Alastair Sim - News Poster


Recommended New Books on Filmmaking: ‘The Shape of Water,’ Jean-Luc Godard, Yuletide Terror, and More

Our latest deep-dive into recent books on cinema is heavy on 2017 follow-ups. But there’s also a unique look at late Godard, a romp through holiday horror, and a visually inventive stroll through 101 memorable movies. Let’s march on, starting with every cinephile’s buddy, Guillermo del Toro.

Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water: Creating a Fairy Tale for Troubled Times by Gina McIntyre (Insight Editions)

Guillermo del Toro’s fairy tale romance The Shape of Water was heralded by some as one of 2017’s finest (I’m in that camp) or as 2017’s The Artist (boo). Wherever one stands in this debate, its aesthetic beauty is undeniable. In other words, Shape is more than deserving of the Insight Editions treatment. The book is a gorgeous concoction, filled with del Toro’s endearing sketches, effects tests, film stills, and, best of all, accompanying text that is smart and
See full article at The Film Stage »

An A-z of Festive Film

If you thought you’d seen the last of Roobla’s alphabetical rundowns with our Halloween effort, think again. With Christmas drawing ever closer, we couldn’t let the big one pass without the A-Z film treatment, so here we go…

A is for Alastair Sim. His performance in the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol still remains the definitive portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge.

B is for Bruce Willis. You can even get Die Hard festive jumpers now – ho-ho-ho.

C is for Channel 5. This lot love to start early with the Yuletide flicks; in fact I’m sure I saw one during August Bank Holiday.

D is for Disney. From Snow White to Frozen, they’ve made family entertainment into an art form, especially at this time of year..

E is for elves. Played by Dudley Moore and Will Ferrell amongst others, they’ve served Santa well over the years.
See full article at The Cultural Post »

Dan Stevens: 'Dickens could be bleak, but also very silly'

He’s got debts, writer’s block, and a child on the way; a new film tells how Charles Dickens beat the odds to write everyone’s favourite Christmas story. Its star Dan Stevens reveals how he brought the writer to life

In the pecking order of Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol is second only to the baby Jesus. Even if you’ve never read it, or had it read to you, you know about that flinty-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his redemption during one long dark night of the soul.

Bill Murray, Albert Finney, Michael Caine and Alastair Sim have all played Scrooge in one of the endless film remakes and reboots there have been over the years. Now comes the story behind the story, The Man Who Invented Christmas: a heavily fictionalised biopic with Dan Stevens playing Charles Dickens, bashing out A Christmas Carol in six weeks
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Man Who Invented Christmas’ Review: Dan Stevens & Christopher Plummer Turn Scrooge Origin Tale Into A Holiday Treat

‘Man Who Invented Christmas’ Review: Dan Stevens & Christopher Plummer Turn Scrooge Origin Tale Into A Holiday Treat
I can’t even begin to recount the endless number of film, TV and stage projects that have tried to bring Charles Dickens’ immortal yuletide classic A Christmas Carol to life. From Alastair Sim’s textbook portrayal to the likes of Bill Murray, Jim Carrey, Albert Finney, the Muppets and even Mr. Magoo, you might think you’ve seen it all, but now along comes a complete original and a breath of fresh air to the saga of Ebeneezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past…
See full article at Deadline »

Review: ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’ is a Charming Look Behind a Beloved Story

As Les Standiford’s book would tell it, Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) found himself in somewhat of a creative rut after a lengthy and expensive tour of America post-Oliver Twist. He had published three flops since buying a new London home in need of wholesale remodeling and began watching his pocketbook dwindle along with his confidence. It was as though the autumn of 1843 presented him a make or break moment wherein he wasn’t certain he would ever write again. And then inspiration struck with the voice of a new maid (Anna Murphy’s Tara) telling the children Irish ghost stories before bed. This idea of Christmas Eve providing a doorway of sorts to the spiritual world planted itself in Dickens’ mind. Soon after Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) was born.

