|A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K -L - M -N -
O - P - Q - R - S
- T - U - V -
W - X - Y - Z
of King George. The
The last "King of America" starts to lose the
plot which causes the State to ponder what to do with
him. Fascinating (true) story and what great acting from
Nigel Hawthorne in the lead, he takes the part with both
hands and goes for it! Funny, historical and made on a
low budget this is cracking stuff. Historical films are
often a drag (to me at least) but this is fun all the
Magnificent Seven. The
Seven hired guns come together to save a Mexican village
from banditos. Nothing really new here (remake of the
Seven Samurai, etc.) and nothing that you couldn't have
lived without seeing but an excellent example of why
westerns work and the basic values of life and honour.
For what it is worth, maybe the last film in my 200!
Maltese Falcon, The
Humphrey Bogart is private eye dragged in to the search
for an antique. A classic, but a flawed classic, because
it hasn't enough meat on the bone, and besides, the meat
is far from fresh. Bogart makes the movie and the badies
are just as cardboard as the Warner Brother sets. Needs
to be seen though.
Man on The Moon
Bio-pic of a real comic genius Andy Kaufmann who was
America's most original comic. How good is lead Jim Carey
in this film? Who else has to go from immigrant simpleton
to Elvis Presley and back in an instant? And what a part:
Who else in show biz seemed to fight popularity rather
than court it? We learn little new, but still the ride is
great and maybe the film will get the recognition it
deserves in time?
A TV gag writer quits his job on the spur of the moment
and takes up with a teenager that is far too young for
him. Art and life come together so much in Woody Allen
comedies, and this seems very prophetic given he married
his own adopted daughter later! Interesting look at the
way we live today is all that is on the menu, but done
with such style and panache that we really don't care.
Another "about nothing" classic.
Surgeons in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) in
Korea keep up their moral by jokes and one-liners. What a
unique approach to war and what a unique film to boot.
The TV series has taken the edge of what we see here, but
this is really "something new and
revolutionary" cinema and it must have seemed a
shock at the time. Still good today and still a footnote
in cinema history.
Matter of Life And Death,
A pilot is about to crash, but has no way of escaping his
plane - or so it seems. He radios in his condition to a
radio dispatcher who tries to help. Quite how it all
holds together is a mystery, but it is a story of how
love can conquer all and features breathtaking
cinematography. A real treat that too many have never
seen. Called Stairway to Heaven in the USA.
Life as-it-is on the mean streets of New York. A mob
gopher and his non-too-bright pal try and make the best
of NY gutter life. Rough and tough tale of modern life is
not always pleasant on the eye or on the ear; but rings
true and features the star power of Robert De Niro and
Harvey Keitel. Very dated now though and even looks a bit
amateurish at times.
Menace II Society
A double murder occurs in a Korean grocery store all
captured by CCTV. A wonder of the modern world: A film
that manages to be shocking, totally different and
important. This is a cruel look at life, but as we all
know, life can be cruel. Captures something that no one
else has captured and yet remains totally moral about it.
Crack for the senses that leaves you reeling - so don't
make any plans for just after you have seen it!
A country boy comes to the big city to work as a male
prostitute but finds big city life is not what he
expected. Cruel and heartless look at New York City and
its victims that is only partly enlivened by haunting
music. No one can take away the acting or the sense of
time and place - but not really a movie you can enjoy in
the conventional sense.
Various events lead to a grand climax at Miller's
Crossing. Old-time Irish gangster films are not thick on
the ground and this has a plot that seems to wander
across the board from comedy to drama and then back
again, but all very compelling. Cinema sometimes rises
above its plot (silly or otherwise) to give a lasting
memory. This is one such movie.
Monty Python And The Holly
Low budget "epic" in which various knights go
out on a mission in medieval England - or maybe they
don't! Maybe the budget is low and the film uneven but it
still has many great set pieces (the limb-losing fight
scene is an all-time classic!) and jokes so funny you
laugh recalling them later no matter at the time. One of
the best comedy films ever and certainly the best one
produced on a low budget.
