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  • Dunkirk (2017). Christopher Nolan's roller coaster of a ride of action and emotions wastes no time in getting underway and concentrates of the plight of a few select characters on land, at sea and in the air, though their stories do eventually all interconnect and in true Nolan style, the timelines do bounce around somewhat. Although brutal and harrowing, there's little blood to be seen and apart from a very brief glimpse near the end, no Germans to be seen either as Nolan keeps the focus on the men under fire. Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard and Harry Styles are the main soldiers we follow, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney and Barry Keoghan the boatmen and Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden the fliers. Kenneth Branagh is there to stare into the distance and provide the periodical background info-dump. The pounding soundtrack rendered some of the dialogue inaudible to me and I found it difficult to distinguish the soldiers at times as they all looked similar, but it's a film worthy of repeated viewing.

    Comment


    • La Princesa de Éboli (1955)

      I watched the dubbed Spanish version of this British-Spanish production so the nuances of the Kate O’Brien novel were lost on me. Olivia de Havilland plays the eye-patch-wearing Princess who was asked by King Phillip II to involve herself in affairs of state but she foolishly involves herself in affairs of the heart.

      I could enjoy the handsome costuming and Robert Krasker’s handsome location photography but Terence Young’s uninvolving, static camerawork can’t mitigate the loquaciousness of it all. Françoise Rosay and Dennis Price have little to do, while the stick-like Gilbert Roland has much too much.

      Most unfortunate is that Paul Scofield, in his first film appearance, again has little to do with his wax-works-like portrayal of the decrepit king.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by jamal.nazreddin View Post
        La Princesa de Éboli (1955)

        I watched the dubbed Spanish version of this British-Spanish production so the nuances of the Kate O’Brien novel were lost on me. Olivia de Havilland plays the eye-patch-wearing Princess who was asked by King Phillip II to involve herself in affairs of state but she foolishly involves herself in affairs of the heart.

        I could enjoy the handsome costuming and Robert Krasker’s handsome location photography but Terence Young’s uninvolving, static camerawork can’t mitigate the loquaciousness of it all. Françoise Rosay and Dennis Price have little to do, while the stick-like Gilbert Roland has much too much.

        Most unfortunate is that Paul Scofield, in his first film appearance, again has little to do with his wax-works-like portrayal of the decrepit king.
        I once watched the English language version (That Lady) and it's still a great bore. Christopher Lee pops up in a couple of roles as I recall as I'm sure the tones of Robert Rietty can be heard as well.

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        • ^ Yes, I haven't able to see the English version of 'That Lady'.

          I recall an anecdote (which I can't verify via Google) that Olivia de Havilland got 20th Century Fox to pluck Richard Burton from the Royal Shakespeare Company for her 1952 film 'My Cousin Rachel'. She asked for Paul Scofield from the RSC for this 1955 film — but he wasn't as compliant as Burton.

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          • Old Bill & Son (1940). Robert Krasker worked on this one too (as the camera operator), but it's not quite a companion piece to Dunkirk as it's more like jolly japes joshing jerry. Morland Graham with nose appendage plays Bruce Bairnsfather's Old Bill with John Mills as his son, the elder Bill a First World War veteran determined to join his offspring in the new conflict. The adventures are expectedly comic as it's based on a cartoon, but we also get a long sequence with a slimline Renee Houston entertaining the troops and romance between Johnny and René Ray as well as Janine Darcey. There's no real war film stuff until near the conclusion of the film and there are understandably several propaganda speeches, including a "dirty swine" one right at the end. Co-written and co-directed by Ian Dalrymple.

            Comment


            • I watched The Sex Thief. Christopher Biggins was billed as being one of the stars but was only on screen for about 10 minutes I reckon.

