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  • RUN A CROOKED MILE (1969). Odd title for an odd, almost cult, TV movie made by Universal, but out of Pinewood and filmed in England with an interlude in Switzerland. Mathematics teacher Richard Stuart stumbles upon a secret business meeting in an abandoned mansion and a murder takes place. But he is rumbled and his life disappears for two years after which he seems to be someone else altogether. But he is determined to get to the truth.
    The farfetched story is entertaining enough and Louis Jourdan plays Stuart in his usual calm, mannered and almost frivolous way with nary a comment about his French accent. Mary Tyler Moore seems to be in an altogether different film and plays his suddenly-discovered wife accordingly. There's a sprinkling of well-known faces in the supporting roles where nobody seems to be trustworthy, including Alexander Knox, Terence Alexander, Ronald Howard, Laurence Naismith and Norman Bird plus there are fairly brief appearances from Stanley Holloway and Wilfrid Hyde-White.
    A step or two above the average TV movie, Gene Levitt directs quite effectively, though big chunks of the plot are omitted and we just get told about what happened later on.
    Quite a number of Hammer stalwarts involved behind the camera too, including Arthur Grant, Bernard Robinson, Philip Martell, Rosemary Burrows, Bert Batt and Neil Binney and indeed, Oakley Court playing the mansion.

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    • The Ghost of Rashmon Hall (originally The Night Comes Too Soon) (1948). An ultra low budget ghost story, conveniently told by The Man in Black himself, he of the sepulchral tones, Valentine Dyall, even though the participants of the tale are sitting right next to him. The positives are periodically atmospheric shadows and genuine ghosts (albeit plural); the negatives, and sadly they are many, include a badly-structured and illogical script, poor staging and direction, often involving characters stiffly standing around and staring, maybe wondering what they're supposed to do next, young leads who can't act and usually reliable character actors like Dyall, Howard Douglas and David Keir adrift with the weak material they've been given. The spooks have even got into the (American) title because the hall is called "Rammelsham" in the course of the yarn.
      Oh, and another positive is that it's only 48 minutes long.
      Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 16 June 2018, 09:17 PM.

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      • The Birthday Party (1968)

        A lodger at a run down seaside boarding house, is visited by two men and made to celebrate his birthday with a party, even though it's not his birthday.
        Harold Pinter play with all the authors narrative tricks, the long pauses, character's repeating each other dialogue etc.
        Depending on your point of view, The Birthday Party is either a tense psychological thriller, or a lot of pretentious nonsense.
        With Robert Shaw, Sidney Tafler, Dandy Nichols, Patrick Magee, Moultrie Kelsall and Helen Fraser.
        Some interesting photography of my home town of Worthing 50 years ago.

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        • The Killing of Sister George (1968). An American film, but with location work in London and using many British actors. Following the trials and tribulations of ageing television soap opera star June "George" Buckridge who fears she's for the axe and her younger lover Alice "Childie" McNaught is straying elsewhere, this is pretty daring stuff for its day with a mouthed "f*** off" and a quite explicit lesbian sex scene, but it's probably overlong, is a strange mixture of black comedy and genuine pathos (as a kind of stable mate of Robert Aldrich, Lukas Heller and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?)and its stage origins are betrayed by the lengthy theatrical and rather arch scenes in George and Alice's flat. Beryl Reid is well over the top as gallons of gin George and tends to telegraph the outrageous lines, while Susannah York is more naturalistic as Alice, with Coral Browne as a BBC official who may have ulterior motives and Ronald Fraser and Hugh Paddick got a trip to LA for their parts as a fellow actor and director of the supposedly BBC soap.

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          • Take My Life (1947). Enjoyable crime thriller with top-notch direction by Ronald Neame. Opera singer Phillipa Shelley has to turn sleuth when it looks like her husband is about to go down for committing a murder he didn't do. Her investigations go nowhere until a, well, convenient plot coincidence makes her go somewhere which puts her own life in danger.
            From the start, it's all quite cleverly constructed as it's not a murder mystery - we know who did it early on - and the good pacing and askew close-ups build up the tension nicely. The always reliable Greta Gynt is the wife on a mission and Hugh Williams the frankly airhead of a husband she's out to save. Marius Goring puts in a quietly sinister performance with Rosalie Crutchley as the uptight murder victim and Francis L. Sullivan in a familiar role as a badgering prosecution counsel. Take my word, this is a good one.

