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Watched Last Night

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  • A Bridge Too Far (1977). Richard Attenborough's star-studded epic account of the optimistic yet flawed Allied Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem; optimistic because it was thought the Second World War was almost over, whereas it had a year still to go, and flawed as the plans had been worked out too quickly and intelligence reports were disregarded. There's a huge scope to the film as well as a very large cast, an enormous body count and a long running time, but William Goldman's screenplay manages to cover the main issues as well as focus on the different factions and some personal, perhaps soap opera-ish stories. With a film like this, acting performances are often overshadowed, but there is good work from Sean Connery, Dirk Bogarde and Frank Grimes in particular, whereas Elliott Gould seem to have come in from a different universe. And the fable that Attenborough plays the bearded and bespectacled madman in the wood is just that.
    Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 12th January 2018, 10:01 PM.

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    • Tigon Man
      Tigon Man commented
      Editing a comment
      I think Victor Harrington is one of Masters in Unman, Wittering and Zigo, although I couldn't find him on my copy.

  • The Green Man (1956)

    We had not seen this film for years,very enjoyable to watch - Alastair Sim was the master at doing the dodgy/creepy main character and the film also had an excellent supporting cast - 10/10

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    • Channel Crossing (1933). A kind of Rome Express by sea with Matheson Lang in full grand actor-manager laddie form as a beloved industrialist whose business methods may not be so highly esteemed. He's got to get to Paris by ferry as quickly as possible to broker a deal, or he will be broke. Constance Cummings is his loyal secretary and Anthony Bushell her devoted but jealous boyfriend, while sundry others taking the foggy trip with their own little stories include Nigel Bruce, Edmund Gwenn and Max Miller, whose unfunny quips fit in not. Melodrama on la Manche.

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      • Folly to be wise (1953)

        A British Lion film directed by Launder - a gentle british comedy with Alastair Sim as an Army Padre put in charge of camp entertainment,quite funny in places but a little patchy.

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        • The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones (1976). The title tells it all, a rumbustious version of the story, more like Carry On Tom or Confessions of a Country Lad than the earlier film, set in a Restoration land where everyone is "at it", written by Jeremy Lloyd and directed by Cliff Owen. Although this was inspired by a musical, there a only a few occasional songs, all but one (sung by Georgia Brown) spoken a la Rex Harrison. What just about pulls it through are the ripe and energetic performances from the cast, led by Nicky Henson as Tom, with Joan Collins as a highwaywoman (!), Arthur Lowe and Terry-Thomas as bewigged schoolmasters, Madeline Smith as Tom's beloved and William Mervyn and Trevor Howard respectively as befuddled and priapic squires. Inappropriate behaviour abounds.

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          • Laughter in Paradise (1951)
            Continuing our Alastair Sim week with this really nice and really funny film,about a family practical joker who makes his beneficiaries complete bizarre tasks before they get hold of his will money

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            • DANCE BAND 1935 A 27 year old Richard Hearne pops up in this.
              CAPTAIN HORATIO HORNBLOWER 1951 Richard pops up again as Polwheal. Beautiful colour in this and nice to see Richard in it.

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              • Originally posted by Mancunian Films View Post
                DANCE BAND 1935 A 27 year old Richard Hearne pops up in this.
                CAPTAIN HORATIO HORNBLOWER 1951 Richard pops up again as Polwheal. Beautiful colour in this and nice to see Richard in it.
                Tons of Trouble was on Talking Pictures yesterday. It was better than I remembered, but hardly a masterpiece, and I'm a big fan of Hearne. I love the slapstick and I love the more serious stuff, such as Something In the City, but trying to mix the two doesn't really work for me. The interesting thing about Tons was seeing Hearne and William Hartnell working together.
                As most will know, Hearne refused the inaugural role of Doctor Who and it went to Hartnell. It's good to see some kind of resurgence of Hearne and his work. Should be on a much higher pedestal, if only for being the first individual with his own BBC TV series (for children) as Mr. Pastry. An original and creative pioneer of entertainment.

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                • Originally posted by Judge Foozle View Post

                  Tons of Trouble was on Talking Pictures yesterday. It was better than I remembered, but hardly a masterpiece, and I'm a big fan of Hearne. I love the slapstick and I love the more serious stuff, such as Something In the City, but trying to mix the two doesn't really work for me. The interesting thing about Tons was seeing Hearne and William Hartnell working together.
                  As most will know, Hearne refused the inaugural role of Doctor Who and it went to Hartnell. It's good to see some kind of resurgence of Hearne and his work. Should be on a much higher pedestal, if only for being the first individual with his own BBC TV series (for children) as Mr. Pastry. An original and creative pioneer of entertainment.
                  As I understand it, Richard Hearne was considered for the role of Doctor Who as a replacement for Jon Pertwee in 1974, not for the lead at the outset of the series in 1963. According to producer Barry Letts who had discussions with him, Hearne seemed to think they were asking Mr. Pastry to become Doctor Who. As we know, it was Tom Baker who eventually became the fourth Doctor.