The last thing anyone needs in 2017 is another adaptation of A Christmas Carol — especially since none have ever come
See full article at The Film Stage »

Dan Stevens on 'The Man Who Invented Christmas' and Talk of a 'Beauty and the Beast' Sequel (Exclusive)

Dan Stevens on 'The Man Who Invented Christmas' and Talk of a 'Beauty and the Beast' Sequel (Exclusive)
Dan Stevens loves Christmas. Not in the way that everybody who Christmases loves Christmas, no, he is a Christmas tree up, hang the lights after Halloween kind of Christmas guy. "We enjoy it very much in our house. I have three kids now, so that's three times the fun," he says of daughters Willow, 7, and Eden, 1, and son Aubrey, 5, with his wife, jazz singer Susie Hariet. "It's a lot of board games, classic movies. We always screen The Muppet Christmas Carol every Christmas Eve. For us, it's a special time of year."

Their Christmas Eve screening may soon become a double feature, as the actor's new movie, The Man Who Invented Christmas, out Nov. 22, makes a fitting follow-up to Kermit the Frog's starring role as Bob Cratchit, with The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens. In it, Stevens plays Dickens as he sets out to write a Christmas book on a six-week deadline and dreams up his unexpectedly
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Dan Stevens on 'The Man Who Invented Christmas' and a 'Beauty and the Beast' Sequel (Exclusive)

Dan Stevens on 'The Man Who Invented Christmas' and a 'Beauty and the Beast' Sequel (Exclusive)
Dan Stevens loves Christmas. Not in the way that everybody who Christmases loves Christmas, no, he is a Christmas tree up, hang the lights after Halloween kind of Christmas guy. "We enjoy it very much in our house. I have three kids now, so that's three times the fun," he says of daughters Willow, 7, and Eden, 1, and son Aubrey, 5, with his wife, jazz singer Susie Hariet. "It's a lot of board games, classic movies. We always screen The Muppet Christmas Carol every Christmas Eve. For us, it's a special time of year."

Their Christmas Eve screening may soon become a double feature, as the actor's new movie, The Man Who Invented Christmas, out Nov. 22, makes a fitting follow-up to Kermit the Frog's starring role as Bob Cratchit, with The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens. In it, Stevens plays Dickens as he sets out to write a Christmas book on a six-week deadline and dreams up his unexpectedly
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Letters: Roy Dotrice obituary

Kevin Bannon writes: Roy Dotrice took a leading role in the BBC television comedy series AP Herbert’s Misleading Cases (1967-71). He played the litigious, self-representing Albert Haddock, whose stupendously ingenious courtroom disputes with state bureaucracies or corporate magnates were presided over by Justice Swallow (Alistair Sim). The judge’s audacious bias in Haddock’s favour was to the chagrin of the ever-frustrated opposing counsel – Sir Joshua Hoot QC (Thorley Walters). It was the most delightfully eccentric of programmes.

John Machin writes: In the early 1950s Roy Dotrice worked at the Savoy theatre in Scunthorpe. He featured in the popular, if unchallenging, plays that were in the repertoire of the a typical repertory company of the times, and demonstrated his versatility in more demanding ones: Johnny Belinda, No Trees in the Street, and the macabre drama of Mary Hayley Bell’s Duet for Two Hands. My sister Rosemary recalls that
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Dysfunctional Heterosexual Couples and Oscar-Winning Cross-Gender Performance: TCM's Gay Pride Comes to an End

Dysfunctional Heterosexual Couples and Oscar-Winning Cross-Gender Performance: TCM's Gay Pride Comes to an End
Turner Classic Movies' 2017 Gay Pride film series comes to a close this evening and tomorrow morning, Thursday–Friday, June 29–30, with the presentation of seven movies, hosted by TV interviewer Dave Karger and author William J. Mann, whose books include Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines and Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969. Among tonight's movies' Lgbt connections: Edward Albee, Tony Richardson, Evelyn Waugh, Tab Hunter, John Gielgud, Roddy McDowall, Linda Hunt, Harvey Fierstein, Rudolf Nureyev, Christopher Isherwood, Joel Grey, and Tommy Kirk. Update: Coincidentally, TCM's final 2017 Gay Pride celebration turned out to be held the evening before a couple of international events – and one non-event – demonstrated that despite noticeable progress in the last three decades, gay rights, even in the so-called “West,” still have a long way to go. In Texas, the state's – all-Republican – Supreme Court decided that married gays should be treated as separate and unequal. In
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Marlene Dietrich Retrospective Screening at the Metrograph in NYC

Marlene Dietrich in “Shanghai Express”:

If you’re a fan of actress, camp icon, and anti-fascist Marlene Dietrich or want to learn more about her, you’re in luck. The Metrograph theater in New York City is hosting “Marlene,” a retrospective featuring 19 of Dietrich’s films. The festivities kicked off May 23 and will continue until July 8.

Marie Magdalene “Marlene” Dietrich was born in Berlin in 1901. Dietrich began her career as a vaudeville performer in Weimar Germany. She moved to Hollywood and eventually became a revered film actress, “bisexual sex symbol, willful camp icon, [and] paragon of feminine glamour” — “comfortable in top hat and tails, ballgown, or gorilla suit.” But the actress did not forget about what was happening back home in Germany; Dietrich became involved in the fight against fascism during WWII. She “used her likeness to fundraise for Jewish refugees escaping Nazi Germany and performed on Uso tours, earning her the Metal of Freedom and Légion d’honneur by the French government,” the press release details. Dietrich died in 1992 at the age of 90.

The “Marlene” retrospective will feature Dietrich’s seven films with director Josef von Sternberg: “The Blue Angel,” “Morocco,” “Blonde Venus,” “Dishonored,” “Shanghai Express,” “The Devil Is A Woman,” and “The Scarlet Empress.” The actress’ collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock (“Stage Fright”), Orson Welles (“Touch of Evil”), and Billy Wilder (“A Foreign Affair”) are among the other films screening at the Metrograph. A documentary about Dietrich, Maximilian Schell’s “Marlene,” will also screen. All of the films, besides “Marlene,” will be shown in 35mm.

Head over to The Metrograph’s site for showtimes and more information. The featured films and their synopses are below, courtesy of the Metrograph.


1937 / 91min / 35mm

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas

While English statesman Herbert Marshall worries over international affairs, his glamorous wife (Dietrich) concerns herself with, well, international affairs, beginning a tryst with a dashing stranger (Melvyn Douglas) who she only allows to know her as “Angel.” Dietrich’s last film on her Paramount contract is a spry, surprising love triangle, one of the least-known of Lubitsch’s essential works from his Midas touch period.

Blonde Venus

1932 / 93min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant

A.k.a “The One with the Gorilla Suit,” which Dietrich dons to perform her big number “Hot Voodoo.” It’s all for a good cause: she’s an ex-nightclub chanteuse who’s gone back to work to pay for husband Herbert Marshall’s radium poisoning treatments, though she later allows herself to become the plaything of Cary Grant’s dashing young millionaire, earning only contempt for her sacrifice.

Der Blaue Engel

1930 / 106min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings, Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti

Mild-mannered, uptight schoolteacher Emil Jannings lives a faultlessly law-abiding, by-the-book existence, but it’s all over when he gets a glimpse of Dietrich’s nightclub chanteuse Lola-Lola, and is immediately ready to ruin himself for her amusement. The first collaboration between Dietrich and von Sternberg made her an international star, and linked her forever to her seductive, world-weary delivery of the song “Falling in Love Again.” We’re showing the German-language version, preceded by a four-minute-long Dietrich screen test.


