Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to the www.Britmovie.co.uk forum

If this is your first time on the new forum since March 7th, 2017, please re-register with us once more.
Paypal contributions for the care and feeding of the forum may be made here:
PayPal Donations

The old bulletin board archive can be found here:
http://filmdope.com/forums/
See more
See less

Watched Last Night

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Innocents (1961). Feeling the need to exorcise the memory of recently watching The Nightcomers, another viewing of Jack Clayton's masterwork, just about on the 56th anniversary of its UK release. There are so many layers to this film which combine to weave an almost magical but very grim fairy tale set in a seemingly wonderful castle but with dark corridors and corners and even darker secrets inside. Deborah Kerr is at her best as the governess who may only imagine the spectres of the corrupting Peter Quint and Miss Jessel, the handyman and previous governess who died the year before, while Martin Stephens is excellent as the extremely mature Miles, with Pamela Franklin as the enigmatic Flora (who does smile when she "sees" the ghostly Miss J - or does she?) and Megs Jenkins as the comforting housekeeper Mrs. Grose both putting in marvellous performances. The deep focus black and white photography of Freddie Francis and the detailed art direction of Wilfred Shingleton are quite sublime and the fleeting appearances of the sobbing Clytie Jessop and the malevolent Peter Wyngarde as the apparent ghosts are still quite startling. An intense treat to watch and probably one of the best "ghost" stories ever made.

    Comment


    • Music Hall (1934). A flimsy bit of stuff from Real Art Productions about a music hall about to close and how it is saved by putting on fresh acts, which look pretty crummy and third rate variety pieces to me. The excuses on show to fill out the running time include Chester's Dogs, Master Jimmy Bryant, Gershom Parkington Quintette, Macari's Dutch Serenaders and the inevitable Sherman Fisher Girls. The backstage scenes with embarrassingly-bad asides come from those who should have known better, including George Carney, Olive Sloane, Wally Patch, John Turnbull, Roddy Hughes and Derrick De Marney.

      Comment


      • An Alligator Named Daisy (1955). Bright, breezy and very silly comedy musical in VistaVision and Technicolor starring the title reptile with an occasional static stand-in from special effects wizard Bill Warrington. Not static is Jean(nie) Carson as the Irish zoo attendant as she suddenly energetically dances and sings when you least expect it. The film would actually do better without the shoe-horned in music and dance numbers, but as it is, it's a fairly typical mid-50s Rank Organisation contract players production and luckily the players include the very capable Donald Sinden, Diana Dors, James Robertson Justice, Stanley Holloway, Richard Wattis, Ernest Thesiger adventuring away from his embroidery and for one typically eccentric scene, Margaret Rutherford. It's all fluffy stuff, but relatively good daft and undemanding fun. Jean Carson's dresses get a screen credit of their own, but La Dors' wardrobe is far more impressive. Another one from J. Lee-Thompson.

        Comment


        • Climbing High (1938). This film climbs high in the enjoyment stakes too as it's a genuinely funny screwball comedy, a Jessie Matthews vehicle without irrelevant songs or even her big dancing kicks. She's a model with a jealous brother (Torin Thatcher), a lover who she thinks is someone else (Michael Redgrave) and a Bolshevik lodger (Alastair Sim). Michael's also got a blabbermouth friend to cope with (Basil Radford) as well as having a money-grabbing impoverished aristo after him (Margaret Vyner) and her bitch of a scheming mother (Mary Clare). It's brilliantly directed by Carol Reed and there's lots of off-the-wall comedy, particularly the countryside and mountainside encounters with a madman (Francis L. Sullivan) and a truly hilarious sequence involving a wind machine accidently switched on at hurricane level. Great fun.

          Comment


          • And a very brief early appearance by Kathleen Byron.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Nick Dando View Post
              And a very brief early appearance by Kathleen Byron.
              And here she is, Nick, at the end of the hectic hurricane sequence, already with that look:

              Click image for larger version

Name:	vlcsnap-2017-11-27-20h13m17s112.png
Views:	1
Size:	298.3 KB
ID:	48233

              "Had any trouble?" asks a confused Alastair Sim.