Murder On The Orient
Various personages on the famous pan-European train have
reason to have a fellow passenger dead. And guess what?
Great crowd-pleasing plot idea and an all-star cast keep
this fresh and exciting. Maybe the outcome is too well
know nowadays to have any kind of mass appeal, but this
is one of the best whodunits of all time - in both print
as well as in film.
Night At The
The Marx Brothers ride again, this time in to save an
opera. Like all MB films a mixed bags of gags and
situations, some of which are a real drag and some of
which are the complete opposite. The usual silly fun.
Night of the Hunter, The
Stylised and haunting story of a family hunted by a mad
"preacher" in search of the family fortune.
Charles Laughton only directed one film (this one) and it
just so happens to be a classic. Not seen that way at the
time, but the passing decades have given it its rightful
place in cinema history. Despite being the bad guy Robert
Mitchum steals the show.
Nil By Mouth
Slice of roughhouse life in South London is not for
everyone, but sheds some light on domestic violence and
the causes of it. First-time director Gary Oldman
dedicates this film to his late father whether as an
insult (he was an alcoholic himself) or in praise only he
can know. Kathy Burke is just so real and believable as
the battered wife.
North By Northwest
Cary Grant is framed for murder and has to go on the run.
Hitchcock was at a point in his career when he could do
no wrong and here he shows that even with a cliché of a
script he can create magic. Maybe too many
all-too-obvious sets and pat situations but this is all
about entertainment. The crop-spraying scene is one of
the most famous in movie history
Oh Lucky Man!
A coffee salesman learns about life in the UK through his
travels. What a different film this is, bringing in
elements so strange and disturbing that you could almost
call it a forerunner for Pulp Fiction. While very long
and, at times, seemingly pointless this product etches
itself in your head and you can't let it go.
Interestingly lead Malcom McDowell was once a coffee rep
in real life.
On The Waterfront
Expose of corruption and graft on the docks, but sadly
did very little to wipe it out in real life. Brando was
an actor out-on-his-own at the time and seems so real and
vibrant that you can't take your eyes of him. There is
not a lot to this film - beyond the headline facts above
- and the central romance seems strange and forced. A
powerful product all the same.
One Flew Over The Cuckoos
A con tricks his way in to a mental hospital thinking it
will give him an easier life than prison. Jack
Nicholson's performance alone is worth the price of
admission. He encourages the others to rise up against
the status quo and fight for their rights. Comedy and
tragedy are hard to play side-by-side but this movie does
it with ease. One of the all-time greats.
A family is torn apart by tragedy and the young son has
need of a psychiatrist. Hitchcock never won a Best
Director Oscar, Robert Redford won one with this, his
directorial debut. Beat that for irony? While praising
this movie it does seem that it was financed by the
Psychiatrist's Guild. Indeed the answers all seem to come
from this direction. Not a box office hit and not an easy
movie to watch, although ultimately worthwhile.
After World War II a young wife is trapped in an isolated
Jersey (off the coast of England) house with her
photosensitive (they blister if making contact with
sunlight) children. Strange old fashioned horror chiller
that seems slight in the telling, but very effective in
the watching. A classic of the future.
Out Of Africa
A witty Danish adventurer has a romance in old-time
Africa. Nothing that original on the written page, but a
marvellous open-air adventure with two well cast stars
(Robert Redford and Meryl Streep) and a sweeping
soundtrack. The real stars are the animals and the
background. A memorable and haunting Oscar winner.
A cowardly dentist marries (in ignorance) a brave female
spy and goes on a series of adventures. One of the best
of the Bob Hope vehicles and features the rough and tough
- but sexy as hell - Jane Russell in full cry. Easy
entertainment and easy laughs, but Hope was the best in
the world with this kind of material. RIP.
