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  • Red Shoes (1948)

    First time - never seen it before, but I'm giving the P&P films a go, particularly the ones I seem to have missed.

    I loved 'Black Narcissus' and 'I Know Where I'm Going' was a revelation - such great characters and a wonderful settings.

    'Red Shoes' - I very much liked seeing the students and how London was portrayed. But much of the film was about the privileged classes - Julian Caster could have been an angry young man - but his throwing a tantrum at the end of the film was a big let down - AND - surely he had a chance to take off his raincoat on his trip from London!

    Having said that, the characters were an interesting mix and the range of actors new to me were a pleasant surprise - a very cosmopolitan mix. Also the locations - the filming in France - an unexpected pleasure.

    I was expecting a bit more ballet - the 'Red Shoes' ballet was shorter and more confusing that expected - although the special effects tricks seem to have been the intended highlight. Given the option I'd have rather seen more of Coppélia.

    After the 'Red Shoes' ballet the rest of the film seems to be an afterthought - over-long and melodramatic.

    I appreciated the ambitious nature of the project and the use of colour and space - but its ambition is probably its downfall.
    Last edited by Anthony McKay; 21 August 2019, 11:31 AM.

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    • Originally posted by Anthony McKay View Post
      Red Shoes (1948)

      First time - never seen it before, but I'm giving the P&P films a go, particularly the ones I seem to have missed.

      I loved 'Black Narcissus' and 'I Know Where I'm Going' was a revelation - such great characters and a wonderful settings.

      'Red Shoes' - I very much liked seeing the students and how London was portrayed. But much of the film was about the privileged classes - Julian Caster could have been an angry young man - but his throwing a tantrum at the end of the film was a big let down - AND - surely he had a chance to take off his raincoat on his trip from London!

      Having said that, the characters were an interesting mix and the range of actors new to me were a pleasant surprise - a very cosmopolitan mix. Also the locations - the filming in France - an unexpected pleasure.

      I was expecting a bit more ballet - the 'Red Shoes' ballet was shorter and more confusing that expected - although the special effects tricks seem to have been the intended highlight. Given the option I'd have rather seen more of Coppélia.

      After the 'Red Shoes' ballet the rest of the film seems to be an afterthought - over-long and melodramatic.

      I appreciated the ambitious nature of the project and the use of colour and space - but it's ambition is probably its downfall.
      Many (most?) people seem to think that it's a film about ballet.

      But you can't please all of the people all of the time

      I believe it's not a film just or primarily about ballet, it's actually about artistic dedication, and what it can cost you.

      Steve


      Comment


      • Originally posted by cassidy View Post
        G.I.Blues (1960). Yesterday (Friday) being the anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, it had to be one of his films. G.I.Blues bought back many happy memories for me so that was my choice even though it was by no means one of his best. It does have however some very nice songs. The story is of Elvis and his pals in his platoon trying to raise some money to open a night club and Elvis trying to win the money needed by means of a bet to see if he can spend the night with dancer Juliet Prowse.. I particularly loved the closing number Did'ja Ever. Produced by Hal Wallis and directed by Norman Taurog. As I said, it bought back many happy memories.
        King Creole is my favourite Pelvis Pic