              Comment


              • Master Spy (1963)

                We laugh at Master Spy here, they said in Eric & Ernie's Intelligence Men from (1965).
                No laughs to be had in this Montgomery Tully story and precious little excitement or entertainment either.
                Stephen Murray is the double agent infiltrating a top secret base in the UK to find a traitor.
                Amongst those under suspicion, John Carson, June Thorburn and Peter Gilmore.
                Dull and plodding stuff.

                Comment


                • The Third Visitor (1950). A pretty routine Merton Park thriller with a couple of twists to the plot, as well as amusing Thin Man-like banter between husband and wife Sonia Dresdel and Colin Gordon. It's Guy Middleton's turn to be the man from Scotland Yard investigating the murder of shady businessman Karel Stepanek, helped by Cyril Smith not doing a comedy turn for once. Hubert Gregg, Eleanor Summerfield and Michael Martin Harvey get caught up in it all, along with Sonia and Colin, and money being tight, the producers couldn't even afford an imported washed-up American star, so John Slater of dodgy accent plays the hoodlum from the States who has an unlikely familiarity with Dante's "Inferno". Another one on the lengthy C.V. of Maurice Elvey.

                  Comment


                  • The Gang's All Here (1939). The sequel to Smash and Grab (1937), though with only Jack Buchanan repeating his quippy role as The Amazing Mr. Forrest, insurance detective extraordinaire, David Burns and Edward Lexy who were in that film here playing different roles. Apart from a few screwball moments, this one is not quite as frantic or amusing, but there's a good cast, including Googie Withers as Mrs. Forrest, plus Sid Walker, Walter Rilla, Ronald Shiner and from over the pond, Edward Everett Horton, Otto Kruger and Jack La Rue. Supposedly heading for novel-writing retirement, John Forrest is hauled back into service to investigate the theft of some foreign jewels which leads to murder, disguises and a despairing wife. Slow to start, the film picks up in the second half and crikey, Jack Buchanan never looked or sounded more like Roland and Jon Pertwee as here.

                    Comment


                    • My evening's entertainment began with:-
                      The Traitor (1957) Incredibly boring talkfest from the unpromising combo of producer E.J.Fancey and director Michael McCarthy, who also wrote it and was presumably paid by the word. Donald Wolfit invites some former wartime resistance people to his country pile to find out who betrayed one of their number to the Nazis. Unfortunately the guy who has the name of the culprit staggers through the front door with a knife in his back. After much boring waffle (every bit of it accompanied by the over insistent score which drives you round the bend) American Major Robert Bray turns up to act as Poirot. This takes place in Ye Olde Darke House and one yearns for Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard to pop out of a doorway, but no such luck. Assorted continentals adorn the cast along with Christopher Lee, whose German accent is more convincing than the real Germans. B-movie queen Jane Griffiths has an entirely inconsequential role as the token woman and Wolfit never lets you forget for one moment that he is an AcTOR and just to prove that he could play this kind of stuff with one arm tied behind his back, he does (his character has lost an arm).After the baddie has bumped off one of the group, Major Poirot tricks him into confessing by propping the corpse up in an armchair with a lighted cigarette in its mouth. The audience would have been way ahead of him because, well, why else would Anton Diffring have been in it?

                      After this some light relief was required so it was on to:-
                      Please Turn Over (1960) One of many non Carry Ons from Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas with a script by Norman Hudis and a cast featuring several who played in Carry Ons to a greater or lesser extent. Julia Lockwood, feeling overlooked by Dad Ted Ray and Mum Jean Kent whiles away the evenings writing a racy tale of suburban life which features characters not to far removed from her family and local worthies Lionel Jeffries and Dr. Leslie Phillips. This becomes an overnight best seller and everyone naturally thinks it is based on the real people. The best part of the film is the section where Lockwood imagines the real characters adopting their fictional persona and here the ladies comfortably outshine the men with wonderful Dilys Laye relishing the change from Ray's prim and efficient secretary to gold digging vamp. Joan Sims' transformation from fag dangling char to saucy French maid is a hoot ("not on votre Nellie"!) and who thought that stuffy old Jean Kent would be such a dab hand at farce in her doomed tryst with Jeffries. Not exactly a classic but a mighty relief after Wolfit and Company!