Bio-pic of the famous "four star" American
general that is non too flattering, but rings true and
has plenty of drama. George C. Scott is brilliant in his
Oscar winning role, although maybe a little too young to
be perfect. A great war film and there isn't that many of
Perfect Storm, The
A skipper and his first mate get caught in the middle of
the "storm of the century" and have to find a
way out. Hard to fault this film for special effects
given that you feel you are in the boat with them, but
maybe a little too obvious. Exciting yes, but I don't
really get the point. The ride was exciting all the same.
Picture of Dorian Grey,
A man has his portrait painted while still young and,
through some unexplained trick, the painting ages but he
stays the same! Oscar Wilde's only novel is a just a
novelty act, but this is a wonderful recreation of
Edwardian London and the pompous style suits the nature
of the film. Great pay-off at the end.
The best Vietnam movie of the lot. While having nothing
really new to add to the war movie pot Oliver Stone drags
us in and keep us involved in a world that he knew from
first hand experience. A classic that won't be topped.
Take it from me. Both moving and thought provoking.
Rich kid film producer gets in to trouble with a writer
and becomes investigated for murder. Strange movie that
doesn't seem to like Hollywood much, but was made by very
people it satires. First class acting and the first time
in a long while that Hollywood has turned its guns on its
own kind. Not since Sunset Boulevard in fact.
Pride And Prejudice
Jane Austin's novelette gets the full movie treatment
with a fine cast and a fine soundtrack. While not
reaching the heights of other movies hereabouts this is
so well acted that it has to be included just for that
alone. Maybe a little slow for some, but almost like
entering a time machine.
A young woman runs off with the firm's money and stays
the night at the infamous Bates Motel. One of the most
seen and discussed movies of all time, although few know
it was made with a TV crew on a small budget. Hard to
take when first viewing it and still powerful on the
second. Shame that film makers returned to throw mud at
it in the form of search-for-more-money sequels.
Violent tale of modern day LA gangsters and corrupt
hangers-on. What a script this is. Maybe the best of all
time. I have seen this film six or seven times and I
haven't finished with it yet. Like the Indian rope trick,
I don't understand how it works, only that it does.
A professor of linguistics makes a bet that he can turn a
Cockney flower seller in to a "duchess" in a
matter of months. A back-of-a-cigarette-packet script
with lots of nice actors working on nice sets. I love it
because it is light and fun, like candyfloss. Later
turned in to the musical My Fair Lady which some prefer -
although not me.
A young man finds some fun and thrills - in his otherwise
boring life - through the 1960's mod movement, but finds
even this has its limits. The rock group The Who provided
the money and the soundtrack and the British acting new
wave provided the on-screen talent in this excellent look
at a former generation. Gets a bit heavy and desperate at
the end, but otherwise a rock solid look at British
working class life.
Life story of Jake La Motta, the "Ragging Bull"
and one-time middleweight champion of the world. Very
violent and very powerful with De Niro at the peak of his
acting powers. Plenty of faults though, the main one
being that I don't really believe the characteristics of
the central character. Best film of the 1990's? Maybe.
Filmed mostly in black and white.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Silly boys-own adventure story, but oh so well done! No
film has to do anything but entertain, but this film goes
out of its way to be extra silly. The hero even travels
around the world on the back of a submarine! Action all
the way and Spielberg has rarely been better than in this
A voyeur with a broken leg spends his ample free time
watching the neighbours through a telescope. However one
day he thinks he has seen a murder. A classic of bad
taste - Stewart is obviously a total sex creep - has the
sure hand of Alfred Hitchcock at the tiller. A crowd
pleaser and The Master knew it.