1936 / 95min / 35mm

Director: Frank Borzage

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, John Halliday, William Frawley

Dietrich and Gary Cooper reunite in this delightful urbane comedy by Borzage, a master of romantic delirium, here working somewhat after the style of producer Ernst Lubitsch. La Dietrich’s stylish jewel thief stashes a clutch of pearls in the pocket of an upstanding American businessman, and while trying to get back the goods she can’t help but notice the big lug isn’t half bad-looking. An excuse to recall the following lines from the 1936 Times review: “Lubitsch, the Gay Emancipator, has freed Dietrich from von Sternberg’s artistic bondage.” Those were the days.

Destry Rides Again

1939 / 94min / 35mm

Director: George Marshall

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger

Jimmy Stewart, still in his rangy, impossibly-good-looking phase, is a marshal who sets out to clean up the wide-open town of Bottleneck without firing a shot in this charming Western musical comedy. The local roughnecks present him one kind of challenge; Dietrich’s saloon singer Frenchy, belting out her rowdy standard “The Boys in the Back Room,” quite another.

The Devil Is A Woman

1935 / 80min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Atwill, Edward Everett Horton

Dietrich and von Sternberg’s final collaboration, and an apotheosis of sorts. In Spain in the early years of the 20th century, Lionel Atwill’s loyal suitor Pasqualito and the revolutionary Cesar Romero are teased into a frenzy by legendary coquette Concha (Guess who?). The coolly scrolling camera and baroque compositions are courtesy of an uncredited Lucien Ballard and Von Sternberg himself, doing double duty as cinematographer.


1931 / 91min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Victor McLaglen

Dietrich plays X-27, a Mata Hari-esque spy for the Austrian Secret Service tasked with using a bevy of costume changes (Russian peasant, feathered helmet, leather jumpsuit) to gather information on the Russians during World War I. Outrageous plotting, high chiaroscuro style, and the star’s earthy sensuality mark this unforgettable pre-code treasure, beloved by Godard and Fassbinder both. Says Victor McLaglen: “the more you cheat and the more you lie, the more exciting you become.”

A Foreign Affair

1948 / 116min / 35mm

Director: Billy Wilder

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Jean Arthur, John Lund, Millard Mitchell

Against the backdrop of a ruined postwar Berlin, another conflict is just heating up, as Dietrich’s cabaret singer with rumored Nazi ties vies with Jean Arthur’s Iowa congresswoman-on-a-fact-finding-mission for the affection of American officer John Lund. Wilder’s penultimate collaboration with co-writer Charles Brackett is a black comic delight full of crackling, piquant dialogue, and Dietrich’s knowing slow-burn has never been better.

Judgment At Nuremberg

1961 / 186min / 35mm

Director: Stanley Kramer

Cast: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, William Shatner

Dietrich’s last truly substantial screen appearance came as part of the ensemble for Kramer’s courtroom drama, playing the widow of a German general executed by the Allies who’s befriended by investigating judge Spencer Tracy in this fictionalized retelling of the events of a 1947 military tribunal addressing war crimes by civilians under the Third Reich. Rounding out the all-star cast are Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Judy Garland, William Shatner, and Maximilian Schell, who would win the Academy Award for Best Actor, and later directed a portrait of Dietrich.

The Lady Is Willing

1942 / 92min / 35mm

Director: Mitchell Leisen

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Fred MacMurray, Aline MacMahon, Stanley Ridges

Leisen, considered a comic talent on-par with Lubitsch during the screwball era, lends characteristic sparkle to this mid-career attempt at reconfiguring Dietrich’s very 1930s star persona to fit the needs of the 1940s women’s picture; here she plays a glamor-gal diva whose life changes when she discovers a baby on Eighth Avenue and decides to adopt, passing through melodramatic coincidences and a vale of tears before falling into the arms of Fred MacMurray.


1981 / 113min / 35mm

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-stahl, Mario Adorf, Matthias Fuchs

Dietrich had for all purposes retired from the screen by the time that Fassbinder began his frontal assault on West German popular culture, but her image and her unlikely combination of cool irony and torrid emotion left a profound mark on his films. Lola, the candy-colored, late-1950s-set capstone of his “Brd Trilogy” in particular draws heavily from The Blue Angel, with bordello singer Barbara Sukowa torn between Mario Adorf’s sugar daddy and Armin Mueller-Stahl’s incoming building commissioner in boomtown Coburg.