                      Comment


                      • The Ghoul (1933). Slightly late to celebrate Boris Karloff's 130th birthday last week, and he certainly looks all of them in what was long thought to be a lost gem, but magically found and beautifully restored, the only lost gem is the plot's MacGuffin as this a bit of drag from the scripting point of view with far too much wandering around and quizzical looks from most of the cast. They were probably wondering what the hell was going on. The whole point of Boris's participation in the mystic arts turns out to be, well, pointless, but at least we get to see clearly the beautiful lighting of Gunther Krampf, the wonderful sets of Alfred Junge and the eerie make-up of Heinrich Heitfield, and yes, it is a Gaumont-British Production shot at Shepherd's Bush. There's some nice character work from Cedric Hardwicke, Ralph Richardson and Ernest Thesiger, toffee nonsense from romantic leads Anthony Bushell and Dorothy Hyson and desperately painful comedy relief from Kathleen Harrison, but as the main problem's the storyline, it's best just to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy it for that.

                        Comment


                        • White Corridors (1951). Medical melodrama set in an older urban hospital, a kind of forerunner of EMERGENCY WARD 10 with intertwined lives and loves of the staff and patients. Googie Withers is the dedicated doctor with ambitions but also amorous feelings towards researcher James Donald, a actor prone to be offhand and stiff in his performances which he is here, as well as being prone and almost a stiff too. Senior doctors are Godfrey Tearle and Barry Jones, and a reckless one is Jack Watling, with Moira Lister and a whispering Petula Clark among the nurses and Bernard Lee under bandages as one of the patients. Co-written and directed by Pat Jackson, the film tends towards being worthy and the lofty platitudes about the duties and dignities of doctors unfortunately gives it all a bit of air of unintended dull pomposity, enlivened only by light comedy supplied by Basil Radford sadly in his last film.
                          Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 1st December 2017, 10:04 PM.

                          Comment


                          • There Goes the Bride (1932). Jessie Matthews again (and Basil Radford once more too) in another farce in France, accompanied by a couple of songs. Jessie jilts Basil at the altar, heads for Paris and on the way there, falls in with Owen Nares and the expected confusion and general nonsense follow. Jessie's character is extremely self-centred and spoilt, but her charm and vitality still shine out, while Owen is a stuffy wimp: Jessie would've been better off with Basil. Jerry Verno and Roland Culver also pop up as a shifty chauffeur and a blootered pal of Owen's respectively.

                            Comment


                            • I watched 'Mr. Peek-a-Boo' (1951) about Léon (who has some supernatural power but chooses not to use it) and a governess named Susan. She seeks adventure by being a cat-burglar but tells Léon it's inappropriate for him to do so because of his appearance (he has one of those Stephen Fry noses). A small, mildly-amusing film with the exceedingly pretty and petite Joan Greenwood wearing Pierre Balmain and a very fetching Feuillade cat-burglar outfit.

                              Comment


                              • Sweeney Todd
                                Sweeney Todd commented
                                Editing a comment
                                It was produced in two simultaneous "language" versions, Bourvil and Joan Greenwood being in both (as well as some other members of the cast. The French-language one has Raymond Souplex and Gérard Oury among the players and its title is "Le passe-muraille". Jean Boyer directed both versions.

                            • The Pride of the Force (1933). Not Alec Guinness or Mark Hamill, but Leslie Fuller x 2. He plays identical brothers Bill and Bob, one of whom is a policeman and the other dopier one who wants to be. The constable gets posted to London, and the brothers swap identities for reasons daft and silly and of course the expected situations arise (falling foul of the sergeant/falling for the inspector's daughter/falling into the clutches of a gang of ruffians, etc.), but director Norman Lee keeps things moving and there's quite a lot packed into 74 minutes. The pride could also refer to the numerous lions in whose cage our idiot hero finds himself for reasons even dafter and sillier. Hal Gordon with his goofy laugh is Leslie's pal, Alf Goddard the violent sergeant and Ben Welden the oh-so Italiano owner of the circ. A typical lowbrow knockabout comedy which does have its amusing moments.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X