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            • A Canterbury Tale (1944)

              The film dosnt have a standard plot as such but what i got was its about a journey of lost souls looking to find their place again after turmoil of world conflict . Beyond that i think everyone will get different experience from viewing .

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              • Originally posted by AlecLeamas View Post
                A Canterbury Tale (1944)

                The film dosnt have a standard plot as such but what i got was its about a journey of lost souls looking to find their place again after turmoil of world conflict . Beyond that i think everyone will get different experience from viewing .
                Good for you Alec, well said.

                It’s a great film but it doesn’t fit into any neat genre categories (like many P&P films), I tell people that it helps to slow down to the pace of it. Nothing happens quickly in it.

                You, and Everton, is welcome to join us on our ACT location walk on the list Sunday in August. Check my web site for details nearer the date.

                http://www.powell-pressburger.org/Tr...ury/index.html

                Steve

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                • Sentenced for Life (1959). You may think you have been as you watch this, another morning's work from the Danziger brothers. Articled legal clerk Jim Richards gets off his backside and sets out to clear his father who has already racked up 15 years of a life sentence for treason during the war. However, tardy Jim falls for the charms of the daughter of his chief suspect.
                  Plodding direction and performances, even from a favourite like Francis Matthews and experienced character actors like Basil Dignam and Jack Gwillim, together with a script containing no surprises, guarantee an undisturbed sleep while this one is on.
                  Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 20 June 2018, 08:36 PM.

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                  • Tower Block (2013)

                    i had had almost discounted current British films as lottery funded tax dodges of if little, if any, value and I came across this taut thriller from a few years back. A paper thin plot (bad person in one tower block is shooting the people in an adajecnt block) is sustained by the performances, some witty dialogue and some tension-filled atmosphere. It's not a classic but it's entertaining and there is an early glimpse of how good an actor Jack O'Connell can be. Of course, as will all modern films, there is far too much swearing.

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                    • Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post
                      Tower Block (2013)

                      i had had almost discounted current British films as lottery funded tax dodges of if little, if any, value and I came across this taut thriller from a few years back. A paper thin plot (bad person in one tower block is shooting the people in an adajecnt block) is sustained by the performances, some witty dialogue and some tension-filled atmosphere. It's not a classic but it's entertaining and there is an early glimpse of how good an actor Jack O'Connell can be. Of course, as will all modern films, there is far too much swearing.
                      I thought it was a great film with some clever twists. Starring the always great Sheridan Smith

                      Steve

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post

                        I thought it was a great film with some clever twists. Starring the always great Sheridan Smith

                        Steve
                        The ending really let it down, it's just dumb but up until then it was very good.

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                        • Originally posted by Paxton Milk View Post

                          The ending really let it down, it's just dumb but up until then it was very good.
                          In what way is it "dumb"? How else could it have ended?

                          Steve

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                          • Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post

                            In what way is it "dumb"? How else could it have ended?

                            Steve
                            The revelation made no sense, There was nothing in the his behaviour to suggest he was simply deranged and insufficient personal involvemeg or motivation for his random acts of violence. And, since he knew already who the perpetrators were, there was not need to pursue the innocent, bearing in mind that he not only killed those who were tangentially involved but two contractors who just happened to pass by.

                            It was a scriptwriter contriving to involve the least likely cast member. A more logical culprit would have been a relation of the boy killed but that wouldn't have too obvious.

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                            • [SPOILER]

                              I remember it as being that the sniper was a copper who had been asking for witnesses at the beginning, but everybody in the block blanked him so he decided to take revenge on the whole bock & everyone in it. What other resolution did it need?

                              Steve

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                              • Perhaps a warning about spoilers would be worth considering now that the end of the film has been given away?

                                Nick

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