"Taboo 2" is my favourite all-time porn movie featuring three of the hottest pornstars who ever worked in the porn business. Having Honey Wilder, Kay Parker & Juliet Anderson in the same movie together, well it just doesn't get any better than that!. Juliet Anderson (aka Aunt Peg) was a really great porn actress, Kay Parker was just drop-dead gorgeous with a fabulous body & as for Honey Wilder, well no pornstar ever made feel like jerking off more than that unbelievably sexy mare. There is also an appearance by Cara Lott who was another knockout hot babe. This is just a fabulous porn movie.
Pretty well everybody seems to agree that "The City On The Edge Of Forever" was the very best episode of the original Star Trek series and what a lucky lady was Joan Collins to make her only Star Trek guest star appearance in it. Whilst tending a crew member with an injection from a syringe Dr. McCoy accidentally injects himself with its entire contents after the USS Enterprise jolts suddenly. This sends him temporarily mad & he then transports himself down to a planet that is under study for mysteriously warping space/time. Captain Kirk & Spock decide they will have to follow Dr. McCoy down on to the planet to try to rescue him. On this planet there is a time portal which is the cause of space/time disturbance & is capable of sending people back in time. In his crazy condition McCoy jumps through it & is transported back to planet Earth circa 1930. Kirk & Spock decide they too will have to risk going through the time portal to try & bring McCoy back. Here on Earth in 1930 the members of the Star Trek crew meet Edith Keeler (Joan Collins) who is running a home for down-and-outs. What then follows is a really excellent, creative story that has stayed forever in my memory.
I have never once seen this movie televised & saw it for the first time on board a cruise ship. It was made way back in 1975 & I really cannot understand why I have never seen it on the gogglebox because it an exceptionally good comic movie. Gene Wilder & Marty Feldman are excellent but the leading female star Madeline Kahn is absolutely wonderful. Mel Brooks once generously said of her, "Either as a stand-up comedienne, comic actress or anything else, you cannot beat Madeline Kahn". If you watch this movie you'll know precisely why he said it. Early on in her career she was trained as an opera singer & displays a surprisingly good voice besides her great comic gifts. Overall the movie is very original, quirky and an absolute joy. If you get the chance to watch it, don't miss it!.
I agree with byroncallas & just about every other reviewer that "Hombre" is Paul Newman's very best movie. Given that he starred in such great movies as "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid", "The Sting" & "Cool Hand Luke" etc., that is some achievement. Directed by Martin Ritt "Hombre" is one of those rare movies where everything comes together. Great story, great cast, great screenplay & great camerawork by one of Hollywoods all-time great cinematographers James Wong Howe. The story is complex & would take too long to explain but is engrossing. Paul Newman is great as John Russell an archetypal antihero. Superb, too, is Diane Cilento who plays Jessie a very likeable, honest & down-to-earth woman. Probably the best acting performance is given by Richard Boone who plays Grimes a really nasty villain. For anyone who has never seen this movie, DON'T MISS IT, it's great.
I have never seen a better adaptation of a novel by Charles Dickens than this & I don't expect to see anything as good in the future. The Royal Shakespeare Company have done a fabulous job of adapting "Nicholas Nickleby" for the theatre & I couldn't praise this piece of work more highly. All of the cast are superlative in their respective roles but if I had to single out one cast member for special praise it would be David Threlfall who is just movingly brilliant playing the poor crippled boy Smike. This nine hour production is so engrossing that that the time flies by. If only we could bring back Charles Dickens from the dead to hear his opinion of the work done on his great book. I bet he would be as enthralled as everybody else seems to be. For anyone who has never seen this RSC production go out & buy the DVD because I can guarantee you won't regret a single penny of the expense!.
A Strong Contender For The Best Musical Film Ever Made.