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        • Ill Met By Moonlight (1957) I've managed to get through nearly sixty years of watching movies without seeing this, the final proper collaboration of Powell and Pressburger, but recently bought a cheap second hand DVD of it (an excellent transfer in the correct ratio) and watched it last night. I believe that Powell himself didn't think much of this effort and I'm not surprised. If you are going to make a film based on a real wartime operation you might think to offer a little tension and excitement, both of which are totally lacking here. This is in no small part due to P & P's predilection to not have nasty Germans in their films, but that is actually what you need in this type of thing. Instead we have jolly decent chaps in a jolly decent jape with the German General telling them at the end "jolly good show old chaps" or something like it. The performances of Dirk Bogarde and David Oxley are so effete that I was irresistibly reminded of Julian and Sandy from Round the Horne.
          Amazingly, this was one of the top films at the UK box office in 1957 (but then so was the awful Three Men in a Boat), largely due to Bogarde's popularity and he would have further success later in the year with Doctor at Large and Campbell's Kingdom.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Odeonman View Post
            Ill Met By Moonlight (1957) I've managed to get through nearly sixty years of watching movies without seeing this, the final proper collaboration of Powell and Pressburger, but recently bought a cheap second hand DVD of it (an excellent transfer in the correct ratio) and watched it last night. I believe that Powell himself didn't think much of this effort and I'm not surprised. If you are going to make a film based on a real wartime operation you might think to offer a little tension and excitement, both of which are totally lacking here. This is in no small part due to P & P's predilection to not have nasty Germans in their films, but that is actually what you need in this type of thing. Instead we have jolly decent chaps in a jolly decent jape with the German General telling them at the end "jolly good show old chaps" or something like it. The performances of Dirk Bogarde and David Oxley are so effete that I was irresistibly reminded of Julian and Sandy from Round the Horne.
            Amazingly, this was one of the top films at the UK box office in 1957 (but then so was the awful Three Men in a Boat), largely due to Bogarde's popularity and he would have further success later in the year with Doctor at Large and Campbell's Kingdom.
            The main objection was from Emeric Pressburger. Like the Battle of the River Plate, the real story was so incredible he couldn't really add much to it

            Major General Kreipe wasn't a nasty Nazi, he was a decent German. Not all Germans were nasty brutes

            Steve

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post

              The main objection was from Emeric Pressburger. Like the Battle of the River Plate, the real story was so incredible he couldn't really add much to it

              Major General Kreipe wasn't a nasty Nazi, he was a decent German. Not all Germans were nasty brutes

              Steve
              No, but if you are going to make a wartime action/adventure some nasty baddies help things along!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Odeonman View Post

                No, but if you are going to make a wartime action/adventure some nasty baddies help things along!
                Not if you're P&P - Nasty baddies are too easy. Nice enemies are much more challenging

                Steve

                Comment


                • The Punch & Judy Man (Tony Hancock, Sylvia Syms et al 1963)
                  I watched this film from DVD last night, the first time I've seen it for many years. Far from being the miserable flop I remembered, it was very entertaining and two scenes stood out for me. The first is the scene with 'the boy' in the ice cream parlour. Wally (Hancock) treats the boy to a top-whack 'Piltdown Glory', chocolate sauce, nuts and wafers, the whole lot, and gets one for himself. What follows is a wonderful 'fight to the finish', as Wally tries to keep up with the kid. The finale, with Wally flipping the cherry into the air and catching it in his mouth with obvious glee, is enough to have me cheering and winding back for another look. Hancock's grinning face as the pair leave the shop speaks volumes. BTW, we get a bonus in the shape of Eddie Byrne, an actor who (like Sam Kydd and Michael Ripper) popped up in almost every British film of the period. Byrne plays the ice cream salesman and although he doesn't say much, his performance is almost a scene-stealer. Only Hancock's sparkling happiness at the end of the scene keeps him at bay. The second one comes at the very end of the film, as Wally and Delia have a renewed understanding of each other's wants, needs and failings. It really is quite tender, with Hancock turning himself down to almost zero and we can see their marriage blossoming once again. Then it's straight into the end credits which (behind the titles) shows Wally and Delia being waved off by their friends as they drive along the promenade, heading for pastures new. The triumphant music puts the lid on in style. The last thing is the 'comedy set pieces' which tended to be overlong and look as if they were inserted because Hancock needed some laughs. They were not particularly hilarious and tended break up the flow. However, if they had been removed the running time would have been about 60 minutes and the film could easily have been presented as a TV play, perhaps with better results. Still an enjoyable film though, and the sunny outdoor photography is a treat.