1984 / 94min / Digital

Director: Maximilian Schell

More than twenty years after Schell had co-starred with Dietrich in Judgment at Nuremberg, during which period she’d retired to a life of very private seclusion, he tried to get her to participate in a documentary about her life. She finally gave in — sort of. Dietrich offered only her memories and her famous voice, refusing to appear on camera, but necessity became a boon to the resulting film, a sort of guided tour of Dietrich’s life and work, which simultaneously reveals much and deepens her mystery.


1930 / 92min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Adolphe Menjou

After The Blue Angel, shot in Germany, was a hit, von Sternberg was given full run of the Paramount backlot, where he would conjure up all manner of exotic destinations out of thin air. First stop: North Africa, where French legionnaire Gary Cooper competes with sugar daddy Adolphe Menjou for the favors of Dietrich’s cabaret star Amy Jolly, who in one scene famously rocks a men’s tailcoat and plants a smooch on a female fan.

Rancho Notorious

1952 / 89min / 35mm

Director: Fritz Lang

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer, William Frawley

Teutons Lang and Dietrich team up in a Technicolor wild west of deliberate, garish artifice in this singularly claustrophobic oater, in which a revenge-mad Burt Kennedy goes looking for his fiancée’s killers at a hideaway inn run by Dietrich, and discovers dangerous, unbidden desires instead. As the chant of the film’s recurring, persecutorial Brechtian ballad goes: “Hate, murder, and revenge.”

The Scarlet Empress

1934 / 104min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe, Louise Dresser

Have ever a screen persona and a historical personage found such a hand-in-glove-fit as did Dietrich and Empress Catherine the Great of Russia? While the Motion Picture Production Code was preparing to chasten American movies, Dietrich and von Sternberg got together to throw one last lavish S & M orgy, a flamboyant film of 18th century palace intrigues and ludicrously lapidary décor.

Shanghai Express

1932 / 82min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong

“It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily,” proclaims Marlene Dietrich with the disdain of an empress, though in fact she’s a high-class courtesan, re-encountering former lover Clive Brook on an express train rolling through civil war-wracked China. The fourth of Dietrich and von Sternberg’s collaborations is a riot of delirious chinoiserie artifice and sculpted shadowplay — Dietrich’s co-star Anna May Wong was never again shot so caressingly.

The Song Of Songs

1933 / 90min / 35mm

Director: Rouben Mamoulian

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Brian Aherne, Lionel Atwill

So often the instrument of corruption, Mamoulian’s film allows Dietrich to be the corrupted one, playing a country girl, Lily, who comes to big-city Berlin and quickly becomes the model and muse of sculptor Brian Aherne. Lionel Atwill’s preening decadent Baron von Merzbach admires Lily’s nude form in marble, and decides to bring the original home with him, where she slips into the role of the cynical sophisticate, though her heart remains with the artist.

Stage Fright

1950 / 110min / 35mm

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, Michael Wilding, Richard Todd, Alastair Sim

Hitchcock’s last film in his native England until 1972’s Frenzy is an audaciously-structured thriller, making use of an extended flashback and a whiplash narrative about-face. Acting student Jane Wyman tries to save beau Robert Todd from taking the fall for a murder committed by stage star Dietrich, who shows her hypnotic charm in a show-stopper performance of “I’m the Laziest Gal in Town.”

Touch Of Evil

1958 / 95min / 35mm

Director: Orson Welles

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles

It’s not the size of the part, but what you do with it. Playing a brothel keeper in a seedy border town in Welles’s magnificently baroque late noir, Dietrich only has a clutch of lines, but they’re the ones you remember, whether her famous requiem for crooked cop Hank Quinlan, or her reading of his “fortune”: “Your future’s all used up.” Bold and self-evidently brilliant, you could use Touch of Evil to explain the concept of great cinema to a visiting Martian.

