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Watched Last Night

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  • An Ideal Husband (1947)*. With all of Oscar Wilde's work, I find I have to be in the right mood to put up with the constant stream of smug witticisms he has all the characters utter, but this is certainly an elegantly-mounted Technicolor production from Alexander Korda (the last film he directed) with fussy design by brother Vincent, including deliberately artificial backdrops, and stunning costume design by Cecil Beaton. Paulette Goddard with her strident drawl is certainly a strange choice to play the devious Mrs. Cheveley who's out to blackmail politician Sir Robert Chiltern, but the rest of the cast seem well versed and relaxed in the ballrooms, wing collars and bustles of the Wilde universe: dashing Michael Wilding, grand Diana Wynyard, blustering Sir C. Aubrey Smith, whimpering Glynis Johns and Hugh Williams as the crisis-stricken Sir Robert. Reasonable entertainment if you're in the correct frame of mind to watch it.

    *The (20th Century-Fox American) print shows a 1948 copyright date, but certainly in Britain, the film was shown in 1947.

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    • The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)
      Takes a playful approach to the genre, adorning a macabre plot with the gimmick of assorted guest stars making cameo appearances in bizarre disguises and the added attraction of the lush countryside of Ireland (standing in for England). Based on Philip MacDonald's best-selling novel, the complicated narrative is often reminiscent of Agatha Christie's puzzle-like mysteries: Anthony Gethryn (George C. Scott), a retired British colonel, is given a list of names to investigate by his friend, Adrian Messenger (John Merivale). Before Gethryn can learn why the list is so important to Messenger, the latter is killed in a mysterious airplane crash. It soon emerges that everyone on the list is dead, having died from "accidental" deaths over a course of five years.

      Director John Huston was in the middle of trying to finance three different film productions - The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne with Katharine Hepburn, The Man Who Would Be King and Montezuma - when he agreed to take on The List of Adrian Messenger as a lark and because it allowed him to base the production in Ireland where he was currently living. The film also enabled him to appear in a minor role and include several fox-hunting sequences for which he held a great passion. Huston even got to cast his son Walter Anthony Huston in the role of Derek, the murderer's next intended victim. The boy was allowed to do his own horse riding scenes in the film and Huston later commented (in the Lawrence Grobel biography, The Hustons): "There was one thing I was quite proud of. He was to jump a horse over a gate. There was a stuntman who fell twice with his horse. Tony wasn't at all spooked by that. I knew his pony was good and that Tony was good, or I wouldn't have let him to do it. And he did it beautifully, without turning a hair."
      Quite an enjoyable film - the above review/synopsis is from the TCM website,we had guessed it was filmed in Ireland due to the ZN number plate on the Land Rover (County Meath),anybody who is anti fox hunting should definitely not watch this film as it features heavily in the last section of the film.I can understand why the film got mixed reviews on release,quite a few big names in the film - I am not much of a fan of George C Scott but thought he did well in this film.There are quite a few famous actors doing cameo roles.
      We did not manage to ID the exact filming locations for the hunting scenes (a little googling gives the approx locations),but some of it was next to an old Railway line and indeed it did appear that the camera was tracking along an old embankment during one scene where the camera is looking down on the Hunt as they gallop along.

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      • Oklahoma Crude (1973)
        A delightful dark comedy 'western'by Stanely Kramer . Faye Dunaway, seen here in the least glamorous role of her career, plays Lena, a man-hating independent woman who is determined to make a success of her wildcat oil drilling Rig on the plains of Oklahoma during the early 1900s. She has to contend with the threat of major oil companies determined to seize her land by any means available. When she turns down the offer of a buyout from their cut throat thug (Jack Palance), the oil company moves a virtual army on to Lena's land with the intention of taking her rig by force. Although a crack shot, Lena concedes she can use help and reluctantly hires 'Mase' Mason (George C. Scott) to help her keep her the assailants at bay. The two have an abrasive relationship, with Lena never smiling or showing an interest in anything other than striking oil . Lena's father Cleon Doyle (John Mills) also appears on the scene - he is trying to win Lena's love and respect after having deserted her many years ago. Lena can barely stand the sight of him, but faced with the thugs are her doorstep, she has to accept his help.The story mostly takes place on the hillside where Lena's cabin is situated.Well you do not see that many 'western' films set in the early 1900's and even less about early oil drilling - Dunaway,Scott and Mills all play their parts extremely well and we really enjoyed it

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        • A Welcome to Britain (1943). A Ministry of Information introduction to Britain for U.S. G.I.s presented by Burgess Meredith which can't help being patronising as well as offensive from today's point of view when dealing with racial equality. Considering this was designed for your average American soldier posted to Britain, the four stilted speeches by generals, for heaven's sake, shows just how much the mark was missed. Bob Hope appears, quite amusingly, for a few minutes and when Burgess lights up a cigarette in a long holder and speaks out the corner of his mouth, you can't avoid thinking he's going to squawk as the Penguin at any moment. Even though there's a geography lesson about the nations within the U.K. from a doddery old Mr. Chips schoolmaster played by doddery old Felix Aylmer, the film repeatedly refers to Britain as England, the nationalists' favourite bĂȘte noir.