                  Comment


                  • Apache Drums (1951). Before everyone jumps up in the air because I have the temerity to put a western into a Britmovie forum, I have to tell you about the most ridiculous scene in a film that I have ever come across. Picture the scene, the townsfolk and a few remaining cavalry officers are holed up up in a building surrounded by the Apaches who are beating their drums and chanting. Someone has the bright idea that they should start singing to show the Apaches that they are not afraid. What do they sing I ask you ? Well of course it has to be Men Of Harlech which the entire company including Stephen McNally and Coleen Grey perform in WELSH !!!!. Obviously the schools back in those days in the wild west were well versed in language tuition. I wonder this will ever be put out in a double bill with Zulu !!!!

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                    • orpheum
                      orpheum commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Sure it wasn't Apache Riffles?

                  • No, that was with Audie Murphy. Different film entirely.

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                    • Beat Girl (1960)

                      A teenage girl rebels against her father & new stepmother & goes off the rails!

                      Sixteen year old Gillian Hills heads a fantastic cast that includes David Farrar, Noelle Adam, Christopher Lee, Shirley Anne Field, Adam Faith, Peter McEnery,
                      Nigel Green, Delphi Lawrence, Oliver Reed, Carol White & best of all Margot (Minnie Caldwell) Bryant!
                      Other than the cast the film had plenty of striptease action which for the time must have been quite racy & it must have done well at the box office.
                      Gillian Hills is really quite good as the "Lolita" type character & John Barry supplied the jazzy film score!
                      Cool stuff Daddyo!!
                      Last edited by wadsy; 26 August 2019, 06:36 PM.

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                      • Pelican
                        Pelican commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I seem to recall Gillian Hills being touted as "the British Bardot", in Britain, that is, which is a lot of baggage to put on anyone. Apart from Beat Girl, I'm not sure what else she appeared in.
                        Great cast, as you say.

                    • After having one myself, Interlude (1968). Well-observed bittersweet moneyed angst played out in lovely 60s London settings imaginatively directed by Kevin Billington and well acted by Oskar Werner and Barbara Ferris depicting an affair between a temperamental married orchestra conductor and a gentle journalist. It's obvious from the start that the affair's not going anywhere but the film does manage to capture those on-off moments of a relationship as well as the heavy feelings at the end of a happy but illicit weekend. Virginia Maskell is suitably tortured as the wife while Donald Sutherland's presence as Oskar's friend barely registers plus there's John Cleese who pops up early on in an ill-judged comedy turn as an ineffective PR man. The slow pace of the somewhat meandering storyline is at least given a lift by Gerry Fisher's well-crafted images and Georges Delerue's often soaring score.

                      Comment


                      • Hanover Street (1979). Really quite dreadful soapy soppiness set in London 1943 where quivery English nurse Margaret meets daredevil American pilot David and an affair starts up minutes later. Unbelievability soon cranks up to incredulity when David finds himself on a mission with Margaret's husband Paul in Nazi-held France. Lesley-Anne Down is Margaret, Harrison Ford is David and Christopher Plummer is Paul and it's certainly not the finest hour for any of them. Alec McCowen is the secret service man who instigates the mission and with his pipe tobacco he does his dinner act from Frenzy again.
                        Peter Hyams is the writer-director and the thing flies right into Mills and Boon occupied territory full throttle. It's not helped by John Barry's light and repetitive score and the usual 70s lack to attention to historical details and inaccuracies, particularly in the hair and wardrobe departments, abound.
                        Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 30 August 2019, 08:00 PM.

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                        • Hot Air (2019)

                          The only possible reason to watch this 'comedy' is if you had a deep dislike of Steve Coogan and you wanted to convince yourself that your prejudices were justified. He stars and was producer of this dreadfully unfunny film about a confrontational and arrogant day-time radio personality who discovers he has a teenage niece he didn't know about, and, of course, she just has to come and stay with him. I expect through the course of the second hal, he learns to be a better person but I don't know for sure because I could only take Coogan's charmless mugging for about 40 minutes before I switched it off.

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                          • The Man Who Never Was (1956)

                            Shown on BBC2 this afternoon., so no ads.

                            The story of “Major Willy Martin” and the deception plan to convince the Germans that we weren’t going to attack Europe via Sicily Some very good performances, notably from Gloria Grahame as Willy’s purported fiancé.

                            Steve

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