A young girl
marries a count, but is haunted by the ever-present ghost
of her new husband's late wife. There is talent
everywhere you look in this adaptation of a Daphne De
Maurier classic and its huge success was not any kind of
surprise. Off-screen it wasn't bad either with Hitchcock
in the directors chair. Not totally moral, but a must-see
piece of Hollywood cinema
Rebel Without A Cause
A teenager moves
to a new town and doesn't seem to fit in. Out of
circulation for almost a generation (the negative was
thought lost) this was James Dean's biggest movie -
shortly after he died in a motor accident. Not perfect
and the plain fact is that Dean is clearly NOT a teenager
at the time of filming. A pot-boiler yes, but a legendary
a herd across the country, but the head cattleman has
family - as well as animal - problems. Superb adventure
story that coins a few clichés and is a bit long; but
thankfully also excellently cast - and in the clash of
John Wayne and Monty Clift a piece of cinema history.
Serves up the right things in the right portions.
Remains of the Day, The
acted examination of (English) country house life. High
production values, although not the kind of movie that
everyone appreciates or has the patience for. Hopkins and
Thompson are the most fey "romantic" couple in
the history of movies!
A jewel robbery
goes wrong, which leads to all kinds of intrigue and
finger/gun pointing. Quentin Tarantino set the screen on
fire with his this, his debut film and it still strikes
gold today. Goes a bit too far at times and not always
totally moral either. Something very different from most
A club boxer is
given the chance to fight for the World Heavyweight
Championship (when there was but one!) as a kind of crazy
publicity stunt. Based on a true incident (Chuck Webner V
Ali) this film took back-street life to the masses and
has a great climax in the fight itself. Best Picture
Oscar winner. The many sequels besmirch what is achieved
and was originally intended.
An ex CIA man De
Niro (or is he!?) agrees to freelance for a robbery team
looking to lift a mysterious briefcase. Even the
back-of-a-postage-stamp plot can't damage this piece of
Euro crash-bang-wallop. Lot of clichés (double cross,
car chase, traitor in our midst, etc.) but so well done
that you marvel at it. I have never seen a better car
chase in a movie - worth it for that alone!
Around the time
of the First World War a school teachers' wife in Ireland
takes up with an English captain. Far too long and often
regarded as second-rate David Lean this is actually a
soap opera with classic set pieces. A whole village was
built for this film. Not the director's best, true, but
better than most other people's efforts.
demonstrates his climbing skills in this jaw dropping
movie. The bit where he climbs on a clock and finds it
falling apart on him is one of the most famous pieces of
cinema ever. A comedian that I rate above Chaplin and
Keaton in that he makes comedy look true to life. This
guy had some of the best timing I have ever seen.
Saturday Night and Sunday
A young English factory hand hates his job and lives for
sex, pranks and pubs. Kitchen sink has never been better
and Albert Finney is almost too real to bare as the
"fighting pit prop that wants a pint of beer."
Good look at the limits of working class life and every
part cast to perfection. The background may have dated,
but the moral hasn't.
On D-Day a
private has to be pulled back from the midst of the
action because he is the only surviving son of a family.
Opening scenes are probably the best work that Speilberg
has ever put on film, but slowly this becomes just a
standard war film. Albeit a high standard of war film. A
product with something to say and says it well. Bringing
a tissue even if you haven't got a cold!
A Nazi industrialist and a Jew hate what is going on in
their country and do their little bit to prevent people
being sent to death camps. Speilberg is trying to be an
independent European film maker (!) and is not totally
convincing at it, but the topic and the acting paper over
the cracks. A great film and an important one, but hardly
the last word on the subject.
Life in a
English juvenile prison (borstal) is far from easy
viewing and sometimes goes too far, but lots of messages
and did something to highlight the closed world of the
short-sharp-shock. Violent, but all violence has a
purpose and a message. Even the rape. I have never been
to such a place (thank god!), but people that have say it
represented a true vision. Things may well have changed
since then though.
A serial killer is leaving a paper trail and it up to two
detectives to follow it. A bit silly and far-fetched it
may be, but a very compulsive thriller with a fantastic
twist pay off. Presents a horrible vision of the world
and you want to take a bath after seeing it. The one film
you could compare to the Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho.
Secrets and Lies
A young black
woman wants to trace her natural mother and having done
so arranges a meeting by phone. Mike Leigh hitting
another home (truth) run. Lots of quality acting make
this a vision of life that you can believe in. We have
been here before, but a film with a plot as well as a
message about relationships. Brenda Blethin is a knockout
as the mother with a secret.
