Disgusted with the policies of King Charles I, Oliver Cromwell plans to take his family to the New World. But on the eve of their departure, Cromwell is drawn into the tangled web of ... See full summary »
A chronicle of events that led to the British involvement in the Crimean War against Russia and which led to the siege of Sevastopol and the fierce Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854 ... See full summary »
On June 9, 1804, Ludwig van Beethoven and his pupil Ries assemble a group of musicians to give the first performance of his Third Symphony, 'Bonaparte', to his patron Prince Lobkowitz and ... See full summary »
Set during the fading glory of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the film tells of the rise and fall of Alfred Redl (Brandauer), an ambitious young officer who proceeds up the ladder to become ... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
Hans Christian Blech,
In eighteenth century England, "first cousins" Tom Jones and Master Blifil grew up together in privilege in the western countryside, but could not be more different in nature. Tom, the ... See full summary »
One shot shows a stagehand turning a winch to lift Mary Tudor when she's playing Cupid. When she's being lowered, a shot shows the stagehand turning the winch in the same direction as previously. See more »
To Touch The Nerve Of What Is Truly English, Listen To Tony Palmer
An odd thesis, indeed, to put upon a movie about Henry Purcell.
But hear me out, fair Ladies and honourable Sires. This is the opportunity to hear about the greatest artist before the face of Albion to put justice as well as artistic congeniality before the memories of the greatest spirits to fire up our imagination. Oh yes, a spirit and talent to match his subjects. There hasn't been a master of 'portraits' since Hohlbein or Hilliard, who caught the essence of a spirit as close, detailed and true to its core as Tony Palmer. So, what better master to call upon the task of giving the greatest English composer a face to last beyond the brittle pages of an encyclopedia?
I dare the claim that Purcell was and is the eternal master of the achingly, painfully and gloriously beautiful - the indigo and forest green shades of melancholy music to tease the gentlest tears from stone.
Yes, Tony Palmer's piece is a masterful fresco of the Restoration, but still it's but a frame to what Purcell was all about. Palmer NEVER sells his subjects short for hidden agendas.
To give this claim substance, the best of the best for this task provided the music: John Eliot Gardiner & The English Baroque Soloists.
You can't possibly aim higher than this, and this movie achieved even beyond my biased expectations. The cream of the English acting craft: Simon Callow and Robert Stephens to give music to the words of masters John Osborne and Charles Wood.
Bugger me, but is there any claim out there which can come up with a more suitable setup?
Gather, people, Anglophiles and friends of the core to humanity.
Settle into your favourite chair and surrender to the sound-kept peak of aching beauty.
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