Marlene Dietrich Retrospective Screening at the Metrograph in NYC was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

"The Ruling Class" Screening, L.A., April 25

  • CinemaRetro
By Todd Garbarini

The Royal Theatre in Los Angeles will be presenting a 45th anniversary DVD screening of Peter Medak’s 1972 film The Ruling Class. The 154-minute film, which stars Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe, Caroline Seymour, Coral Browne, Harry Andrews, and Peter O'Toole, will be screened on DVD on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm.

Please Note: At press time, director Peter Medak is scheduled to appear in person for a discussion about the film following the screening.

From the press release:

Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit:

The Ruling Class (1972)

45th Anniversary Screening

Tuesday, April 25, at 7 Pm at the Royal Theatre

Followed by Q & A with Director Peter Medak

Presented on DVD

This biting black comedy, in the tradition of such British classics as Kind Hearts and Coronets, focuses on a fierce battle for succession within an aristocratic family. Peter O’Toole plays a
See full article at CinemaRetro »

The Twelve Days of Classic Christmas Movies – vote for your favourite!

Author: Cai Ross

Christmastime is here. Presumably you already have chestnuts roasting on an open fire, a turkey and some mistletoe, and your first screaming argument about who’s cooking for who and where. ’Tis the season for such timeless traditions, and along with a collective craving for manifestly ill-judged food combinations and a moratorium on our disapproval of comedy knitwear, classic Christmas movies are now a vital part of the great yuletide experience.

But what precisely is a classic Christmas movie? Timeless vintage offerings like Holiday Inn and Miracle on 34th Street are stuffed from titles to credits with all things Christmassy, yet you’ll also find films like Casablanca and The Great Escape on many festive film lists, which have nothing more to do with Christmas than Cannibal Holocaust.

Even the single greatest ‘Christmas Movie’ of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life has a pretty tenuous connection with the Holiday Season,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

James Bond Director Guy Hamilton Dies at 93

James Bond Director Guy Hamilton Dies at 93
London — Guy Hamilton, the director of four James Bond films, has died on the Mediterranean island of Majorca at the age of 93. Hamilton was at the helm of iconic 007 movies “Goldfinger” in 1964 and “Diamonds are Forever” in 1971, both starring Sean Connery, as well as 1973’s “Live and Let Die” and 1974’s “The Man with the Golden Gun,” both with Roger Moore as Bond.

In a statement, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson told Variety: “We mourn the loss of our dear friend Guy Hamilton who firmly distilled the Bond formula in his much celebrated direction of ‘Goldfinger’ and continued to entertain audiences with ‘Diamonds Are Forever,’ ‘Live and Let Die’ and ‘The Man with the Golden Gun.’ We celebrate his enormous contribution to the Bond films.”

Hamilton’s career started when he was 17 in the accounts department of a film studio in Nice, France, but he soon gravitated to a lowly production role.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bennett Miller and Tom Stoppard Want to Sing ‘A Christmas Carol’

Bennett Miller and Tom Stoppard Want to Sing ‘A Christmas Carol’
Every generation gets their version of Charles DickensA Christmas Carol and some of those versions are a little better than others. Sometimes, you get lucky and get to grow up with the wonderful 1951 version starring Alastair Sim or the surprisingly great A Muppet Christmas Carol. Others are cursed to live with 1970’s atrocious Scrooge […]

The post Bennett Miller and Tom Stoppard Want to Sing ‘A Christmas Carol’ appeared first on /Film.
See full article at Slash Film »

Bah, humbug! The many faces of Scrooge

Stage and screen adaptations of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol have become as traditional as the goose. From Alastair Sim to the Muppets, Michael Newton chooses his favourite Scrooges – past, present and future

