colour might have done the production some favours, the crisp heavy shadowy lighting, almost film noir, of Erwin Hillier is admirable.

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                          • Three Men in a Boat (1956). A tedious comedy expanded from Jerome K. Jerome's story into a series of high irritation level sketches only equalled by Norman Wisdom films. Mature cretins Laurence Harvey, Jimmy Edwards and David Tomlinson are the three so-called men, clumsy nitwits more like, who embark on a boating trip and wreck everything and everyone with whom they come into contact. An interesting supporting cast of Shirley Eaton, Jill Ireland, Lisa Gastoni, Adrienne Corri and Martita Hunt can't do much to save this and as photographer Robertson Hare says, "Oh calamity!". The three fishing and cricketing stooges, namely Miles Malleson, Ernest Thesiger and A. E. Matthews, are the best thing about this. Director Ken Annakin omits reference to making this film in his autobiography and furthermore, unfortunately the copy I saw was a faded Eastmancolor print, pan-and-scanned except for the opening and end titles. The 1933 version, not particularly wonderful itself, is certainly more amusing.

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                            • I watched On Approval, 1944. I had been looking for it for a while. The only DVD copies I could find were much too expensive. Then I found it unexpectedly on TCM; they had a Clive Brook day. I recorded it on DVD a few weeks ago and finally got round to watching it. It is quite different from play by Frederick Lonsdale, which is set in the 20s. They back-dated it to the 1890s and opened up the setting. Interesting cast - Brook, Beatrice Lillie, Googie Withers, Roland Culver.

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                              • Originally posted by TimR View Post
                                I watched On Approval, 1944. I had been looking for it for a while. The only DVD copies I could find were much too expensive. Then I found it unexpectedly on TCM; they had a Clive Brook day. I recorded it on DVD a few weeks ago and finally got round to watching it. It is quite different from play by Frederick Lonsdale, which is set in the 20s. They back-dated it to the 1890s and opened up the setting. Interesting cast - Brook, Beatrice Lillie, Googie Withers, Roland Culver.
                                A Clive Brook Day???

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