Best of the blaxsplotation epics of the 1970's this has a
wonderful soundtrack (from Isaac Hayes) and a wonderful
lead in Richard Rowntree who both took off on the back of
this picture. Doesn't play nice and looks a bit dated but
- on release - something new and different and must have
seemed like a breath of polluted Harlem air...
Shakespeare In Love
Young Will is having a bit of writers block but
thankfully claps eyes on the lovely Gywneth Paltrow and
is instantly inspired. Like a cod Shakespeare for those
that don't like the real thing this is fun and throwaway
- with groan-worthy word puns. Still a believable
recreation of the famous Globe theatre in London and a
touching love story. Culture with a small c.
A couple with a
young son take over a closed mountain hotel which leads
to all kinds of strange going's on. A junk novel and a
bit of a junk movie which is nothing but a load of clever
visual set-pieces. Only Kubrick could make this work and
very entertaining it is. A short ghost train ride in the
A talking donkey and an ogre team-up for a mission in
this new-style computer animation classic. Love this to
pieces, with its in-jokes, satires on other movies and
wonderful songs. Forget the technology this is great
because the script is great and the songs are great.
Bring on the sequel, even if it is half as good I'll
still be first in line.
Silence Of The Lambs, The
A CIA operative
seeks the help of a captured serial killer to find
another still on the loose. Very creepy and not a little
bit silly, this film managed to capture the Best Picture
Oscar and a mass audience - the two things don't always
go together. While praising it, it is a little bit
overrated and gets very farfetched at the end; but
Hollywood never wants to shut the door to a money making
Singing In The Rain
Movie people wonder if their careers are not over when
sound pictures are about to be introduced. This film had
to work its script around songs that were already written
and thankfully some of them were classics. The title song
for one. A simple minded audience pleaser it did (and
does) just that. A real charmer of film from the era of
cotton wool cinema.
Sixth Sense, The
A boy believes
he can see ghosts and needs the help of a child
psychiatrist. Audience pleasing little chiller with great
performances, although the twist can be seen a mile off!
Superb look at urban life in the cold city and is very
restrained with chills that are so well timed: in terms
of both length and position. Will still be doing the
rounds in a hundred years - if the world is.
A man is frozen
after an operation goes wrong and is woken up in the
future to take part in a revolution. The Marx Brothers
ride again in this Woody Allen comedy that goes hunting
for easy laughs (visual and oral) and finds plenty. Light
comedy is so hard to find that I included this one, even
though it falls short of classic status. Strangely this
movie had a script which featured Allen in the present
day- but this was scrapped by the studio on cost grounds.
wants to marry a divorcee and goes to the old manor house
to speak to her ex husband about it. Acting master class
from Michael Caine, Lawrence Olivier and the strange and
little known A.N Other that choses not to open up an
obvious play, but doesn't suffer for it. Such a delicious
piece of cat-and-mouse that you are sad to see finished.
In the back streets of modern London robbers and cons try
and get their hands on a stolen diamond. A rock and roll
black comedy that operates likes a pop video roller
coaster with failed brakes. I love it though. Director
Guy Ritchie has something and I am looking forward to
seeing more of it.
Some Like It Hot
Two musicians witness a multiple
murder and hide-out by dragging up and playing with an
all-female band. Although unbelievable and a little bit
too long this has lots of laughs and great performances
from Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon. Not the
greatest comedy of all times (as many claim) but the kind
of happy accident that is a joy to behold. The father and
mother of fearless modern comedy.
Sound of Music, The
A nun leaves her
order to become a governess to a large Austrian family
just prior to WW II. Very well known, but still a very
good, musical that took the world by storm. While not
really my normal cup of tea it is charming and light and
has a story of-sorts. The real life scenery and the songs
make it a family classic.