Though the forthcoming BBC series, Dickensian, may alter this, it’s a fair bet that if you dropped into conversation that an acquaintance was “a perfect Pecksniff” or that someone had “a touch of Mrs Gamp” about them, you’d be met by a blank stare. If you described someone as “a bit of a Scrooge”, on the other hand, almost everyone would catch your drift. While some Dickens characters are more or less forgotten, others remain part of the national consciousness. Growing up in the English-speaking world, it’s hard to avoid encountering Scrooge, his name was so well chosen for a miser, a glorious melting together of “scrape” and “ooze”. Over the years, Jim Carrey,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Krampus | Review

The Nightmare During Christmas: Doughtery’s Cutesy Morality Play on the Christmas Spirit

Exploring the adverse aspects of Christmas, one of the most cherished holidays around the globe, is nothing new in cinema. Irate Christians were nonplussed about Bob Clark’s 1974 serial killer flick Black Christmas and its 2006 remake, claiming it compromised the spirit of their cherished holiday. And there are all those nagging, sordid details about good ole St. Nick’s bad side, conscientiously whittled away throughout centuries of increasingly honed capitalistic tendencies as regards the holiday. Several recent films have resurrected ideas about Santa’s nastier habits and what he does to the children that are actually naughty, like Dutch filmmaker Dick MaasSaint (2010) or Jalmari Helander’s inspired Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010) from Finland. Genre director Michael Doughtery makes a memorable entry in this growing subgenre with Krampus, a creative though utterly declawed venture which plays
See full article at »

The Happiest Days Of Your Life DVD Review

Director: Frank Launder

Starring: Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford, Guy Middleton, Joyce Grenfell, John Bentley

Cert: U

Running Time: 81 mins

Extras: Andy Merriman on Margaret Rutherford, Martin Rowson on Ronald Searle, Michael Brooke on The Happiest Days Of Your Life

The St Trinian’s film series left a lasting comedic legacy, but the big screen effort that kick-started it all is less well-remembered. That imbalance is one StudioCanal seek to redress as The Happiest Days Of Your Life is released to buy, its gallery of memorable faces clearer than ever thanks to a fresh restoration.

Based on John Dighton‘s stage farce, the story concerns boys and girls clashing head on due to the inept and immovable forces of government bureaucracy. This satirical element (reportedly inspired by post-war administrative chaos) runs through the piece, but overall the tone is light, fluffy and punctuated by downbeat British wit. Formidably lazy headmaster Alastair Sim runs Nutbourne College,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

School For Scoundrels 1960 DVD Review

Director: Robert Hamer

Starring: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim, Janette Scott

Cert: U

Running Time: 97 mins

Extras: Interviews with Peter Bradshaw & Chris Potter, Graham McCann on Terry-Thomas, Stills Gallery, Trailer

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,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Ice Cube and Tim Story Team Up for Universal's 'A Christmas Carol' Remake

Ice Cube will be coming *straight outta* Dickensian London when the actor/rapper/producer will star as Ebeneezer Scrooge in an upcoming remake of "A Christmas Carol." According to Deadline, Cube will be playing the lead in Universal Pictures' new adaptation of the Dickensian classic, which will see the self-centered money maker as a real estate mogul. This latest version will be directed by Tim Story. A Christmas Carol has been brought to the big screen several times over the years, with Alastair Sim's turn in Scrooge regarded as one of the best. More unique versions include "Mickey's Christmas Carol" and "The Muppet Christmas Carol," while Bill...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Minder Actor George Cole Dead at 90

Minder Actor George Cole Dead at 90
George Cole, best known for his role of Arthur Daley in the series Minder, has died. He was 90. Agent Derek Webster said Cole passed away in the hospital after coming down with an illness. He was surrounded by his family at the time. Webster said in a statement obtained by E! News, "It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad death of one of our most loved and respected actors. George Cole passed away yesterday at the Royal Berkshire Hospital after a short illness. His wife Penny and his son Toby were with him at his bedside." Adopted when he was just 10 days old, Cole grew up in London with comedy star Alastair Sim and wife Naomi. When he entered his teenage years, Cole appeared alongside his...
See full article at E! Online »
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