"Oliver" a musical based on Charles Dickens "Oliver Twist" is a truly wonderful movie. Even if you took away the words & music by Lionel Bart you would still have a very entertaining movie well worth watching but Mr. Bart's music turns this into something extraordinary. Mark Lester must know what a lucky boy he was to get the lead role but I am sure all of the cast have looked back on this movie with the fondest memories. Some of the musical numbers are just fabulous including my favourites "Who Will Buy", "Consider Yourself" & "You Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two", but every song is memorable. Worth mentioning, too, is Ron Moody as Fagin who is utterly magnificent & Shani Wallis as Nancy is also marvellous. Like Mark Lester, Jack Wild never got a better role in his life than the Artful Dodger & Oliver Reed was also memorably good as a very sinister Bill Sykes. This is just a fantastically entertaining movie.
"The Beer Hunter" is a wonderfully entertaining episode of "Minder". Brian Glover guest stars as Arthur Daley's ex-army pal come down from Rotherham in Yorkshire for a weekend break in London. Arthur calls him "Yorkie" & on his first night down south he & Arthur get drunk & minder Terry has to drive them both home. After Terry drops Arthur off he takes Yorkie back to his hotel. The night-porter is reluctant to take the drunken Yorkie into the hotel but Terry insists that he is booked in. The following morning Arthur phones Terry to tell him to drive Yorkie around London to see the sights. "You know, Buckingham Palace, Soho sex shops & clock the Horseguards", he tells Terry. Terry is still tired from the previous night, doesn't like Yorkie anyway & is not interested. "I got an idea, why don't you send the Horseguards round to clock him", he replies.
Arthur persuades Terry to take him but when he arrives back at his hotel to pick up Yorkie he is not there. It turns out the drunken Yorkie has ended up in the bed of a prostitute named Renee wonderfully played by Georgina Hale. When Yorkie wakes up in the morning in her bed he can't remember how he got there or if he "did the business" with the "prozzy". "No you didn't", she tells him. "You weren't capable dear & less of the prozzy if you don't mind. I am a part-time mod-el!". Terry reports to Arthur that his pal has disappeared & the rest of this very funny & entertaining episode involves Terry & Arthur trying to track down his whereabouts. Towards the end Yorkie's wife also comes down from Rotherham to meet him & they end up back in another public bar. Yorkie's wife fancies herself a singer & gets up on stage to sing the old music hall song "Daisy Dotes". When Terry hears her sing he tells Arthur, "She's worse than he is!". If you have never seen this episode of Minder & get the chance to see it, DON'T MISS IT. ITS GREAT!!!.
This first season episode of Bonanza entitled "San Francisco" is the most entertaining I have ever seen. After transporting some cattle to the city the Cartwrights & two of their cowhands go for a few drinks in the notorious "Barbary Coast" district. The year is 1861 & at that time San Francisco's Barbary Coast had a terrible reputation. A contemporary journalist described it as, "The haunt of the low & vile of every kind. Petty thieves, house burglars, tramps, whore-mongers, lewd women, cutthroats & murderers are all found here". Anyway, two of Ben Cartwright's best hands get Shanghaied & the story revolves around Ben (Lorne Greene) and his sons Hoss (Dan Blocker) & Little Joe (Michael Landon) trying to find them. Ben first goes to the police but the desk sergeant tells him he doesn't have the manpower to go looking for a couple of men in a city where men come & go all the time. When Ben Cartwright stumbles into the bar from where his two hands were waylaid the same thing happens to him. The proprietor of this establishment is one Alexander Pendleton (Shanghai Pete) played by David White. He is a smooth-talking conman & David White plays him really well. When the boys find their father has gone missing they too eventually stumble into this dodgy bar. Big Hoss is by now in a very angry, aggressive mood & threatens to bang a few heads together if he doesn't get any answers as to the whereabouts of his father. Also co-starring in this episode is Kathleen Crowley playing an Irish tart-with-a-heart waitress called Quick-Buck-Kate, (implying she's also a prostitute), who helps to get the men out of trouble. Great stuff & well worth watching!.