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          • Noose (1948)

            Two newspaper reporters launch a campaign to bring down a Soho Racketeer.
            Fast moving crime drama, let down by two over the top performances from Joseph Calleia as the crime boss, of no fixed accent and from Nigel Patrick as his spivvy number 2, who who could give Arthur English a lesson or two in fast talking.
            The plot gives up the strain in the last quarter, as it drifts into a massive comic punch up between the Racketeers and the good guys from the local boxing club, all dressed in Chelsea Shirts!
            With Carole Landis, Derek Farr and Stanley Holloway.

            Comment


            • Gold (1974). Roger Moore is in tough guy mode - he swears a lot and smokes cigarettes - as South African gold mine manager Rod Slater. He promptly falls for his boss's wife, a girly performance from Susannah York, while the fusspot and devious boss, the recently-departed Bradford Dillman, is involved in a big swindle, aided by Tony Beckley and syndicate head John Gielgud. The mining company chief is Ray Milland in one of his barking roles. From a Wilbur Smith novel, this is a fairly predictable adventure, the sort of thing John Wayne was doing in the 40s, but it's energetically directed and imaginatively visualised by Peter Hunt, as you would expect. The soppy songs are a big mistake however.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
                Gold (1974). Roger Moore is in tough guy mode - he swears a lot and smokes cigarettes - as South African gold mine manager Rod Slater. He promptly falls for his boss's wife, a girly performance from Susannah York, while the fusspot and devious boss, the recently-departed Bradford Dillman, is involved in a big swindle, aided by Tony Beckley and syndicate head John Gielgud. The mining company chief is Ray Milland in one of his barking roles. From a Wilbur Smith novel, this is a fairly predictable adventure, the sort of thing John Wayne was doing in the 40s, but it's energetically directed and imaginatively visualised by Peter Hunt, as you would expect. The soppy songs are a big mistake however.
                I saw this in the cinema when it came out - OK but his then-current Bond was more exciting!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by BVS View Post
                  Only Fools and Horses
                  We have been gradually watching the complete box set over the last few months
                  Just a few of the Specials to watch now,I had only seen about a third of the normal shows before so very nice to actually see them all
                  I am not sure if you are aware that 24 out of the 64 episodes are edited badly taking out a lot of scenes and the music within the episodes.



                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...video_releases

                  http://www.ofah.net/blog/only-fools-...s-cuts-part-1/

                  Thankfully I managed to keep hold of a lot of the unedited from the Original broadcasts


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                  • The Captain's Paradise (1953). They say a sailor has a girl in every port and here at least Captain Alec Guinness has a wife in his two ports of call, Gibraltar and the island of Kalika, although the script is a bit vague later on about whether these are lawfully-married wives. Anyway, he's a control freak who wants the placid rissoles and slippers existence in Gib with Cecila Johnson and the hectic champagne and parties existence in Kalika with Yvonne De Carlo and never the twain shall meet . . . until maybe they do. The manoeuvring required to keep this paradise lifestyle intact for the captain is well developed in the clever screenplay by Alec Coppel and Nicholas Phipps as the ladies rebel against their respective lifestyles. As well as polished performances from the leads, there's good work from Charles Goldner as the captain's loyal no. 1 plus Nicholas Phipps himself, Bill Fraser and Miles Malleson. The story is mainly shown in flashback and the ending is unconventional, just like the rest of the captain's paradise.

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                    • The Night Visitor (1970)

                      A Swedish/US co production, with a fair smattering of Brit's amongst the small cast, including Trevor Howard, Andrew Keir, Rupert Davies, Gretchen Franklin and Arthur Hewlett.
                      Max Von Sydow is the lunatic in the asylum, bumping off the family members who had him incarcerated for a murder he didn't commit. But how does he leave the locked and bolted asylum every night? Inspector Howard ponders the problem, as the body count rises.
                      Initially intriguing, but ultimately rather far fetched thriller.
                      Henry Mancini provides a jarring score, that sounds at times like his Pink Panther theme, played off key by Les Dawson!

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                      • The Raging Moon (1970). Bryan Forbes' bittersweet drama about two disabled people in a convalescent home who fall in love is not one to cheer you up if you feel a bit low, but it does feature a sensitive performance from Nanette Newman and a belligerent one from Malcolm McDowell as the couple who do their best to cope with their handicap and look forward to a life ahead together. But fate continues to have knocks ahead for them.
                        Usual Forbes cast favourites like Gerald Sim, Norman Bird and George Hilsdon are joined by Georgia Brown and Barry Jackson as a sympathetic couple, plus there's Bernard Lee as a merry drunken uncle, Margery Mason as the stiff matron, Geoffrey Whitehead as Malcolm's awkward brother and Geoffrey Bayldon as a pompous trustee of the home, as well as a dignified role for Michael Flanders.

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                        • I saw Orient Express last night.After that i watched Alternate Carbon

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                          • Walter Wants Work (1922). Having enjoyed many of the film he directed, I was intrigued to see Walter Forde, an idol of the BFI in the 70s, in action as a performer in one of his silent comedies. Unfortunately, the film is of slight curiosity value only as it's 24 minutes of aimless runarounds at a narrative and technical level the likes of Chaplin had reached almost 10 years earlier. The modern-looking housing development in the background is the most interesting aspect of the production.

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