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Watched Last Night

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  • Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960). Ground breaking social realism drama by Alan Sillitoe set in Nottingham, bleakly depicted by director Karel Reisz and cinematographer Freddie Francis. Albert Finney as Arthur Seaton is certainly a angry young man and a stupid one too as he's his own worst enemy. While having an affair with the wife of a work colleague, and getting her pregnant while he's at it, he carries on with nubile Doreen, with whom he may or may not have a future. The relaxed sexual behaviour and the doses of casual swearing would have shaken the audience at the time, even though there are a few laughs with Arthur's vendetta with the mouthy Mrs. Bull. Rachel Roberts plays the pregnant Brenda with Shirley Anne Field as Doreen and there are nicely-judged performances from Norman Rossington and Bryan Pringle. Hylda Baker turns up as Arthur's Aunt Ada, though she doesn't know, y'know, too much about abortion.

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    • Hungry Hill (1947). A Daphne Du Maurier period Irish potboiler directed by Brian Desmond Hurst. The moneyed Brodricks and usurped Donovans feud 'n' fuss over a copper mine for several generations giving ample opportunity for a florid cast to strut their histrionics, led by Margaret Lockwood sporting the somewhat unfortunate name of Fanny Rosa, with Dennis Price, Cecil Parker, Michael Denison, Dermot Walsh, Jean Simmons and Michael Golden all taking turns to chew the scenery. It's episodic ripe melodramatic fun competently produced and with nice art direction by Vetchinsky. The fiddler who entertains the Brodricks' party is Dock Mathieson, brother of Muir Mathieson who conducted the score for this film; Dock was a conductor too, who took over as Ealing's musical director following the death of Ernest Irving.

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      • The Weaker Sex (1948). Supposedly the female angle on events from D-Day and four years thereafter, but it's really just a rather snooty soap opera with a wartime background which quickly runs out of whatever steam it has once the war is over. Ursula Jeans is the widowed matriarch around whom events occur with Cecil Parker as her lodger, Thora Hird as the cleaning lady and Derek Bond, Lana Morris, Digby Wolfe and most awfully, awfully frightening, Joan Hopkins as her offspring. If the film is trying to give a sense of direction or perspective to immediate postwar audiences, it's too muddled and upper middle class to succeed. Routinely directed by Roy (Ward) Baker.

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        • 30 is a Dangerous Age Cynthia (1967)

          Dinky Dudley Moore is a composer//Jazz pianist, with an ambition to write a hit musical and get married before he reaches his 30th birthday, but he only has six weeks to achieve this.
          A rather inept and embarrassing star vehicle for Dud, basically just a series of unfunny sketches with our hero sporting various disguises.
          Cynthia seems to be a vanity project for Mr and Mrs Moore, Dud and Suzy Kendall and despite the talents of Joe McGrath and John Wells, it's woeful.
          Dud does get to tickle the ivories though and the music is beautiful, especially Waltz for Suzy.
          With Eddie Foy Jnr, John Bird, Patricia Routledge and Harry Towb.

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          • The Ghoul (1933). I found this creepy little gem on London Live. Boris Karloff in his first British film is the professor who believes that a jewel that he has called The Eternal Light will allow him to have eternal life after death if he is buried with it. Various others including Ernest Thesiger and Ralph Richardson also want it and Boris rises from his tomb to seek revenge after it is stolen. Cedric Hardwicke and the wonderful Kathleen Harrison are also involved. Shades of The Mummy and very creepy and dark cinematography. Rather surprised that this that this only merited an "A" certificate according to my book on British films.

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            • Originally posted by cassidy View Post
              The Ghoul (1933). I found this creepy little gem on London Live. Boris Karloff in his first British film is the professor who believes that a jewel that he has called The Eternal Light will allow him to have eternal life after death if he is buried with it. Various others including Ernest Thesiger and Ralph Richardson also want it and Boris rises from his tomb to seek revenge after it is stolen. Cedric Hardwicke and the wonderful Kathleen Harrison are also involved. Shades of The Mummy and very creepy and dark cinematography. Rather surprised that this that this only merited an "A" certificate according to my book on British films.
              Yes, I would have thought it would have been a prime candidate for the new "H" certificate, but I believe the first British horror film to achieve that was The Dark Eyes of London (1939), starring Karloff's friend in fright Bela Lugosi.

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              • The two of them would make a great double bill.

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                • Quest for Love (1971) ..Saw this on Talking Pictures..and having dismissed this in the past as not something to bother with, found it a very decent low budget Sci Fi film with good performances from Tom Bell and Joan Collins as well as a reliable cast and interesting premise..which was later explored in 'Sliding Doors' etc.
                  I mentioned I had dismissed this in the past as I think the main problem is it's title,which conjures up something CH5 might show on a Sunday afternoon starring Meridith Baxter.. and although love is a major feature of this film I think a more scientific or technical title might have drew it some deserved attention from Sci Fi buffs.
                  Last edited by Bert Quark; 28th February 2018, 08:46 AM.