I agree with the reviews of both Jellybeansucker & Theo Robertson. This is not only the very best of the 12 episodes of Fawlty Towers, it is the funniest half hour of comedy that has ever been written, in my opinion. John Cleese & Connie Booth packed so much into it that it is really quite incredible. A married couple of doctors (the Abbotts) check in to the hotel & Basil Fawlty does his his usual fawning routine, that is until he finds out that the male doctor (played by Basil Henson) is a psychiatrist. This knowledge turns Basil into a nervous wreck suggesting that he is in dire need of help from Dr. Abbott himself!. A handsome & personable playboy type of young man (Mr. Johnson played by Nicky Henson) also checks in. Basil's wife Sybil takes a shine to him & tries chatting him up. He is wearing a shirt with the buttons undone flashing his hairy chest & the medallion he is wearing. Basil takes an instant dislike to him & suggests he is an ape calling him a "Piltdown ponce". Basil gets wind of the fact Mr. Johnson has also smuggled a girl into his room & becomes obsessed with trying to catch her. A beautiful young Australian lady called Raylene also checks in to the hotel. When she bends down to sign the register she flashes her ample cleavage & Basil can hardly divert his gaze away. She is played by Luan Peters & whilst trying to prove that Mr. Johnson has indeed smuggled a girl in he inadvertently ends up in Raylene's room. Sybil naturally gets the wrong idea & thinks he is infatuated with the beautiful Aussie lady. To fully appreciate this utterly hilarious episode of Fawlty Towers it simply has to be seen because anything I write can hardly do it justice. It is just the most fabulous piece of situation comedy I have ever seen. 10/10 with five gold stars!!!.
The Very Best Episode of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.
The IMDb user rating gives this episode "Going On Holiday" an 8.6, the highest rating of any episode of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. The user rating has got it spot on although I would happily give it an even higher score. This particular episode is hilarious from start to finish. Frank & Betty Spencer are taking a "second honeymoon" holiday & stop a at a seedy-looking guest house run by a Mr. Bedford (Neil McCarthy). We are informed that their first honeymoon was a complete disaster when the newly weds ended up in different places, Betty in Torquay & Frank in Shrewsbury. The second time around doesn't get much better except that they did just manage to both stay together on this occasion. As soon as they get into their room Frank decides he wants to move the two single beds together to make a double bed & in so doing he rips a piece of the lino. To cover up the rip he decides he needs to use a carpet which involves rearranging the rest of the furniture creating more mayhem. Across the hall in the room opposite is a man named Kenny (Cyril Shaps) & Frank decides to pinch his carpet by sliding it from under his door. Kenny watches in horror & thinks something supernatural is taking place. "Mister Bedford!" he cries in his high-pitched, homosexual-sounding voice. After this Frank damages his wardrobe & decides he has to replace that, too, with Kenny's whilst he is out of his room. When Kenny discovers his wardrobe is missing he cries out for Mr. Bedford again. Mr Bedford arrives back on the scene & Kenny tells himabout the "funny" things that are happening to the furniture. "We don't have funny furniture in this hotel", he informs him. "Only funny people!". Neil McCarthy plays Mr. Bedford really well somewhat in the manner of Basil Fawlty. Eventually after moving all the furniture around Frank ends up breaking the damp floorboards creating a hole down into the bar on the ground floor. "This place ought to be condemned!", cries Frank. By now with all the strange noises he keeps hearing Mr. Bedford decides to keep guard in the hall by sitting down outside their rooms. Frank decides that he & Betty will have to climb down through the hole to make an escape from their second honeymoon disaster. He uses his bedsheets to make some "rope" & ties it to his wash-hand basin. When he & Betty climb down through the hole in the floor he also brings the sink crashing down into the bar as well. Time to get out of the place as quickly as possible!. Altogether this is a really wonderful piece of comedy.