              Comment


              • The Best House In London (1968). A ribald comedy about the establishment of a bawdy house in Victorian London written by Denis Norden and directed with some wit by Philip Saville. With some resemblances to its contemporaries The Assassination Bureau and Carry On . . . Up the Khyber, there's much play on the hypocrisy of Victorian prudishness and there's plenty of inappropriate behaviour, the intention being to show the ladies were in fact ready, willing and able to be inappropriate. There are throwaway cameos for Dickens, Tennyson, Oscar Wilde, Fortnum and Mason, Dr. Livingstone, etc., though the point is it's not Sherlock Holmes and Watson, despite what the cast lists may say. David Hemmings has a dual role of the upright Benjamin Oakes and the dastardly Walter Leybourne, with George Sanders, Warren Mitchell, John Bird, William Rushton, Bill Fraser, Wolfe Morris and Maurice Denham giving full-blooded, lip smacking support and the ladies include Joanna Pettet, Dany Robin, Carol Friday, Veronica Carlson and Margaret Nolan . . . and also Martita Hunt, Avril Angers, Jessie Robins and Tessie O'Shea. Subtle it is not, but well made, utilising the Oliver! backlot sets.
                Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 29th December 2017, 01:48 PM.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
                  Dunkirk (2017). Christopher Nolan's roller coaster of a ride of action and emotions wastes no time in getting underway and concentrates of the plight of a few select characters on land, at sea and in the air, though their stories do eventually all interconnect and in true Nolan style, the timelines do bounce around somewhat. Although brutal and harrowing, there's little blood to be seen and apart from a very brief glimpse near the end, no Germans to be seen either as Nolan keeps the focus on the men under fire. Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard and Harry Styles are the main soldiers we follow, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney and Barry Keoghan the boatmen and Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden the fliers. Kenneth Branagh is there to stare into the distance and provide the periodical background info-dump. The pounding soundtrack rendered some of the dialogue inaudible to me and I found it difficult to distinguish the soldiers at times as they all looked similar, but it's a film worthy of repeated viewing.
                  Hmmm yes we watched this film and had doubts about it from almost the first scene,almost all the soldiers seemed to be male model types LOL,Harry Styles appears right from the getgo with neatly coiffured hair and freshly clean shaven (as you would expect of a soldier who has been retreating for weeks ),then he crosses a French barricade receiving german fire - within a couple of yards of the beach (unlikely at that stage of the game).Agree about the timelines being absolutely absurd,some of the flying scenes were done quite well,although the end scene with the stopped engine was absolutely ridiculous - first shooting down a Stuka and then gliding for miles into enemy hands when he merely had to belly land near the brits (nobody in their right mind would put landing gear down to do a beach landing).None of the actors showed any character or personality and there was no feeling of involvment with the actors at all - as with many modern films - no 'atmosphere' - also with the usual movie schoolboy mistake of having most people dressed as if they have just picked up their clothing straight from the Tailor .
                  The film even seemed to end on a huge historical inaccuracy,they seemed to somehow end up in Dorset from their little boat,afaik all boats went from Dover/Ramsgate for a short crossing (39 miles - shortest of the 3 evacuation routes) - Weymouth to Dunkirk as the crow flies is 212 miles with all its attendant dangers.
                  Unlike Gerald we will never watch this film again and I am glad somebody else paid
                  Last edited by BVS; 31st December 2017, 01:58 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Thursday's Child (1943). What starts out as a satire about filmmaking in Britain develops into a melodrama caused by the strife when the younger daughter of the Wilson family "Fennis" suddenly finds herself catapulted to stardom on the big screen, much to the reluctance of her straitlaced father, to the pushy joy of her hysterical mother, to the unconcealed jealousy of her sister Phoebe and to the relative indifference of her brother Jim. Writer Rodney Ackland is on the megaphone here and he takes some really odd directorial choices, but Sally Ann Howes acquits herself very well as Fennis, with a comparatively sober Wilfrid Lawson as her father, Kathleen O'Regan as the mother, Eileen Bennett as the sister and Michael Allen as the brother. Stewart Granger gets fifth billing as a helpful screenwriter and a gentle Felix Aylmer appears briefly as the studio head, not exactly an Alexander Korda figure, although there's stock footage of the exterior of Denham Studios even though the film was made at Welwyn Studios.