In a German prisoner of war camp one man says the only
person that he is interested in is himself. But is this
really true? The film that inspired the TV series
Hoogan's Hero's is actually darker and more involved than
the TV show and is probably William Holden's (boy does he
get in some quality movies!) best ever role. Fantastic
look at the human condition under stress.
Star is Born, A
Judy Garland was
a star for a reason and watching this film you find out
why. A hackneyed plot of a star on-the-rise and one
on-the-fall should not distract you from what you are
really seeing: One of the all-time greats on top from.
Would have been a major star in any era and the best pair
of lungs I have ever heard. Credit James Mason for
playing an egotistical drunken backslider with gusto -
but he was, unlike so many Hollywood types, a real actor.
Strangers On A Train
meet on a train and come up with a plan to kill someone
on each other's behalf. Only Hitchcock could make this
kind of ultra black comedy in to a mainstream film and
this plays as well today as it did back then. A
fascinating story that I defy anyone to turn away from
after they have started viewing.
Street Car Called Desire,
Tennessee William's famous play about backstreet life is
well recreated on the silver screen thanks to a stellar
cast and great direction. Not actually one of my top
favourites but still packs a punch and is a rare example
of Hollywood going for real life rather than a cleaned up
version. Brando in peak form makes it a must.
failure is lured in to the easy life as a
"companion" of a delusional former star.
Hard-as-nails look at Hollywood, so much so that you
almost want it to ease off a little. Great surprise
payoff at the end and the kind of film that you never
forget. A great film for so many reasons. Golden (Robert)
Holden strikes again!
Cary Grant may -
or may not - be a lady killer. Only Hitchcock could get
away with basing a film around such a shallow idea and
even then involving one of the most charming men ever to
appear on the silver screen. Not totally even and wants
to keep the audience guessing right up until the end.
Nonsense really, but fun while it lasts.
Taste of Honey, A
A young girl
becomes pregnant by a black merchant seaman and forms a
relationship with a homosexual who wants to play father.
Kitchen sink and dated it might be, but everything that
happens is believable and you have to be effected and
moved by it. The dialogue seems to come from real life
(trust me - I was there!) and Tushington is perfect as
the girl next door.
Philip Marlowe takes up a case of a runaway daughter that
turns out to be trickier than he first imagined. Bogart
turned the private eye in to a product all his own, no
one will ever be able to top him. The film is a bit
confusing (even to its creators!), but what we have here
is solid gold. A strange dark world from which death
jumps out at you at every street corner. Part of the
effect is created by those Warner Brother's cheap sets!
Something About Mary
A young man employs a private eye to track down a girl he
once loved: but he falls in love with her himself and
tells a pack of lies to his client. Wild comedy that
opened up a new genre of comedy, this is actually quite
funny in a throwaway and childish kind of way. Cameron
Diaz shows she may be a sexy girl, but she is also a good
Third Man, The
Harry Lime has gone missing in post-war Vienna and is
presumed dead, but is he really? Black and haunting with
a score that stays with you, this has less going on in it
than you might imagine. Apart from a few set pieces and a
chase through the sewers this is all about atmosphere and
great acting - Welles was an all-time great and he steals
this by appearing on screen for only about ten minutes!
Thirty Nine Steps, The
What is the secret of the thirty nine steps and why would
anyone kill over it? Nothing more than a chase movie with
black comedy moments, but when Hitchcock sprinkles his
gold dust over such material you have to marvel at it.
What fun and what entertainment. Not a second of boredom
from start to finish. Avoid the remake.
This is Spinal Tap
everything an ageing English rock and roll band take on
America. Mock documentary that has many small laughs and
tells a lot of truths about the human condition in and
out of the rock and roll scene. However it is a small
movie and probably looks a bit thin and stretched out on
the big screen. Many now classic set-ups and laughs.
This Sporting Life
A miner tries to
better his life as a rugby league pro. Hard as nails look
at northern (English) life and a rough-and-tough
northern-based game. One of the great portraits of
backslappers, hangers-on and sporting success ever put on
the screen. Harris's love for a young widow is also very
haunting and far from straight forward. Features many
former greats of the game.
