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Reviews

Boyd Q.C.
(1956)

Prototype for future courtroom dramas
The first courtroom drama on ITV. An episode has recently been screened on Talking Pictures. It was only 26 minutes long. So to speed matters along there is a narrator. The problem being that this made the court cross examination rather brief. Michael Dennison was his usual unflappable selfHe made a speciality of playing lawyers. The Franchise Affair is one that comes to mind.

One Hour to Zero
(1976)

Poor effort from CFF
This film is one of the poorer films made by the. CFF. It just hold together. There is a total lack of suspense the child actors are really poor and Dudley Sutton is thrown in as the hapless comedy villain.

Justice
(1971)

Aging Lockwood lacks dynamism
I have been watching this series on TPTV. Interesting to see how the veteran star fared and the legal process when I was part of it.

I felt that Lockwood lacked dynamism as a barrister,compared with say. Leo Mckern as Rumpole.

The episode I watched today had a number of gaffes. Incuding Lockwood being in a solicitor's office,and being instructed on a child custody case of which she had no experience. The writers seemed to have little comprehension as to how the system worked.

After this series,apart from a guest role in a film she retired from acting,and non too soon.

Bartleby
(1970)

I Prefer Not To Watch This Film
Other than watching Paul Scofield in one of his rare film performances there is little to justify spending the brief time necessary to watch this film. It is difficult to understand what persuaded the producers to make this film.

Mothering Sunday
(2021)

Woke up and saw a naked woman
I thought that the plot sounded interesting, instead it was so soporific that it sent me to sleep. Mind you I woke up host as Olivia Coleman started wandering around the house naked. As for the rest slow and boring best describes it.

Steptoe & Son
(1972)

The curse of Steptoe
Harold H Corbett was an acclaimed actor and then he took the part of Steptoe which first killed his career then killed him.

The film is a spin off from the hugely successful TV series and then became a hugely successful film.

Slightly coarsened from the TV series but otherwise true to the spirit of the TV characters.

Painted Boats
(1945)

Docu drama
A sort of hybrid film with a good dose of documentary mixed in with a slight story. Excellent photography of a the canals and the boats and showing a way of life that was about to vanish. Could have done without the sonorous intonation of the poetry making it a sort of aquatic Night Mail.

How to Undress in Public Without Undue Embarrassment
(1965)

Neither funny nor erotic
This film was made on the cusp of the era when anything went. The comedy is unfunny,though watching Reginald Beckwith doing a striptease is worth all the dross. The striptease sequences are hardly daring,and the women are hardly erotic.

Great Moments in Aviation
(1994)

Pretentious Rubbish
This film should be called 5 Characters in search of a plot. How on earth the BBC could waste licencepayets money on this rubbish is beyond belief. The fact that this film couldn't find a distributor speaks volumes.

I lasted for 40 minutes but couldn't take any more.

Trog
(1970)

A really good bad film
For some reason the UK became a Mecca for veteran American actresses in the sixties and seventies. Mainly making B movies. This is a good example.

It is an enjoyably bad film with naff special effects and the wrestler Joe Cornelius in a monkey mask. A hoot from begining to end.

Two Yanks in Trinidad
(1942)

Incredibly unfunny
This was one of wartime genre,gangsters get involved in the army and spies. This has to be one of the unfunniest and inane attempts at comedy that was ever committed to film. There is not one funny moment. Makes Quirt and Flagg comedies seem almost subtle. Whats worse it lasts far too long.

It Started in Paradise
(1952)

It had me in stitches
The memorable aspect of this film is the technicolour photography by Jack Cardiff. This is one of the last films made in the original three strip. Eastmancolour had marketed their monopack which was much cheaper and.which was to be used by Rank in future productions. The clothes in the final fashion show have to be seen to be believed.

Spencer
(2021)

I had to leave the cinema as I couldn't stand the score
I put my hands over my ears and took my hearing aids off,but nothing worked. When it got to the scene where she imagines herself back home I left the cinema. Id had enough. The film dragged on interminably. Poor acting,camera movement for the sake of it,and fussy direction.

