5 items from 2013
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
The 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival (April 25-28) continues to add more stars and screenings to its slate, including Mel Brooks in conversation following "The Twelve Chairs," Mickey Rooney and Jonathan Winters appearing with epic nutty ensemble comedy "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" and the already announced Max von Sydow tribute has added a new screening of Sydney Pollack's "Three Days of the Condor." Meanwhile, actress Coleen Gray will appear in person with Stanley Kubrick's "The Killing," and actor Theodore Bikel will be on hand for John Huston's "The African Queen." Susan Ray, widow to Nicholas Ray, will present a screening of the director's proto-"Bonnie and Clyde" noir "They Live By Night"; "Saturday Night Live" comedian Bill Hader will intro George Stevens' classic Western "Shane" and 1955's "The Ladykillers," by Alexander Mackendrick. More details on the new and ongoing additions to the fest are here. »
- Beth Hanna
Sir Alec Guinness's personal diaries and letters are to be made available to the public in 2014.
The British Library has obtained the personal archive of the late Oscar-winning actor, known for his roles in Star Wars and the Ealing comedies.
The archive will include over 100 volumes of diaries and letters charting his long career as an actor from the late 1930s up to his death in 2000.
It also chronicles his experience at war and the death of Sir Laurence Olivier.
An extract from his diary on July 12, 1989, the day after Sir Laurence's death, reads: "His 'I defy you, stars' in Romeo was memorable. And so was his Poor naked wretches etc in Lear. But his famous howl in Oedipus I thought just tiresome.
"He knew every trick of the trade and used every one, including, when he made his first entrance the lights coming up a few points and »
Nowhere to Go (1958) starts well, with an almost nine-minute prison break sequence that's highly unusual because it shows someone breaking into a prison. In this case it's Bernard Lee (M in James Bond) who's the one scaling the wall. Bold? Perhaps...but it certainly sets the tone for what is surely an eventful film...
George Nader plays suave conman Paul Gregory, who latches onto wealthy widow Harriet Johnson because she has a rare coin collection. Posing as a playwright stuck on 'the second act' he arranges the sale of her coins, insisting that he be paid on her behalf in cash for the £50,000. At this point, I could delve further into the plot but...well...I think you can guess the rest.
Jazz fans will enjoy the jazz score by British star Dizzy Reece. Non-jazz fans like me might find it grating at times. Do not watch this movie if you've got a headache. »
Nowhere to Go, 1958.
Directed by Seth Holt.
After breaking out of prison, a thief and conman attempts to flee the country only to end up on the run in the Welsh countryside.
Don’t expect to sympathise with a man like Paul Gregory (George Nader). He’s used up his friends, burned all his bridges and leeched off the goodwill of strangers long enough. Cool indifference and conversational sleight of hand are his professional trademark. He engineers friendships, cultivates sympathy and expects everyone to consider human relations in the same manner.
Paul Gregory is a con man. It’d be more honest to call him a high-functioning sociopath, as the actions that lead him from one disaster to the next all hinge on his inability to truly feel anything for anyone else. He says his friends call him ‘Greg’. What friends? »
5 items from 2013
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