                    Comment


                    • Shout at the Devil (1976)
                      Roger Moore and Lee Marvin.From the Wilbur Smith book of the same name and (very loosely) based on a true story from WW1.
                      A very enjoyable film which the 2 main actors obviously enjoyed making,definitely one of Marvins better roles,the film has moments of humour and tragedy but we really enjoyed it

                      Comment


                      • Almost forgot - we also watched Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965)
                        It was on i player over xmas and was better quality than our very old dvd - lovely to see the 8 or 9 specially built replicas flown during the filming and a (mostly) great cast - great fun to watch again !

                        Comment


                        • The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015). Apart from the names Solo, Kuryakin and Waverly and the titles typeface, there's nothing that has any resemblance to the popular 60s series, nor is there much of the charisma or rapport between the leads Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer that Robert Vaughn and David McCallum had. Taken on its own merits, the film's not unenjoyable: a typical Guy Ritchie action fest with well-staged set pieces interrupted by a standard nuclear bomb for the Nazis plot so beloved of ITC series like THE CHAMPIONS. Nice Italian scenery and a sparkling villainess from Elizabeth Debicki are bonuses, but Alicia Vikander as the main female lead is also in the lack of charisma stakes. Oh, and Hugh Grant pops up now and then as a smug version of Alexander Waverly and pronounces Kuryakin differently depending which scene he's in.

                          Comment


                          • Once in a New Moon (1934). An odd little science fantasy fable from Anthony Kimmins, not unlike an Ealing-type tale of later years. A "dead star" causes the coastal village of Shrimpton to be shot out of the globe and inhabit a perfectly-formed and community-spirited world of its own. Well, not that perfectly-formed, as soon the community spirits fall apart as the different classes and political outlooks clash. It's down to postmaster Harold Drake to try and work things out. But will Shrimpton ever be returned to the "real" world?
                            It's quite an odd comedy with a gentle performance by Eliot Makeham as Drake with René Ray as his daughter, a blustering one from Morton Selten as the local squire with Mary Hinton as his selfish and arrogant wife and Derrick De Marney as his reasonable son, and fiery one from communistic John Clements, who vies with Derrick for the hand of Miss Ray. Wally Patch, Richard Goolden, John Turnbull and a very young Thorley Walters also feature.

                            Comment


                            • A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984). Primarily made for American television, but shown theatrically here, this adaptation by Roger O. Hirson follows the story pretty faithfully, but it's routinely directed by Clive Donner and ultimately comes over as a "Scrooge-by-numbers". A bulky George C. Scott plays the man and while too cheerful when he's supposed to be at his most miserable, he seems detached even bored with the thing and only picks up his performance in the latter part of the film. David Warner is also appears to be too forceful in his early scenes as Bob Cratchit. The storyline unfolds predictably with the sundry ghosts represented by Frank Finlay, Angela Pleasence, Edward Woodward and Michael Carter, while Susannah York plays a rather too scrubbed-up Mrs. Cratchit. A definite plus, however, is the splendid production design by Roger Murray-Leach and his artful creation of a never-never Victorian London in Shrewsbury. For me, however, Alastair Sim can rest easy as still the definitive Mr. Bah, Humbug.
                              I see that Roger Simons as assistant director returned to this subject having been 2nd AD on the Albert Finney musical Scrooge 14 years earlier and it would be interesting to know how he felt the two productions compare.

                              Comment


                              • Ebenezer Scrooge's gravestone, as created in the film, is still to be found in St Chad's churchyard.

                                https://www.visitshrewsbury.co.uk/fa...hrewsbury.html

                                Nick

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                                • Mancunian Films
                                  Mancunian Films commented
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                                  Very interesting that Nick
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