In 1942, a cargo ship jammed with British evacuees from Singapore is sunk by a Japanese sub. A small lifeboat carries a beautiful woman, an army officer, a bigoted administrator, and a ... See full summary »
A group of enterprising smugglers make use of an ancient charter to smuggle brandy into the southern coast of England. When their ship is seized it looks like they are in trouble until the ... See full summary »
Derek N. Twist
A commander receives a citation for an attack on Rommel's headquarters, which is actually undeserved as the commander is unfit for his job. On top of that, unbeknownst to him, his wife is having an affair with one of his officers.
Excellent stop-motion animation film from one of the best Czech filmmakers, Jirí Trnka. It tells the ancient story of Czechoslovakia, how it was founded by Czech, the Forefather, and a ... See full summary »
At the end of World War I, Zeb Kennedy, a canner, and Thor Storm, a fishing boat captain, set up a fish cannery in Alaska and through the years find themselves on opposite sides of Alaska's... See full summary »
A handsome and successful young doctor returns to his home town in New England to see his dying friend for one last time. However, his friend wants to die because he is suffering so much ... See full summary »
Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the ... See full summary »
A young woman with amnesia finds herself in London during the second world war. She falls in love and marries a Polish man in the R.A.F. He gets killed and then a crippled man comes to her ... See full summary »
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A tragic and sentimental story that depicts the early career of the 19th century American actor, Edwin Booth with some mention of the events leading to the assassination of President ... See full summary »
Alas, the version I saw was not the one listed here - with narration by Richard Burton and voices dubbed by luminaries of the Royal Shakespeare Company - but an alternative one with a very cloying woman (uncredited, and deservedly so!) who tells the whole story in voiceover. The result was less 'William Shakespeare Presents' than 'Tales for Toddler Time.' Frankly, I don't know why they bothered with narration at all, as Trnka's animation is so magically vivid as to make words superfluous.
In fact, this film is a masterpiece of visual storytelling - a reminder of just how wondrous animation can be when it doesn't insult a viewer's intelligence a la Walt Disney. Indeed, it's surprisingly adult at times. A randy goat (under the influence of magic love potion) tries to rape the fairy Puck. The two runaway lovers, Hermia and Lysander, slip into an eerily vulva-shaped cave to consummate their love. Strange, then, that Trnka cuts out the story's gay element - the desire of the Fairy King Oberon for the changeling boy. Perhaps that was more than Communist-era censors could take.
Otherwise, this is an exemplary reading of the text. Jiri Trnka's visualisation of the Enchanted Forest - every inch of it swathed in moonlight and dripping with rose petals, fairy wings, spying owls - rivals the Baroque splendours of the 1935 Max Reinhardt film. Even the amateur actors' performance of 'Pyramus and Thisbe' (an irksome comic interlude in most stagings) is transformed by Puck's magic into a heart-soaring experience. A must for anyone who loves Shakespeare - or, more important, anyone who doesn't - this is one dream you won't want to wake up from!
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