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Reviews

The Girl on a Motorcycle
(1968)

Pretentious Sixties Rubbish
It proves that being a top cinematographer cuts no ice when it comes to being a director.This film is a time capsule of the era it was made.A capsule which should be fired up into space.The only way to watch this,if you must,is on fast forward.

A Prize of Arms
(1962)

Superior Crime Film
Stanley Baker made some excellant crime films in this period.Made on location,with an authentic feeling.Lots of well known actors appear in small parts.Excellent black and white cinematography,aided by tight editing.

Murder in Eden
(1961)

The French Connection
Directed by Frenchman Max Varnel son of famed comedy director Marcel Varnel,and featuring French actress Catherine Feller.This is a bottom of the bill thriller which provides few thrills and little action.

Mary Millington's True Blue Confessions
(1980)

Jaw droppingly awful
Unfortunately they could not let the poor woman rest in peace.They had to try and squeeze or more exploitation film out of her. It seems to be a lot of shots thrown together. It does not know the meaning of the term bad taste.All persons connected with this should have been ashamed of themselves, but I doubt that they did.

Chubby Funny
(2016)

Rubbish low budget film
This is the type of film that gets an airing on our local TV station for one good reason,it's cheap.The travails of a young slightly fat actor in London,trying to establish a career.Not worth watching.

Now Barabbas
(1949)

Prison Melodrama
This was one of the last films made at Teddington studios before it closed as a film studio in 1951. It is a portmanteau drama with no narrative but with the central drama being played out in the condemned cell where an unlikely Richard Greene has been sentenced to death for the murder of a policemen. We see the events leading up to the incarcerating of all the featured prisoners except Greene. Burton gives a standout performance.Kenneth More,with a moustache has a bit part. Hardwicke is a sympathetic governor. Not a memorable prison drama,but entertaining nonetheless.

The Spider and the Fly
(1949)

Hamers films are always interesting
Sadly though he was an alcoholic which affected his career and cut short his life.This is a rather slow paced film but it does manage to hold ones attention.It is notable that not one actor affects a French accent and they are all smoking all the time.

Bless This House
(1972)

An extinct genre
These sort of films were all the British film industry had to offer in the seventies. Which is why they eventually became extinct. Every cliche known to comedy wrters was utilised. If you weren't aware that a gag was coming the music would give you a clue.Poor direction. Terry Scott mugs shamelessly and June Whitfield is her usual self.

Assault
(1971)

Carry on in the woods
Surprised to see that this was a Peter Rogers production.Maybe if he had gotten Gerald Thoma to direct we could have had some laughs.Instead this is a limp lethargic thriller which long outstays it's welcome.The climax is out of The Spiral Staircase.Now there was a classy thriller.

Under Suspicion
(1991)

Too many plot holes and contrivances
For a time this film looked as if it would be really worthwhile.However it just fell apart in the climax.The detective who breaks into a house and saves Neeson in the nick of time. The trial is poorly handled.A defendant will not give evidence three times.Where did they get the courtroom set from.As a retired I have never seen one like the one shown in this film. Nor was there a long walk to the gallows.In the condemned cell there was a wardrobe.At the due time this was slid to one side revealing the door to the death chamber.Door opens,condemned man is brought to the gallows,arms and legs pinned,placed upon the drop,bolts removed,door opened,all over in a few seconds.Not minutes.

Checkpoint
(1956)

Never gets out of first gear
This film was part of Ranks plans to go to far flung locations as background to their films.So here we have a colourful location in front of which is played out a colourless story.Anthony Steel is so inert he is virtually horizontal.Stanley Baker on the other hand wildly overplays barking out his lines like an RSM on a parade ground. Lucky they didn't film the following year as there were two fatal crashes which brought an end to this extremely hazardous race.

Emmanuelle in Soho
(1981)

Time capsule of Soho
Here is a time capsule of Soho in the early eighties.Not particularly edifying it has to be said.John East was a Max Miller impersonator who I saw on stage.Poor Julie Lee who died a horrific death. The climax of this film is rather limp,much like the rest of this film

The Fourth Protocol
(1987)

Lots of unexplained killings
At the begining Kim Philby is killed with no reason given.Towards the end Joanna Cassidy is killed without explanation.There is the impression of a note which is by her bed reading "Kill Her".Why was she killed and why did someone write this out.Michael Caine is the only decent character.I never really liked these sort of spy films

Elenya
(1992)

Slow boring and pretentious
This film was co produced by the BFI so the above description is par for the course for their films Difficult to make 80 minutes go slowly but this manages to achieve this effortlessly.The modern sequence seems to have very little relevance.

Sing As We Go!
(1934)

Gracie still holds the screen
Little wonder that Gracie was one of the top film stars of the thirties.Her exuberant personality shines through throughout the film. The film is now almost a social document showing how holidays were spent in Blackpool. This is still a very entertaining film

Corridor of Mirrors
(1948)

Excellent photography
I have never been a fan of Eric Portman and am therefore no fan of any of the films he appeared in.So I will just say that the photography is excellent and leave it at that

His Lordship Regrets
(1938)

Claude in fine form
Given that the original running time of this film was 78 minutes,it is more likely,that this comedy,made for distribution by RKO was a co feature rather than a quota quickie. Claude Hilbert is in fine form in the leading role.A pleasant comedy.

Blackmail: Vacant Possession
(1966)
Episode 12, Season 2

Humerous look at serious problem
Legislation enacted in the 1950s was seriously flawed.It created controlled tenancies where the tenant could not be evicted and the rent was strictly controlled by So this led to the rise of rogue landlords,who would resort to illegal tactics to obtain vacant possession.To get the tenant out the landlord would have to pay them a considerable sum.So this old programme brought back many memories.

Castle Sinister
(1948)

Dire
I have recently viewed the remake of this film,The Devils Jest,which is even worse than this awful film.Acting,directing and writing are equally bad.Mercigully this only lasts 49 minutes.

The Devil's Jest
(1954)

Abysmal
This film lives up,or should it be down to all its reviews.It is trully awful and must be a contender for the worst British film ever.Acting,direction and writing are uniformly bad.

It Ain't Half Hot Mum
(1974)

It Ain't Half Funny
I enjoyed this series when it was originally broadcast. As there is no likelihood of it being broadcast again,I bought The box?box set and have just finished it.It is very funny,almost as good as Dads Army.It does have problems. Michael Bates,blacked up,as the bearer, makes it unacceptable for broadcastimg,as does the homophobic rants by the Sergeant Major. Furthermore it has to be said that many of the Indian characters are drawn in an unsympathetic light..

Mrs. Fitzherbert
(1947)

Lacklustre costumedrama
Obviously made to cash in on the success of the Gainsborough costume dramas.However lacking the dash and élan of those films,and of course lacking a Mason or Lockwood.Its 96 minutes pass exceptionally slowly.

The Court Martial of Major Keller
(1961)

Excellant Danziger B feature
This is really topclass B feature from the Danzigers.Although obviously made on a small budget it tells the tale extremely well.It does have to overcome some of the usual contrivances of this sort of court room drama but it devises a plausible reason for the events.

The Children Act
(2017)

Rather uninvolving
Difficult to fathom whether this was about a dissolving marrage or a relationship with a 17 year old whose life she has to decide to save. My only interest was in seeing inside the Royal Courts of Justice where I practised as a lawyer some 30 years ago.

Tom Brown's School Days
(1940)

1950 film is better
Whilst I thought that Cedric Hardwick gave an excellent performance as the headmaster, I thought that the performance of Robert Newton was better

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