5 items from 2015
(Alexander Mackendrick, 1955; StudioCanal, U, DVD/Blu-ray)
Ealing Studio’s two greatest directors, Robert Hamer and Alexander Mackendrick, both made near flawless black comedies on the state of the nation starring Alec Guinness and involving multiple murders, and there is little to choose between the former’s Kind Hearts and Coronets and the latter’s The Ladykillers, a special edition of which is being released this week to mark its 60th anniversary.
The heist (or caper) movie began with The Great Train Robbery in 1903, and enjoyed its classic decade in America and Europe between John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and Basil Dearden’s The League of Gentlemen (1960). The greatest comic example is The Ladykillers.
Continue reading »
- Philip French
Special Mention: Misery
Directed by Rob Reiner
Screenplay by William Goldman
Elevated by standout performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, Misery remains one of the best Stephen King adaptations to date. Director Rob Reiner is clearly more interested in the dark humour and humanity than the gory detail in King’s novel, but make no mistake about it, Misery is a tough watch soaked in sharp dialogue, a brooding atmosphere, and disturbing bodily harm inflicted on James Caan by sweet old Kathy Bates. I can still feel his pain.
129. Black Sabbath (Three Faces of Fear)
Italy 1960 / Italy 1963
Genre: Horror Anthology
- Ricky Fernandes
Director: Robert Hamer
Running Time: 97 mins
The idea of treating life like a competition and getting one over on potential opponents is commonplace in today’s society. On TV The Apprentice regularly showcases selfishness and avarice in a frenzied clamber to the top. The new Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition is criticized from all quarters for encouraging respectful discourse in politics.
Back in 1960 this attitude wasn’t prevalent, which probably contributed to the success of British comedy classic School For Scoundrels. Reissued on DVD and Blu-ray with a spanking digital restoration, this story of bad behaviour packaged as a knowing wink to the male ego has returned to entertain a new generation. Will they be impressed by the black and white antics of the notorious institution of the title, »
- Steve Palace
Cohen Media Group beautifully restores Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 title Jamaica Inn. A title worthy of reconsideration, considered by many to be an inferior work from the master of suspense, even from the director himself, it’s a definite gem, particularly for fans of Charles Laughton. The actor, whose production company basically commandeered the production, gives a swarthy, deliciously overwrought performance. It’s a standout in a career already filled with such distinction. The film also serves as the film debut of the beautiful Maureen O’Hara, here playing a glorified damsel in distress.
The narrative is relatively simple, set around 1800 as young Irish lass Mary (O’Hara) makes a surprise visit to the Cornish coast to visit her Aunt Patience (Marie Ney) following the death of her mother. Patience lives with Mary’s uncle Joss (Leslie Banks, who vies with Laughton for greatest scene chewer), a man that provides the »
- Nicholas Bell
Charlie Mortdecai, the human shambles in a sharp suit, is leaping off the printed page into cinemas this week. Debonair, cultured and about as principled as a rat in the Queen’s cutlery drawer, he’s brought to life by none other than Johnny Depp. It isn’t the first time Depp has used those relatively fresh-faced looks to an advantage when portraying the morally-quagmired. The actor’s most famous ne’er do’well, Captain Jack Sparrow, is setting his dirty sails for a return in 2017. But Mortdecai is a different breed of fish to Sparrow – equally slippery, but more in the category of “cad”; a gentleman who should know better. A man not above using all means at his disposal, from the depraved to the downright duplicitous, to attain his murky goals. Like many of the best of this species, he comes armed with a moustache, a surfeit of »
- Steve Palace
5 items from 2015
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners