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Moby Dick

I have a back file of reader notes asking for a Blu-ray for John Huston’s Moby Dick, and more pointedly, wondering what will be done with its strange color scheme. I wasn’t expecting miracles, but this new Twilight Time disc should make the purists happy – it has approximated the film’s original, heavily muted color scheme.

Moby Dick

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1956 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 116 min. / Street Date November 15, 2016 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, Leo Genn, James Robertson Justice,

Harry Andrews, Orson Welles, Bernard Miles, Mervyn Johns, Noel Purcell, Frederick Ledebur

Cinematography Oswald Morris

Art Direction Ralph W. Brinton

Film Editor Russell Lloyd

Original Music Philip Sainton

Writing credits Ray Bradbury and John Huston

Produced and Directed by John Huston

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Talk about a picture with a renewed reputation… in its day John Huston’s Moby Dick was not considered a success,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

One of Our Aircraft Is Missing

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger officially become ‘The Archers’ for this sterling morale-propaganda picture lauding the help of the valiant Dutch resistance. It’s a joyful show of spirit, terrific casting (with a couple of surprises) and first-class English filmmaking.

One of Our Aircraft is Missing

Blu-ray

Olive Films

1942 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy /103 82 min. / Street Date November 15, 2016 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring Godfrey Tearle, Eric Portman, Hugh Williams, Bernard Miles, Hugh Burden, Emrys Jones, Pamela Brown, Joyce Redman, Googie Withers, Hay Petrie, Arnold Marlé, Robert Helpmann, Peter Ustinov, Roland Culver, Robert Beatty, Michael Powell.

Cinematography Ronald Neame

Film Editor David Lean

Camera Crew Robert Krasker, Guy Green

Written by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

Produced by The Archers

Directed by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

There are still a few more key Powell-Pressburger ‘Archer’ films waiting for a quality disc release, Contraband and Gone to Earth for just two.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Smallest Show On Earth: In Memory Of The Bijou (1957) And The Alger (1940-2015)

The delightful British comedy The Smallest Show on Earth headlines a great Saturday matinee offering from the UCLA Film and Television Archive on June 25 as their excellent series “Marquee Movies: Movies on Moviegoing” wraps up. So it seemed like a perfect time to resurrect my review of the movie, which celebrates the collective experience of seeing cinema in a darkened, and in this case dilapidated old auditorium, alongside my appreciation of my own hometown movie house, the Alger, which opened in 1940 and closed last year, one more victim of economics and the move toward digital distribution and exhibition.

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“You mean to tell me my uncle actually charged people to go in there? And people actually paid?” –Matt Spenser (Bill Travers) upon first seeing the condition of the Bijou Kinema, in The Smallest Show on Earth

In Basil Dearden’s charming and wistful 1957 British comedy The Smallest Show on Earth (also
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Malcolm Tierney obituary

Stage and screen actor who excelled in playing authority figures and appeared in TV shows such as Brookside and Lovejoy

Malcolm Tierney, who has died aged 75 of pulmonary fibrosis, was a reliable and versatile supporting actor for 50 years, familiar to television audiences as the cigar-smoking, bullying villain Tommy McArdle in Brookside, nasty Charlie Gimbert in Lovejoy and smoothie Geoffrey Ellsworth-Smythe in David Nobbs's A Bit of a Do, a Yorkshire small-town comedy chronicle starring David Jason and Gwen Taylor.

Always serious and quietly spoken offstage, with glinting blue eyes and a steady, cruel gaze that served him well as authority figures on screen, Tierney was a working-class Mancunian who became a core member of the Workers' Revolutionary party in the 1970s. He never wavered in his socialist beliefs, even when the Wrp imploded ("That's all in my past now," he said), and always opposed restricted entry to the actors' union,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Malcolm Tierney obituary

Stage and screen actor who excelled in playing authority figures and appeared in TV shows such as Brookside and Lovejoy

Malcolm Tierney, who has died aged 75 of pulmonary fibrosis, was a reliable and versatile supporting actor for 50 years, familiar to television audiences as the cigar-smoking, bullying villain Tommy McArdle in Brookside, nasty Charlie Gimbert in Lovejoy and smoothie Geoffrey Ellsworth-Smythe in David Nobbs's A Bit of a Do, a Yorkshire small-town comedy chronicle starring David Jason and Gwen Taylor.

Always serious and quietly spoken offstage, with glinting blue eyes and a steady, cruel gaze that served him well as authority figures on screen, Tierney was a working-class Mancunian who became a core member of the Workers' Revolutionary party in the 1970s. He never wavered in his socialist beliefs, even when the Wrp imploded ("That's all in my past now," he said), and always opposed restricted entry to the actors' union,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Graham Stark obituary

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
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Graham Stark obituary

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
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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

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
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

All in Good Time – review

A classic 1960s working-class drama translates beautifully into a comedy of contemporary British Asian family life

All in Good Time is a touching, likable comedy of life in Lancashire's Hindu community. Though this aspect is little publicised, it's closely based on Bill Naughton's 1965 play of the same title.

Born in Ireland and raised in Bolton, Naughton emerged as a novelist and playwright in the late 50s in the wave of northern working-class writers like Shelagh Delaney, Keith Waterhouse, Alan Sillitoe, David Storey and Stan Barstow. But having been born in 1910 and worked for years as a coal-bagger, cotton-loom operator and lorry driver, Naughton belonged to an earlier generation and was altogether less chippy, aggressive, and self-consciously political about his background.

He enjoyed considerable success in the theatre and had three of his plays filmed, though his most enduringly popular work, the film version of Alfie, completely misrepresented Naughton's radio play,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

DVD Playhouse--April 2012

DVD Playhouse—April 2012

By Allen Gardner

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Warner Bros.) An eleven year-old boy (newcomer Thomas Horn, in an incredible debut) discovers a mysterious key amongst the possessions of his late father (Tom Hanks) who perished in 9/11. Determined to find the lock it matches, the boy embarks on a Picaresque odyssey across New York City. Director Stephen Daldry and screenwriter Eric Roth have fashioned a film both grand and intimate, beautifully-adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, thought by most who read it to be unfilmable. Fine support from Jeffrey Wright, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Viola Davis and the great Max von Sydow. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Featurettes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 5.1 surround.

Battle Royale: The Complete Collection (Anchor Bay) Adapted from Koushun Takami’s polarizing novel (compared by champions and detractors alike as a 21st century version of A Clockwork Orange) and set in a futuristic Japan,
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Review: Criterion Presents "David Lean Directs NOËL Coward" On Blu-ray And DVD

  • CinemaRetro
On Blu-ray and DVD

4-Disk Box Set

By Raymond Benson

Any fan of British cinema must celebrate Criterion’s deluxe packaging of David Lean’s first four films as a director. These collaborations with writer, performer, and “personality” Noël Coward are exemplary examples of the fine work made by the Two Cities Unit production house, which was formed during the Second World War. In each case, the films are presented in beautiful new high-definition digital transfers from the 2008 BFI National Archive’s restorations. And, as this is a review for Cinema Retro, the readers of which include many 007 fans, it must be pointed out that there is indeed a connection between the films (three of them, anyway) and Bond. Actress Celia Johnson was Ian Fleming’s sister-in-law (her husband was Ian’s older brother, Peter Fleming), and her daughters Kate Grimond and Lucy Fleming are currently on the Board of
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: David Lean Directs Noël Coward

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012

Price: DVD $79.95, Blu-ray $99.95

Studio: Criterion

Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson embark on a Brief Encounter.

In the 1940s, playwright Noël Coward (Design for Living) and filmmaker David Lean (Doctor Zhivago) worked together in one of cinema’s greatest writer-director collaborations, celebrated in the four-film Blu-ray and DVD collection David Lean Directs Noël Coward.

Beginning with the 1942 wartime military drama movie In Which We Serve, Coward and Lean embarked on a series of literate, socially engaged and undeniably entertaining movies that ranged from domestic epic (This Happy Breed) to whimsical comedy (Blithe Spirit) to poignant romance (Brief Encounter).

Here’s a brief run-down on each of the classic British films in the David Lean Directs Noël Coward DVD and Blu-ray collection, all of which created a lasting testament to Coward’s legacy and introduced Lean’s talents to the world:

In Which We Serve (1942)

This action
See full article at Disc Dish »

Gulliver's Travels – review

I was six when first I came across Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels in the form of the 1939 animated movie by the Fleischer brothers. It was the first full-length cartoon by Disney's only rivals at that time, and I remember enjoying it. The film took in just the journeys to Lilliput and Brobdingnag, and a decade passed before I discovered that Gulliver's Travels was a great work of satire that had fallen into the hands of children, and despite being written by a distinguished clergyman it contained much that was considered unfit for the young.

I've since seen a number of adaptations, but only one of real worth: the version Sean Kenny, who died tragically young in 1973 aged 40, co-wrote, co-directed and designed at Bernard Miles's Mermaid theatre. It was a remarkable imaginative and intellectual achievement, taking in all four books (so kids got to hear about Laputa, Glubbdubdrib, the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Peter Cheeseman obituary

Pioneering director of theatre-in-the-round and musical shows in the Potteries

Once described by Simon Hoggart as the "furry caterpillar" because of his habitual woolly sweaters, Peter Cheeseman, who has died aged 78, offered a unique vision of the role of theatre in the community. He pioneered theatre-in-the-round and, as the artistic director of the Victoria theatre in Stoke-on-Trent and then the New Vic in Newcastle-under-Lyme, installed a vibrant, creative hothouse in the industrial sprawl of the Potteries.

English regional theatre in the late 1950s was still dominated by the Edwardian values of the West End, the star system and the cosy conventions of the French-windows farce. Peter's passionate commitment to breaking the fourth wall of the proscenium arch stage, and rooting a resident company of actors, writers, musicians and designers in the local community, was revolutionary. He became involved in 1961 with the Studio Theatre Company, founded by Stephen Joseph. Peter put
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

EastEnders, Victoria Wood's Midlife Christmas, Cranford, Victorian Farm Christmas, Nan's Christmas Carol | TV review

EastEnders was murder, but Victoria Wood was a match for Morecambe and Wise, says Nancy Banks-Smith

The life expectancy of any landlord of the Queen Vic is always brief. It is a peculiarly hazardous job, like diving from a great height into a damp sponge. Den Watts, for instance, was murdered twice, but Archie Mitchell's tenure of office set some sort of new sprint record. After only one day as landlord, most of it spent in a darkened bar staring moodily into a snow globe, he was struck smartly over the head with the bust of Queen Victoria and expired on the spot. If this wasn't EastEnders (BBC1), I'd call it a homage to Citizen Kane, who was dying with his own snow globe at that very moment on BBC4. As it was EastEnders, I'd call it a knock-off.

You will be eager to know who did it. Almost anyone,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

See also

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