All Night Long (1962)

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All Night Long (1962) Poster

This movie, based on William Shakespeare's Othello, is neatly positioned as a vehicle to showcase some of the best jazz musicians of the period, including Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus.

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7/10
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  • Patrick McGoohan in All Night Long (1962)
  • Dave Brubeck in All Night Long (1962)
  • Charles Mingus in All Night Long (1962)
  • Betsy Blair and María Velasco in All Night Long (1962)
  • Betsy Blair and Paul Harris in All Night Long (1962)
  • Dave Brubeck and John Scott in All Night Long (1962)

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12 September 2018 | MOscarbradley
7
| The jazz alone is worth the price of admission
"All Night Long" takes "Othello" and transposes it to a jazz setting in contemporary London, or at least the London of the early sixties. It's a great idea, has a terrific cast and how could any jazz aficianado not like any movie that features this much jazz and a cast that includes Charlie Mingus, Johnny Dankworth and Dave Brubeck all playing themselves but there is a but... In place of Shakespeare we get jive and nothing dates as badly as the kind of hip dialogue that jazz musicians are reputed to have used back then. Cool just isn't cool anymore.

On the plus side, it's a Basil Dearden picture so as well as great jazz, and lots of it, we also get intelligence. Dearden knows the pedigree he has here and treats it with due respect and Patrick McGoohan is superb as the Iago figure. Others in the cast include Richard Attenborough, Betsy Blair, Keith Michell and in the Othello/Desdemona roles, Paul Harris and Marti Stevens. Unfortunately Harris and Stevens are the weakest things about the film; their lack of acting experience shows.

It is, however, a brilliant looking picture. Producer Michael Relph designed it along with Art Director Ray Sim and Edward Scaife supplied the superb black and white cinematography and, as I said, the jazz is terrific. However, it wasn't really successful and is among the least revived of all the Dearden/Relph movies but it's certainly worth seeking out and if you love jazz it is simply unmissable.

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