The Big Blockade
(1942)

Actually it was the other way around
When this film was being made the U boats were sinking vast amounts of allied shipping,so it was more likely at this time that Britain would be starved into submission. It is interesting to see so many stars doing cameos.

Manila Calling
(1942)

Could have been a remade western
The storyline is rather familiar. It reminded me of a western. It was a fairly average flag waver with little to distinguish it.

How come that Carole Landis never sweats and was a pristine white blouse which does not get dirty. Rather strange.

Running for Pleasure
(1975)

Gone to the dogs
Once upon a time grayhound racing was extremely popular in the UK. There were many stadiums,one near me where Brent Cross shopping centre now stands. Now there are none in London. If you are not interested in racing then don't bother with this film. I watched it out of curiousity.

The Viking Queen
(1967)

Crazy Title Crazy Film
This film is the epitome of a good bad film. It is so bad it is really entertaining. Hammer also seemed to have devised the ultimate in show lots of cleveage without showing the naughty bits.

It has a good cast,leads apart. Wilfred Lawson literally on his last legs. An unrecognisable Donald Houston hamming it up for all he was worth,Patrick Troughton and Adrienne Corri.

Not too much of a surprise that this wasn't a box office smash.

Not aware of it having been shown on TV,so the DVD makes us aware of the efforts of all these famed thesps,and not forgetting Dennis Shaw in a fetching wig.

The Gun Runners
(1958)

Interesting remake
This is a Don Siega LL film some it's always going to be interesting. Whilst I found it entertaining the casting was unusual to say the least Audy Murphy was a bit out of his depth in the Bogart part. Eddie Albert played against type as the villain.

Snowball
(1960)

A first rate B film
One shouldn't be surprised that this film should be so good bearing in mind that it was directed by Pay Jackson. A great performance from Kenneth Griffith's,not his usual mannered villain. Three couples all adversely affected by the complaining letter written by an unthinking neighbour.

Ticket to Paradise
(1961)

Unremarkable Quickie
This is a not unfamiliar story line of two people pretending to be something that they were not. You could say that it doesn't bore,nor on the other hand is it very exciting. If the distributor was lucky this would attach to a successful film and earn it's fair share of Eady Levy.

Dial 999
(1958)

Police proceedural with excellent location work
Robert Beatty is a Canadian cop attached to Scotland Yard. He gets shot at a lot but never gets hit. Some excellent location work shows London in the late fifties. One was shot In my own neighbourhood showing the Odeon Temple Fortune. The makers weren't bothered by onlookers as they can be seen on the other side of the street. Lots of familiar character actors featured..

Strictly for the Birds
(1964)

The small world of Tony Tanner
This film reminds me of The Small world of Sammy Lee only rather lighter. Tanner and Newly seem interchangeable.

The film starts out quite well but once the small boy is introduced it goes downhill rapidly. Furthermore both Tanner and Stark become extremely irritating.

The climax is rather a letdown.

The Belstone Fox
(1973)

Unsettling film
I have seen this described as a family film and heartwarming when it is neither. The first half an hour is rather like a Disney film. Then it shows a hunt in all its dreadful blood letting. It shows us what a primitive blood letting which was fox hunting.

October Moth
(1960)

Sombre B feature
An interesting rather than entertaining B feature starring Canadian actor Lee Patterson who specialised in villains. The main problem with this film is the deafening music composed by the experienced Humphrey Searle. It constantly intrudes. Wonder if that was the directors idea?

Carnival
(1946)

Rather a curious film
The first thing to say is that Sally Gray is totally miscast in the lead. How did she get that cut glass accent and airs and graces living in a working class background.

Then she marries unassuming Bernard Miles and goes off with him to Cornwall. Miles then goes wildly over the top in a totally batty climax. Its entertaining in a curious way,but not memorable.

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