"Moonraker" is not usually rated very highly in the catalogue on Bond movies, which I disagree with. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert who was given a huge budget & shot the movie at some glamorous locations around the world including Venice, Florida & Rio De Janeiro. Scenes were also shot at the Iguazu Waterfalls in Argentina & at the Château De Guermantes which is a large & very beautiful mansion in France. The actors who took part in this movie must have felt it was all a really fabulous kind of working holiday!. The premier Bond girl in this escapade is the gorgeous Lois Chiles playing Holly Goodhead, but there is the usual array of scores of other beautiful ladies. The first beauty with whom 007 has a dalliance is played by Corinne Clery who works as a helicopter pilot for the movie's main villain Drax played by Michael Lonsdale. Mr. Lonsdale is an excellent actor who plays Drax as a very intelligent, suave, sophisticated & worldly man. He is also extremely rich, the french château being one of his homes. Miss Clery comes to a very nasty sticky end when she displeases her boss who decides to "terminate her employment". This Drax does by setting his two pet Doberman dogs on her who chase her down through a forest after she runs for her life. The movie's obligatory nasty henchman is Jaws played by the giant Richard Kiel who was also used in another Roger Moore Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me". One of the most exciting scenes in the movie is a fight which takes place between James Bond & Jaws on the cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain high above Rio De Janeiro. Very unusually in any Bond movie, the nasty Jaws is given a love interest Dolly played by pig-tailed Blanche Ravalec. There are some very comical scenes between the two of them & in fact the entire movie is made with its tongue firmly in its cheek!. The movie's finale is set in space which is also fun to watch. All in all, this is an entertaining Bond movie as long as you don't take it too seriously.
As if chef Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Hell wasn't a contrived lot of twaddle, now he has turned his attention to criticising hotels. Kitchen Hell was bad enough but Hotel Hell is a whole lot worse. You can only assume that hotels prepared to come under the gaze of his critical eye are so desperate for business they think that having a celebrity stop at their establishment is worth it for the television advertisement even if what he has to say is less than complimentary. Gordon Ramsey is one of those TV chefs that seems to think he's a genius even though any idiot can cook. When you can paint like Rembrandt or compose a symphony like Mozart or Beethoven, then your a real genius!. Quite why he thinks his culinary knowledge qualifies him to be believe he is an expert in hotel management is beyond me. This, for me, is total television crap!.
"Tom Brown's Schooldays" is a semi-autobiographical novel by Thomas Hughes published in 1856. The author himself attended Rugby school as a boy & it is obvious that the book could only have been written by someone who had experienced life in an English public school firsthand. All English public schools, (& some quite ordinary boys schools), had a "fazing system". New boys were exposed to "initiation ceremonies" involving humiliation & bullying which was supposed to "toughen them up" & make men of them. In reality it was just an excuse for some of the older boys with a nasty nature to mete out punishment & degradation on innocent young boys. Such behaviour still takes place today for new Army recruits. Getting on to the 1951 movie it is a faithful adaptation of the novel. John Howard Davies plays young Tom Brown who when he first arrives at Rugby as an 11 year old is befriended by East (John Charlesworth). East is starting his second year & passes on what he has learned to his new friend & in particular he warns him to beware of Flashman. Flashman, (extremely well played by John Forrest), is a thoroughly obnoxious young man & a bully of the worst possible kind. At one point in the movie Tom Brown is "roasted" by Flashman against a roaring coal fire forcing him to give up a race ticket he has won in a lottery for the Derby favourite. Brown refuses to give it up & has his backside badly burned in what amounts to being tortured. He also refuses to tell the headmaster who did it to him. The headmaster Thomas Arnold is played by one of the great character actors of British cinema Robert Newton who gives, (for him), a fairly restrained performance. The full story is very entertaining & at the movies end Flashman, deservedly, gets his comeuppance by being expelled resulting from another incident involving Tom Brown & his friend East. Worthy of mention, too, is the musical score written for the movie by Richard Adinsell which is excellent. Great Stuff!.