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                  • Once a Jolly Swagman (1948). An early starring vehicle for Dirk Bogarde, his vehicle of choice here being a speedway motorbike, although probably not of choice at all as apparently Dirk hated riding it. He's a talented rider who quickly becomes the star of the pre-war Cobra Team but falls foul of the big boys running the events when he calls for a union to be formed. The storyline is pretty standard and straightforward with the running time extended by the various bike races and the crowds seemingly baying for blood; the St. John's Ambulance Brigade is constantly shown in active attendance. Bonar Colleano plays Dirk's sometimes pal, Renée Asherson his sometime wife, Moira Lister his sometime girlfriend and Thora Hird and James Hayter his constant parents. Sid James, Cyril Cusack and Sandra Dorne are also involved. The significance of the title is fairly tenuous to the plot, despite "Waltzing Matilda" being played constantly and Dirk's washed-up mentor Bill Owen supposedly being an Aussie (!) who heads back Down Under to do a bit of sheep farming. The more sensationalist American title, Maniacs on Wheels, isn't much better.

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                    • Girl with Green Eyes (1963). Another shocking in its day Woodfall Film, this one adapted from her own novel by Edna O'Brien. It comes across now as rather dated and is a very slow burning, and dare I say dull, romantic drama with some quirky humour thrown in. Free and easy allegedly ex-convent girls Kate and Baba, who are having a louche old time in Dublin, meet older and sophisticated writer Eugene Gaillard (!) and quickly shop girl Kate falls for him. Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave play the girls and once again it's down to Peter Finch to have a fling with someone much younger. It's quite difficult to relate to the characters in this episodic tale, though Rita is rather good with her green eyes (in black and white) and Peter's character does nicely describe her as "a mixture of innocence and guile". Livening things up a bit are some interesting directorial flourishes from Desmond Davis and an almost avant-garde score from John Addison.

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                      • The Dark Man (1950)

                        Big Maxwell Reed is the titular character. A shadowy double murderer, who tracks down sole witness Natasha Parry's rep actress. Cue gentlemanly Detective Edward Underdown to the rescue.
                        Rather formulaic thriller from writer director Jeffrey Dell. Reed is a massive presence, but his acting is a bit stiff and he doesn't get many lines, Underdown and Parry are effective though and there's support from Barbara Murray and William Hartnell.
                        Some good scenes amongst the dross though, including the final chase across Camber Sands.

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                        • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
                          Girl with Green Eyes (1963). Another shocking in its day Woodfall Film, this one adapted from her own novel by Edna O'Brien. It comes across now as rather dated and is a very slow burning, and dare I say dull, romantic drama with some quirky humour thrown in. Free and easy allegedly ex-convent girls Kate and Baba, who are having a louche old time in Dublin, meet older and sophisticated writer Eugene Gaillard (!) and quickly shop girl Kate falls for him. Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave play the girls and once again it's down to Peter Finch to have a fling with someone much younger. It's quite difficult to relate to the characters in this episodic tale, though Rita is rather good with her green eyes (in black and white) and Peter's character does nicely describe her as "a mixture of innocence and guile". Livening things up a bit are some interesting directorial flourishes from Desmond Davis and an almost avant-garde score from John Addison.
                          One of my favourites, Gerald. Rita Tushingham, who was nicknamed an 'ugly duckling', looks stunning in this film, as she got the full treatment from the Hair and Makeup departments.

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                          • Faces in the Dark (John Gregson, Mai Zetterling 1960). A bit of a change from the usual roles played by John Gregson. In this, he plays a rather unpleasant businessman who is blinded in a lab experiment. His wife and business partner insist he takes a rest at the family's holiday home, but things are not what they seem...
                            This film has a rather sour flavour throughout, as there isn't a sympathetic character to be seen anywhere. The plot unfolds in an intriguing way, but once the penny drops it becomes a bit of a drag. I'd say John Gregson was not the best choice for this role.

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                            • Golden Salamander (1949). A Victor Canning yarn set in Tunisia with a sulky and possibly slightly too old Trevor Howard as an antiques expert who stumbles across some gunrunners. It's the motto inscribed on a golden salamander in the hoard of valuables he is cataloguing that pricks his conscience to do something about them . . . plus his attraction to local goddess Anouk Aimée. Dramatically directed by Ronald Neame and moodily lit by Ossie Morris, the film trundles along quite well, the romance being the weakest part of the story, and other bonuses are the trumpeted genuine location work in Tunisia with most of the principals present and they include Walter Rilla as the suave head baddie, a slightly plump and balding Herbert Lom as his chief heavy, Jacques Sernas as Anouk's brother, Miles Malleson as the local police officer with a comb-over for which he should've arrested himself, plus Wilfrid Hyde-White as a strange café pianist and a blacked-up Peter Copley and Valentine Dyall.

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                              • Floods of Fear (1958). Drama as a vast area of the States is devastated by a gigantic flood: the sort of subject that would be a global warming TV movie nowadays. In the mayhem, two convicts escape and get holed up in a house with one of their guards and the daughter of a local doctor, until the house itself is swept away. Made here, so there's a series of differing attempts at American accents by various actors among genuine ones from lookalikes Howard Keel and John Crawford, as well as from regular Canadian performers resident in Britain. Howard is the brawny and embittered convict accused of murder who is out for revenge on former workmate John, and Cyril Cusack excellent as the weasel convict out for himself. Poor Anne Heywood gets literally dragged through the mud and water as the daughter, while it's Harry H. Corbett as the guard with a growling voice. Written and directed by Charles Crichton, the film is certainly well-staged, though the pacing is rather uneven. The title is pretty hackneyed, with much of the real fear caused by the epic amount of stomach holding-in from Howard, who has his barrel chest bare for much of the story.

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