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2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2009

5 items from 2013


Graham Stark obituary

31 October 2013 5:07 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Prolific comedy actor who worked with Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan and Hattie Jacques

The stony-faced, beaky comedy actor Graham Stark, who has died aged 91, is best remembered for his appearances alongside Peter Sellers, notably in the Pink Panther movies. His familiar face and voice, on television and radio, were part of the essential furniture in the sitting room of our popular culture for more than half a century. A stalwart in the national postwar comedy boom led by Sellers, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Dick Emery, Eric Sykes and Benny Hill, he worked with them all in a sort of unofficial supporting repertory company that also included Hattie Jacques, Deryck Guyler, Patricia Hayes and Arthur Mullard. He was also a man of surprising and various parts: child actor, trained dancer, film-maker, occasional writer, and dedicated and critically acclaimed photographer.

Like Gypsy Rose Lee, he had a resourceful and determined »

- Michael Coveney

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Graham Stark obituary

31 October 2013 5:07 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Prolific comedy actor who worked with Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan and Hattie Jacques

The stony-faced, beaky comedy actor Graham Stark, who has died aged 91, is best remembered for his appearances alongside Peter Sellers, notably in the Pink Panther movies. His familiar face and voice, on television and radio, were part of the essential furniture in the sitting room of our popular culture for more than half a century. A stalwart in the national postwar comedy boom led by Sellers, Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Dick Emery, Eric Sykes and Benny Hill, he worked with them all in a sort of unofficial supporting repertory company that also included Hattie Jacques, Deryck Guyler, Patricia Hayes and Arthur Mullard. He was also a man of surprising and various parts: child actor, trained dancer, film-maker, occasional writer, and dedicated and critically acclaimed photographer.

Like Gypsy Rose Lee, he had a resourceful and determined »

- Michael Coveney

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Long Before Obi-Wan There Were the Eight D'Ascoynes: Guinness Day

2 August 2013 7:24 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Alec Guinness: Before Obi-Wan Kenobi, there were the eight D’Ascoyne family members (photo: Alec Guiness, Dennis Price in ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’) (See previous post: “Alec Guinness Movies: Pre-Star Wars Career.”) TCM won’t be showing The Bridge on the River Kwai on Alec Guinness day, though obviously not because the cable network programmers believe that one four-hour David Lean epic per day should be enough. After all, prior to Lawrence of Arabia TCM will be presenting the three-and-a-half-hour-long Doctor Zhivago (1965), a great-looking but never-ending romantic drama in which Guinness — quite poorly — plays a Kgb official. He’s slightly less miscast as a mere Englishman — one much too young for the then 32-year-old actor — in Lean’s Great Expectations (1946), a movie that fully belongs to boy-loving (in a chaste, fatherly manner) fugitive Finlay Currie. And finally, make sure to watch Robert Hamer’s dark comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets »

- Andre Soares

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British cinema's holy fools

26 July 2013 4:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In the 1940s and 50s, the Boulting brothers won over filmgoers and critics with a series of classics – from Brighton Rock to Private's Progress. As the BFI begins a retrospective, Michael Newton explores their version of Britain

The history of the Boulting brothers is the history of British cinema in miniature. The brilliance, the comforts and the disappointments are all there. In the 1940s, they take off from documentary realism to reach the heights of noir extravagance, before falling back into a gently unexciting worthiness. At the start of the 1950s they produce two fascinating oddities, characteristic of the oddity of the times. Later that decade, they turn to cosily satirical farce, the products of an exasperated, grump. The 1960s see them trying to get with it and making a middle-aged effort to "swing", but also creating one work that finds a vulnerable, extraordinary beauty in ordinary lives. And after that comes a petering out, »

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Blu-ray Review: Lost Classic ‘Perfect Understanding’ Has Aged Dreadfully

15 June 2013 9:14 AM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – It’s a cause for celebration amongst film buffs when any picture—however minor or unremarkable—is miraculously resurrected from the dead, enabling us to view a lost piece of cinema history. That being said, there are countless titles more worthy of being reborn than “Perfect Understanding,” the latest alleged classic released by Cohen Media Group.

At first glance, this 1933 talkie promises to be fascinating. After making the intimidating transition to sound, while scoring two Oscar nominations in the process, one would imagine that Gloria Swanson’s career was on fire. Yet her popularity was waning with audiences, inspiring the star to form her own production company to make this comeback vehicle with a young up-and-comer named Laurence Olivier. Apparently the film fizzled during its initial release, inspiring Swanson to make only two more pictures before disappearing for nearly a decade.

Blu-ray Rating: 1.5/5.0

It wasn’t until 1950 when Swanson »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2009

5 items from 2013


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