Season 2 of "The Man From Uncle" kicked off in colour for the first time with "The Alexander The Greater Affair". Most of the Uncle stories are somewhat tongue-in-cheek & this one is certainly no exception. Rip Torn plays Alexander a crook who has conquered the financial world as opposed to his historical predecessor who conquered a large part of the known world. Our Uncle agents Napoleon Solo (the late Robert Vaughn) & Ilya Kuryakin (David McCallum) are engaged to bring him down a peg or two. From my point of view the best reason for watching this is to ogle the delectable Dorothy Provine who was a pretty good actress as well as being a knockout looker. She plays Tracey Alexander the ex-wife of our villainous money mogul who is also very interested in bringing him down. "The Man From Uncle" is very watchable as long as you don't take it too seriously.
"The Frightened City" paints an interesting picture of the London underworld circa 1960. Sean Connery gives a great performance as Paddy Damian a heavy who does some of the dirty work for a couple of shady crime bosses played by Alfred Marks & Herbert Lom. Lom, in particular, gives a superb performance as Waldo Zhernikov a very intelligent, suave, hard-headed businessman. John Gregson plays Detective Inspector Sayers trying his best to curb their dodgy dealings. For us lads, it has the ravishing-looking Yvonne Romain playing a dancer & singer in a nightclub owned by our crime bosses. I have read that it was his performance in this movie that led directly to Sean Connery being offered the role of James Bond the following year in the first Bond movie Dr No. A very good watch!.
With his wife Ann (Penelope Wilton) in hospital for a minor operation Martin (Richard Briers) has to take care of himself for a couple of days. He meticulously makes out a chart for his housework, cooking & cleaning routine. After leaving Ann on a hospital visit he plans to have chilli con carne for his evening meal on his first day alone but ends up having to go round to his local fish & chip shop. He had earlier that day declined an offer from his friends Howard & Hilda (Stanley Lebor & Geraldine Newman) inviting him round to their house for dinner. Next day he puts his work schedule into operation but things just go from bad to worse. Much, MUCH worse!. The appliances start ganging up against him, or so he thinks. The hoover won't stop foaming, the washing-machine goes walkabout & he wrecks his electric oven by placing a plastic food container into it, amongst other things. On top of this the telephone hardly stops ringing. He in a state of panic when his next-door-neighbour Paul (Peter Egan) turns up. Martin dislikes Paul because he is everything Martin is not. Relaxed, supercool & seems to be proficient at doing everything!. In an earlier episode he memorably tells his wife Ann, "I bet when he gets up in the morning he doesn't even have to comb his hair. I'll bet it just falls into place!". After a good giggle about the mess Martin has got himself into, Paul helps him sort things out. After this Paul cooks them both a meal in his own house & they share a bottle of wine. With a few glasses of wine inside him him Martin puts his arm round Paul & tells him, "You've got a real mate now mate but not in any funny way if you know what I mean". Martin has had to buy a new oven to replace the one he has damaged & when his wife Ann returns home the next day he tells her it's a coming-home present. The firm from whom Martin bought the new oven ring & Ann answers the phone telling them how delighted she is with it. Ann is then told they couldn't give any discount on the old oven because the inside was too badly damaged by melted plastic. An annoyed Ann now wants to have words with Martin about the oven but he interrupts telling her that he loves her, how much he missed her & he never wants to be parted from her again. "What were you saying, love?", asks Martin. Ann smiles & says, "Nothing!". It is a very touching ending to a very funny episode of an excellent sitcom.
If you read the reviews here on on the IMDb for Batman you will get a huge number of, apparently, critical words used to describe it. Daft, silly, absurd, idiotic, ridiculous & camp etc. All are true but that didn't stop just about everybody loving the show. ME TOO!. I loved it as a 15 year old boy when it first aired back in 1966 & I still love it today 50 years on. Adam West & Burt Ward who played Batman & Robin respectively always kept straight faces no matter how ridiculous the situations they were in, (& some of them were totally mad), but somehow or other it all just worked. Great too were Alan Napier playing the dynamic duo's butler Alfred, Stafford Repp playing Irish police chief O'Hara & Neil Hamilton as Commissioner Gordon. What really made the show, however, were the villains & villainesses some of whom were an absolute hoot!. Frank Gorshin's Riddler, Burgess Meredith's Penguin, Vincent Price's Egghead, Cesar Romero's Joker, Victor Buono's King Tut (playing the ancient Egyptian Pharoah Tutenkhamun), Julie Newmar's Catwoman & Zsa Zsa Gabor's Minerva (who just played herself really, dahlink) were amongst the most memorable although I could go on, & on & ON. In fact practically everyone who had any kind of name in Hollywood at the time made at least one appearance on the show. As the show progressed into its third season the villainous characters just got more & more nuttier. One of my favourites was Barbara Rush playing Nora Clavicle who was flanked either side by two statuesque beauties Evalina & Angelina played by June Wilkinson & Inga Nielsen respectively. Another really dopey character was created for Liberace named Chandell. He was a kind of musical villain & was surrounded by a trio of gorgeous ladies who played the bag-pipes called Doe, Rae & Mimi. (See, I told you how nutty the show became!). Our bag-piping ladies were played by Marilyn Hanold, Edy Williams & Sivi Aberg respectively. Given the fact that Liberace was well-known as a raving homosexual as well as being a brilliant pianist I am sure there was some kind of in-joke going on by the shows producers who surrounded him with hot babes!. As I say the show was very often an utterly hilarious blast!. ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!.
Callum Gee in his review called it "probably the best comedy sequel of all time" & I would entirely agree with that. Glenn Aylett called it "the best sitcom of the 1970's". I cannot agree with that because I must give that accolade to Fawlty Towers, but I would happily give it my nomination as the second best. This particular episode "Affairs & Relations", however, is as funny as any of the best of Fawlty Towers. It is utterly hilarious throughout & plays kind of like a Brian Rix bedroom farce. Bob (Rodney Bewes) & Terry (James Bolam) are on a fishing expedition & get a room in the local small hotel. Here they unexpectedly bump into Bob's wife Thelma's father played by Bill Owen who has a rather attractive secretary with him, Beryl played by Ann Hamilton. Bob would like to believe there is a perfectly good reason why his father-in-law has her in tow. Terry tells him, "There is, he's a randy old sod!". The hotel has employed a sexy barmaid played by Carole Ann Ford who fancies Terry & keeps making suggestive comments to him. When Bob's wife Thelma (Brigit Forsyth) turns up later she gets the wrong end of the stick & thinks something is going on between Bob & Beryl. Thelma doesn't suspect her father at all & she cannot help noticing that Terry cannot remember Beryl's name. It all turns into a really marvellous comic farce. 10/10 with a gold star!.
I have just watched "Blood From The Mummy's Tomb" on the UK TV Horror Channel. It isn't one Hammer Film's very best movies but it is worth watching just to ogle one of the greatest beauties that ever graced British cinema, Valerie Leon. This tall, statuesque lady was just about as gorgeous as a woman can possibly be, with a full heaving cleavage & such a lovely face topped by a lustrous head of dark brown hair. Valerie was just a 100% knockout of a hot babe. The story itself is more than a bit confusing. She plays former Egyptian Queen Tera who is possessed by magical powers whose spirit is somehow passed down to a young woman named Margaret (also played by Valerie Leon) centuries later. The movie is based on a novel by Bram Stoker & my advice is don't bother to try to comprehend the story too much. Just feast your eyes on former "Hai Karate" perfume model, the ravishingly beautiful Valerie Leon.
Watchable Just For The Dancing Skill Of Fred Astaire & Vera-Ellen.