Three Colours: Blue
A young French
woman loses her famous husband to a car wreck and tries
to build a new life in Paris. Cold and yet very effecting
look at human tragedy by the master (but late) Polish
film maker Krzysztof Kieslowski. Not to everyone's taste,
this a bit depressive and downbeat; but tells too many
truths and has too much good cinematography to be
ignored. A haunting, if slight, film.
James Bond is on the trail of another of his mega-baddies
in this best-of-breed example of the modern(ish)
thriller. The first film to treat killing as natural and
matter-of-fact this took the series to another level.
While a bit dated now, and the subject of a poor remake,
the film still thrills and Connery still embodies the
role of the attention-seeking (!) secret agent.
To Kill A Mockingbird
A southern lawyer has to defend a black man in court.
Wears it liberalism on its sleeves and is a bit too neat
and tidy but a fantastic adaptation of a classic book.
While short of fireworks this is a film that everyone
should see at least once in their lifetime. Gregory Peck
never had a more perfect role.
A young man of
the 18th century lives for adventures and having a good
time. Audience pleasing romp that got away with murder
because it was set in another age. Still a lot of fun and
the cast seem to be enjoying it more than you ever will.
Dated, but the kind of light adventure that we don't get
enough of with the ever underrated Albert Finney on top
of his game.
Two Wall street
vets make a bet that they can replace one of their top
exec's with a street beggar and not be financially
effected. Farfetched comedy that only scores with about
half of its gags. It at least has a good premise and
delivers on it. You look forward to finding out how it is
going to all work out as well as chuckling. Eddie Murphy
has probably never had a more suitable role for his
talents while Ackroyd is merely his usual OK.
business effects many people from users to suppliers to
bystanders to law enforcement agents. Based on a (UK) TV
series that really rocked this is clever with its screen
time and shows all aspects of the argument without being
particularly moral or preachy. A joy of grown up adult
cinema, although uneven. The filters and shaky camera
work don't add anything though.
In urban Scotland taking hard drugs is seen as part of
normal life and nothing to get uptight about. Caused a
storm when it first came out, this is a moral look at the
subject that gives all sides to the story, but sweetens
its pill with black comedy. Not much of a plot and
features lots of people going nowhere other than the city
morgue, but strangely effecting and memorable.
and hidden treasure story told with gusto by a top notch
cast with a studio budget to make it all happen. Robert
Newton overacts for Britain and we get all the
ingredients of the classic book. Easy entertainment and a
good recreation of a book that every child should read at
Treasure of the Sierra
search for gold in the mountains of the Sierra Madre, but
greed and paranoia takes over. Very modern adventure
story in that it has something to say about the human
condition while providing us with thrills, chills and
shoot-outs. Keeps you watching right up until the very
end. Director John Houston near the top of his form.
Twenty Thousand Leagues
Under The Sea
Captain Nemo despairs of life on the land and builds his
own little world under the waves. Doesn't really make any
more sense than Noah's Arc so the film makers try and
play up the adventure part of the story and play down the
ecological aspects. Mason is great as the mad captain and
a fantastic (press ganged!) support crew.
Two Thousand And One
Life from the
ape to the modern spaceman. Much mocked and imitated this
vision of space is strangely real despite being made
before it all became fact. Cold and occasionally boring,
this could not be left out of any "Greatest
Film" list, because it has too much going for it. A
bit draggy though, especially the extended end part.
Kubrick cemented his "genius" with this.
