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Random Harvest

The tear jerker to end all tear jerkers
Being male, and at the time Random Harvest was first issued I was in my early teens, I wasn't particularly interested in what I sneeringly referred to as " women's tear jerker films" But I thought Greer Garson was absolutely drop dead gorgeous - how many young fellows at that time thought that about her, I wonder, and I also thought that Ronald Colman was one hell of an actor , so I went to see it, taking a girl with me as an excuse!

I really enjoyed this film, and even now consider it to be one of the all time great films from the Hollywood era.

Incredible plot wise, almost impossible to believe, but made credible by two stars who were at the zenith of their field at the time.

They don't make them like this anymore " After 60 years it's still a great film ! P.S. Hadn't Greer Garson got beautiful legs !


The Master, but perhaps not quite at his best
When one looks at the comments made on this film one thing becomes apparent. Hitchcock as usual has stirred some controversy. I for one found this film both repellant and enjoyable at the same time. An excellent performance by Barry Foster, probably the best thing he has done. All this rubbish about Hitchcock being a woman hater. I am sure he did it on purpose with his tongue in his cheek. Some of the pseudo intellectual comments of his critics, both amateur and professional, look for hidden motives which I am sure are not there. He was intent on directing a damn good film which people would go and see, enjoy, and talk about.

Most of his critics have never weilded anything larger than a brownie and spend most of the time spouting horse manure. So he had a thing about beautiful blondes. Doesn't any red blooded male. What's kinky about that ?


A new star is born
This short lived 1960's tv series in b&w on UK tv gave a first starring role to John Thaw as a Military Policeman in the British army. From this series he became a firm favourite and went on to star in The Sweeney as Jack Reagan, Inspector Morse, and many other tv specials and series. A consummate actor he will be sorely missed . RIP


Stagecoach, a great movie, a great western.
I first saw Stagecoach the year it was released 1939, when I was nine years old. I saw it again the other afternoon as a rerun on tv. Despite that technically it is showing it's age, afterall it is 63 years old, and all of it's players are no longer with us, it is still one of the greatest westerns to ever grace a cinema screen. The indian attack, the cavalry to the rescue, the drunken doctor, the bar room floozie with a heart of gold, the gambler, and the hero doing "what a man's got to do" and escaping without a scratch . All the ingredients and more of a classic western but done superbly. Not a scene overplayed, not a (film) shot wasted.

Jamaica Inn

A real scary Hitchcock movie about wreckers on the Cornish coast
I first saw this film when I was nine years old and it scared me to death. It was atmospheric for a young boy to watch and full of dark brooding camera work. Charles Laughton was excellent in the type of part in which he always excelled. Maureen O'Hara looked suitably beautiful and Robert Newton made a convincing Revenue man. This film cries out to be remade.

Twelve O'Clock High

Probably the greatest film of the air war to be made about World War II
No gungho up and at 'em men. No false heroics. A great war film, but also an anti-war film of great intensity. Just ordinary men (and boys) doing the job they knew they had got to do. Greg Peck magnificent as the general forced to stiffen the morale of his bomber group, and who he himself eventually cracks under the strain. Dean Jagger outstanding and thoroughly deserving his oscar as best supporting actor. A truly great film, 10 out of 10 in my book. There are still disused airfields like that shown at the beginning only a few miles from where I live (although they were RAF bases). In 1943-45 as a young schoolboy I lived further down south in England and often saw the American Fortresses going to, and returning (not all of them!) from their daylight raids over Germany . A fine tribute to those American airmen wo gave their lives over Europe.

The Smallest Show on Earth

How it used to be in the movie business in the old days
This film is one of my favourites because fifty years ago I was a young projectionists in a small cinema in the East Midlands, England. My future wife, was also a projectionist there (this was just after World War II, and the men were still away in the forces) and was where we met. I later became a movie house manager for several years before leaving the business with the advent of TV. Although it was hilarious the film hit the nail on the head with many home truths. The projectionist and the cashier were always rivals and vied for positions of authority. I knew many projectionists who were fond of the bottle. The way the show was kept running in all adversities was also typical of real life in a small "flea pit". A great film of days that used to be ! Incidentally my wife and I celebrated our golden wedding two years ago, and we did our courting at the movies on our days off.

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