Nobody could truthfully say that "The Belle Of New York" is a great movie but it does showcase the dancing talents of Fred Astaire & Vera-Ellen which, for me at least, makes it worth watching. Astaire was the greatest Hollywood dancer of all with the only possible exception of Gene Kelly. Lovely Vera-Ellen was not only one of Hollywood's best female dancers but had a pair of the most gorgeous gams I have ever seen. Astaire is always great to watch & Vera-Ellen does a very sexy dance to a song entitled "Naughty But Nice". She is dressed in a kind of black chiffon can-can dancers outfit & looks fabulous in it. Squeaky-voiced comedienne Alice Pearce also makes an appearance in this movie & a very funny lady she was but, sadly, died fairly young. All in all this movie is pretty good & fairly entertaining.
"The Phil Silvers Show" aka "Bilko" is, without a shadow of doubt, one of the funniest TV sitcoms of all time & its principal star Phil Silvers was a comic genius if ever there was one. It remains just as funny today as when it first aired around 60 years ago. There are two good reasons why. Firstly it was brilliantly scripted & second was the main man himself. It also had some great characters like Colonel Hall (Paul Ford) & Private Dauberman (Maurice Gosfield). Quite a number of comics got their careers started guesting on the show. Among them were Alan Alda (later of "MASH" fame) & Dick Van Dyke. Just about everyone who was anyone in Hollywood at the time also made at least one guest appearance too. It is currently being shown in the UK on the ForcesTV channel & this "Bilko" fan hopes it will continue to do so.
As a young woman who became an actress Kathleen Turner was very lucky. She got to star in a few cracking good movies early on in her career. Body Heat, Romancing The Stone, The Man With Two Brains & this one Peggy Sue Got Married. If there is a God, well he certainly smiled on Kathleen. Peggy Sue Got Married is one of those movies it is almost impossible not to like & guaranteed to cheer you up if your in a bit of a crap mood. Peggy Sue's marriage is on the rocks & she is in the throes of a divorce. When she attends a High-School reunion dance she somehow gets transported back in time to the 1950's when she was a teenager. Here she meets her lover & future husband played by handsome Nicolas Cage as well as her younger parents played by Barbara Harris & Don Murray. Inevitably people change, (hopefully for the better?), as they get older & the movie begs the obvious question as to whether you might do things differently given another chance. The class clever-clogs & budding scientist is played by Barry Miller. Like most school smart-arses he is not liked by his classmates but an older, wiser Peggy Sue thrown back in time gets to know him much better & like him. The movie's title is taken from the old Buddy Holly hit recording of the same name used in the opening & closing credits. What follows is a really good fantasy movie that will put just about everyone reminiscing about their youth. Great Stuff!.
Directed by one of the all-time great film directors Fred Zinnemann & with a really brilliant screenplay written by Robert Bolt, "A Man For All Seasons" is just about as perfect a movie as is possible to make. The movie gives an account of the conflict which took place in the 16th century between King Henry V111 & his Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More, which eventually led to More's execution. Paul Scofield gives a towering acting performance as Sir Thomas More with Robert Shaw (also extremely good) as Henry V111. After the Pope in Rome refused to annul his marriage to Catherine Of Aragon the King separated himself from the Catholic Church & proclaimed himself head of the newly- created Church Of England. More refused to sign the Oath Of Supremacy acknowledging the King's position & also refused to countenance the divorce which would leave the King free to marry Anne Boleyn. The Duke of Norfolk (Nigel Davenport) tries to persuade him to sign a document sanctioning the divorce but More adamantly refuses. The Duke tells him that it doesn't really matter whether he believes in granting the King a divorce or not & that he should sign it anyway, "for fellowship". More answers him by saying, "And when we stand before God & you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience & I am damned & sent to hell for not doing mine, will you accompany me there for fellowship?". After he resigned as Lord Chancellor More maintained an attitude of silence before & during his trial regarding the kings divorce. His thinking was that by doing so they would be unable to gain a treason conviction against him. More hoped he would then be left alone to live out the remainder of his life in peace & quiet. However, the angry King wanted More's head & there was never any chance of that!. Thomas Cromwell (Leo McKern), the ruthless & unscrupulous chief minister to the King got an ambitious, young (& equally unscrupulous) nobleman Richie Rich (John Hurt) to bear false witness against Sir Thomas More which helped to convict him. Cromwell rewarded Rich for his treachery with a chain of office. When More sees it he finally breaks his silence. "Why Richie, isn't that the chain of office for the Ministry of Wales? It profits a man nothing that he sells his soul to the devil for all the world, but to do it for Wales!". As I said at the start Robert Bolt's screenplay is just brilliant. He took the movie's title from a writer & poet who knew him & lived during Sir Thomas More's lifetime. Robert Whittington described him thus:-"More is a man with an angel's wit & singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of such gentleness, lowliness & affability. And, as time requireth, a man of marvellous mirth & pastimes, & sometimes of sad gravity. A man for all seasons". Jonathan Swift wrote that More was "a man of the greatest virtue this kingdom ever produced". Just before the axe came down severing his head from his body More is reputed to have said, "I die the king's good servant, but God's first".
