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4 items from 2011

The DVD Files: New York Ripper, out June 27th on Blu-Ray in the UK

21 June 2011 2:05 PM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Here is a film that I will have the pleasure of reviewing over the weekend, New York Ripper.

According to the official blurb that I am just going through now, the film has been rebuilt for the home HD format with previously missing scenes that make it the longest and most complete version of the film ever seen in the UK. And, another first, the disc comes not in your usual run-of-the-mill Blu-ray case but in an eye-catching, Shameless Screen Entertainment exclusive, bright lemon “Yell-o-ray” case! Check it out.

Loving the pulpy, grindhouse feel of the thing. I must admit, I know nothing about the movie, but judging by the stills below, I’m in for a right old treat. According to the press release, James Ferman ordered all prints of the film to be escorted by police to the airport and removed from the country without ever being screened, »

- Paul Heath

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Edward Hardwicke obituary

18 May 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor best known as a valiant Dr Watson in Granada's Sherlock Holmes series

For eight years from 1986, Edward Hardwicke, who has died aged 78, was the face of Dr Watson on television, proving a valiant and reliable foil to the dashing, neurasthenic Holmes of Jeremy Brett in the Granada series The Return of Sherlock Holmes, followed by the Casebook and the Memoirs, as well as stand-alone versions of The Sign of Four (1987) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (1988). The role was a perfect fit for an actor who had played important supporting roles for a similar length of time in Laurence Olivier's National theatre company at the Old Vic, but it also demonstrated his lightness of touch as well as his sturdiness.

His Watson was not an amiable old pudding-faced duffer in the style of Nigel Bruce in the series of films and radio series opposite Basil Rathbone in the 1940s; instead, »

- Michael Coveney

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What have been the greatest escapes?

25 April 2011 4:07 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Nearly 500 Taliban prisoners have tunnelled their way out of an Afghan prison, but how does their feat match up to those other great breakouts?

One would not want to be the governor of Sarposa prison in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, just at the moment. To lose one Taliban prisoner may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose 475 looks like carelessness. Perhaps Easter Mondays are especially sleepy in Afghanistan, but to allow the Taliban to spend five months digging a 320-metre tunnel, and then four and a half hours getting the entire political wing of the prison through it and into a fleet of waiting cars does look like an Everest among security lapses.

But where does it rate among the great prison escapes? We have assessed the most memorable prison breaks of all time and given them marks for ingenuity, daring, degree of difficulty and myth-making. The top mark in each category is 25. On this system, »

- Stephen Moss

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R.I.P. Michael Gough (1916-2011)

18 March 2011 5:43 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Veteran British character actor Michael Gough has passed away aged 94 after a lengthy battle with illness, having enjoyed a career spanning seven decades and over 150 roles. Born in Kuala Lumpur in 1916, Gough first appeared in the 1946 TV movie Androcles and the Lion before making the transition to the silver screen two years later with a supporting part in producer Alexander Korda's adaptation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina (1948, dir. Julien Duvivier). Other notable early screen credits included Richard III (1955, dir. Lawrence Olivier) and Reach for the Sky (1956, dir. Lewis Gilbert) along with a number of British horrors including Terence Fisher's Dracula (1958) and The Phantom of the Opera (1962) from Hammer Films.

Receiving a BAFTA TV Award in 1957, Gough continued to make extensive television appearances on cult shows such as Doctor Who, The Avengers, Blake's 7 and Colditz. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA for his work in The Go-Between (1972, dir. »

- flickeringmyth

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