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                  • Action for Slander (1937). An old-fashioned but still enjoyable drama, with stiff-backed Clive Brook wrongly accused of cheating at cards which eventually leads to unlikely court proceedings. It's difficult to feel sympathy for Brook as he's an arrogant cad, and he's dumped lovely Ann Todd for a quick fling with Margaretta Scott, but there's fun to be had once we finally get to court where counsel are the booming Francis L. Sullivan and the waspish Felix Aylmer and the judge the blustering Morton Selten. Arthur Margetson and Anthony Holles are the accusers and Clive's pals are Ronald Squire, Athole Stewart and Percy Marmont, and a more toffee-nosed trio to have as friends would be difficult to find. Made by London Films by Tim Whelan with music lifted from the previous year's The Man Who Could Work Miracles.

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                    • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post

                      As I understand it, Richard Hearne was considered for the role of Doctor Who as a replacement for Jon Pertwee in 1974, not for the lead at the outset of the series in 1963. According to producer Barry Letts who had discussions with him, Hearne seemed to think they were asking Mr. Pastry to become Doctor Who. As we know, it was Tom Baker who eventually became the fourth Doctor.
                      Happy to stand corrected, having checked. Yes, he insisted that if he played Dr. Who it would have to be as Mr. Pastry, and it wasn't suitable. So the Hartnell juxtaposition doesn't hold, but it's good to see them working together. Thanks Gerald, and sorry to all concerned.

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                      • Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)

                        To make a change from Alastair Sim films we watched the Light Brigade today,I had not seen it since we were taken to watch it as part of our History lessons at school - this would have been fairly soon after release.Other than the lurve interest - the film seemed to stick fairly closely to the real events and was very watchable.

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                        • Thanks Judge and Gerald. Having collected a significant archive over the decades I can confirm that by the 70's he was not in good health sadly. Just a short time before his passing he appeared on the Good Old days and looking amazingly energetic for a not so well gentleman but the show made fascinating viewing having received another screening some months ago for sure. Its pretty mind blowing when I think that some of us waited 40 years to see these precious recordings once again thankfully not wiped and in a way strange as it may seem made my Mr Pastry journey complete.
                          If any of you live near St Marys Platt in the south its worth visiting the church yard up the top left and pop on a few flowers, his house where the family did a great deal of summer fund raising for charity Platt Farm can also be found on the main lane. Its a good few hundred miles from here but we try to get down each year and chat to the older locals who still remember Richard and Yvonne in the village regaling stories.


                          Last night we watched HOLIDAYS WITH PAY 1948. Bit of a shame they shortened the original film back then removing the Tessie O'Shea songs but we do at least get to see her holding her Uke at least. Frank Randle is in hilarious form as usual as was Dan Young. Sally Barnes looks sweet in this slice of Mancunian Films northern comedy which fractures me every time.

                          Photo: Frank in-between filming at Blackpool

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                          • The Limehouse Golem (2016). RIPPER STREET territory (with Clive Russell in this too) with a dose of PHANTOM RASPBERRY BLOWER as well in this adaptation of Peter Ackroyd's novel, which I found to be a bit of a narrative mess with its shifting timelines. It's Inspector Bill Nighy and his usual flat and dry delivery who's after a serial killer in the 1880s assisted by insolent Constable Daniel Mays. Director Juan Carlos Medina conjures up a rather different take on 19th century London and much of the story centres around the Palace Music Hall and the performances of female impersonator Dan Leno played by Douglas Booth and male impersonator Lizzie Cree played by Olivia Cooke. There are numerous suspects as well as victims, though it has to be said the actual culprit is fairly obvious from early on. Quite familiar Jack the Ripper stuff with little sense of urgency near the end. Eddie Marsan is quite amusing, then unpleasant, as an Alf Garnett lookalike.

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                            • Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971). A disturbing thriller set in a boys' private school where new master John Ebony is quickly drawn into a web of terror when his class casually informs him they murdered his predecessor. Getting no help from the headmaster, John finds he has to toe the line with the boys, but will they cross that line and go after him and his wife?
                              A fairly ridiculous premise with unexplained motivation is played out rather well, even if the boys (aptly referred to as "men" within the storyline) are mostly played by over-aged actors like Michael Kitchen, Tom Owen and Michael Cashman. David Hemmings is the initially eager teacher sucked into it all with Carolyn Seymour as his wife and Tony Haygarth the only staff member who is friendly. Douglas Wilmer is the lofty and arrogant headmaster and Hamilton Dyce particularly unpleasant, but reminiscent of some of my old masters, as the head of classics.
                              With a screenplay by Simon Raven from Giles Cooper's radio, television and stage play, there are a few surreal sequences and a lot of hand-held camera shots which add to the general uneasy atmosphere ably set up by director John Mackenzie.
                              Oh, and Zigo is absent.

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