For my money, "A Kind Of Loving" is the very best movie of the so-called British "new wave" cinema which, during the late 1950's & early 1960's, focused on the lives & problems of working class people. Alan Bates stars as draughtsman Vic Brown who begins an affair with an office girl who works for the same company as himself. Her name is Ingrid Rothwell played by June Ritchie & after Vic makes her pregnant he feels obliged to marry her. They are unable to afford a place of their own so Vic moves in with Ingrid & her mother played by Thora Hird. Mrs. Rothwell is the kind of mother-in law that Les Dawson used to joke about, one straight out of hell!. Living with his mother-in-law almost inevitably puts a strain on his marriage & Vic starts drinking more heavily which leads to a confrontation. Vic tells the mother-in-law that at least he had the decency to marry her daughter & that if he hadn't made her pregnant somebody else probably would. She replies, "How dare you? How dare you say such filthy, disgusting things? You come into this house drunk, filthy drunk. Your filthy. You talk filth. You are filth. Your filth. You filthy pig. You filthy, disgusting pig. Filth. FILTH!" Thora Hird plays her really brilliantly & this movie is worth watching for her performance alone. One of Vic's friends is played by a very young James Bolam just before he gained television fame as one of "The Likely Lads". He is great as are both Alan Bates & June Ritchie In the leading roles. The movie overall is a moving, honest, gritty & entirely believable depiction of life amongst the working class in the north of England. Highly recommended.
There are so many holes I can pick in this 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's great novel "Pride & Prejudice" that I scarcely know where to start. Let's begin with Matthew Macfadyen & Keira Knightly who represent pride & prejudice respectively. Mr. Macfadyen's portrayal of Fitzwilliam Darcy is just awful, in my opinion. His acting is so flat that he manages to make the handsome, proud & haughty nobleman seem so dull & uninteresting that you wonder how any woman could possibly fall in love with him. Keira Knightley does better with her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennett but she doesn't seem at all like a middle-class young lady of the Regency period. This isn't entirely Miss Knightley's fault, of course, but more the fault of the production team. If you are going to adapt a novel from the time when Jane Austen lived then you have to give it some accurate historical detail which this production noticeably lacks. Donald Sutherland as Elizabeth's father Mr. Bennett seems completely miscast & Brenda Blethyn as her mother doesn't feel right either. She comes across more like a Dickens character than Jane Austen. Tom Hollander plays the pompous, somewhat comical parson Mr. Collins who proposes to Elizabeth & is rejected. He just doesn't seem anywhere near pompous enough or at all comical as written by Jane Austen. In my opinion only Dame Judy Dench playing Darcy's aunt Lady Catherine De Burgh can take much credit in the acting department. As was quite correctly pointed out by another reviewer the dance where we are first introduced to Mr. Darcy & his friend Mr. Bingley seems much more like a peasant barn dance than a refined regency ball. It would be very interesting to hear Jane Austen's opinion of this production but I bet she would have hated it!. Both the 1980 BBC production with David Rintoul & Elizabeth Garvie and the 1995 effort with Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle were done very much better.