A prostitute is
scarred for life and a fund is set up for the killing of
the man responsible. Strange downbeat anti-western that
wrapped up Clint Eastwood's western career with a neat
bow and has the look and feel of a classic. Gene Hackman
makes a fantastic baddie and the ending is thrilling and
haunting. Best Picture Oscar winner of that year by a
Usual Suspects, The
A set of
criminals are brought in together after a job, but the
manner in which they are herded suggests - to the
criminals - that something is afoot. Crazy thriller that
found a forgiving audience and does have good acting as
well as a puzzle to solve. Defines the word convoluted
Two children are
stranded in the Australian outback after their father
goes mad and kills himself. One-of-a-kind movie full of
strange symbolism and a unique plot this could have been
a better movie with more explanation and more linear film
making; but still fantastic with what we have. A sense of
time and place so vivid that you want to swish the flies
from out of your face.
When We Were Kings
about the Ali versus Foreman fight - the so-called Rumble
in the Jungle. Fantastic piece of sporting history that
becomes more fascinating because it was not brought out
at the time - the production ran out of money - but only
twenty years later. Quite thrilling piece of work that
drops you in to another world. Not just for boxing fans
and a worthy Best "Documentary Oscar" winner.
Where Eagles Dare
boys-own adventure story when crack troops take on a
mountain strong hold. Pulp fiction at its best. Gets the
job done very well and we do get a couple of twists - of
sorts - when we get to where eagles do their business.
Video game fun all the way. Forerunner and template for
the modern action movie.
A small Scottish
island gets a windfall bounty when a ship carrying
whiskey sinks near shore. Ealing comedy at its best this
small tale of small people will be charming people for
hundreds of years to come. Very British and very down to
Whistle Down The Wind
Some children think that an escaped prisoner hiding out
at their farm is Jesus and set out to protect him. A
little film about people and little situations effects
more than most because it is so real and so well
produced. Made the child actress Hayley Mills in to an
overnight star and she was soon whisked off to Hollywood.
rips the screen apart as a mother-loving gangster. JC
always said he hated playing criminals, but I doubt
anybody has ever played them so well. At one point a
engine driver remember his name (Codey) and JC says:
"You have a good memory -- maybe too good" and
then murders him in cold blood. Forty years before Pulp
A Scottish policeman travels to a small island to
investigate the disappearance of a girl. A small film,
but a perfectly formed one. What a great plot and what a
great payoff. We start by being on the side of the fun
loving villagers, but slowly we see that things are
darker and more sinister than we had first imagined. A
largely unseen cult classic.
Wizard of Oz, The
A young girl
gets whipped up by a whirlwind and transported to Oz: A
strange place full of strange people. Making this a
musical doesn't really make the product any lighter,
indeed we are in a world of very wicked people who can do
very wicked things. Not perfect, but very close. Judy
Garland would be world famous if she had done nothing but
Women In Love
A group of
friends gather to have fun, chat and go on adventures
together. Nothing really earth shattering, but such
fantastic acting and cross agendas that you become
engrossed. A feminist statement of sorts, but more a
study of how people act when in the throws of passion.
World of Susie Wong, The
In 1950's Hong
Kong an executive decides to follow his dreams and become
a painter. Through this he meets prostitute Suzie Wong.
Soap opera that was very daring for its time (foreign
settings always help!) still has its virtues of honesty
and one man's struggle to become what he wants to be. A
very unique movie with oriental lead - Nancy Kwan -
putting on a very dignified performance.
In 18th century
Yorkshire a gypsy and country girl have a strange on-off
romance that leads to obsession and tragedy. Not an easy
novel to film and this probably does it as well as any;
although skims over some of the chapters. The country
background and intensity of Ralph Fiennes makes this so
memorable. Bit hard going at times though.
plays George M. Cohan an old time song and dance man that
he actually knew in his younger days. Boy does he fancy
himself in this role. What a hoofer and what performer. A
flag waver of a film, but what star power. It might be
noted that real Cohan wasn't quite as clean living as
A doctor Frankenstein rejects his family's past and wants
to make a clean break of things, but he is drawn - almost
against his own will - back to his late father's work.
Mel Brooks hit solid gold with this film that actually is
two films in one: A great Frankenstein follow up and a
great comedy. Thrills, laughter and superb black and
white cinematography. I never tire of it.