Reviews written by registered user
|45 reviews in total|
A very realistic film although one has to get used to the old English accents which are rarely heard these days. The pilot of F for Freddy was ultimately to be Gp Capt P C Pickard, DSO, DFC, at this time playing a Sergeant Dixon, although I am unsure of that. Pickard became one of the best specialists at pin point low level missions, mainly using Mosquitos and a great air leader. In 1944 AVM Basil Embry, selected him to lead the raid on Amiens prison, a raid of very great daring. Unfortunately after his run to the target a FW190 attached itself to his tail and he was shot down. Gp Capt P C Pickard, aged 28 years of age and his navigator Flight Lieutenant J. A. 'Bill' Broadley, aged 23 years old, were killed. Rest in peace.
The BBC used to be known for some of the most nail biting and well written drama. It still does some great period work from the Victorians but the days of greatness have long passed as the BBC has descended into its present moralizing role. This series has started out in quite a good way but,as usual, the BBC has to tick all the equal opportunity boxes so we have the standard white/black mother/father family fairly portrayed. While I applaud the BBC in its quest for equal opportunity in British drama, it does somewhat affect the authenticity of the plot when you feel someone from the racial discrimination department is standing over every location making certain the correct, and approved, democratic UK profile is presented throughout. I await furtherepisodes with a good anticipation of a script which is well written andexciting and not seemingly vetted by big brother.
I came across this and downloaded it as it referenced the RFC in WW1. A major surprise in that it explained all the problems of the RFC in the early stages of the war head on whilst switching to show life in a small village at the lower middle class level. The flying scenes are not bad at all dealing well with the dangers of reconnaissance and initial forays into dog fights and the realism is extremely effective with a mature intelligent script. There have been a few flying WW1 films with Basil Rathbone, Errol Flynn such as The Blue Max, Dawn Patrol,Hell's Angels and a really awful film made two or three years ago of which I cannot remember the name (thank goodness). It also deals sensibly with the problems of class between NCO and Commissioned pilots with the two leads featuring one of each But this is a series! And a damn good one at that. I have seen series one and am now downloading series 2 but so far this is a real gem.
This is what happens when you give someone a large budget for a film and that person has no idea about the subject. Now this was a German film! It therefore was a chance to accurately portray the historical facts and to give as good a picture of those who are the heroes. Apparently Lanoe Hawker was a fat man with a beard. He was not. Such a small point might not be considered important but if you want realism it immediately destroys any trust in the script writer and director. Roy Brown is given an important part. Roy Brown happened to be part of the dogfight in which Von Richthoven died. Technically it was impossible for Brown to have shot Von Richthoven down when modern analysis is made. There is little doubt he was shot down by machine gun fire with one bullet in his right side. But the truth is that most of this script is absolute rubbish. Von Richtoven had been to a Prussian Officer's School and would never have looked like the lout portrayed here. He comes across as an immature boy. He was not that nor was his brother. The tonality is of a director who wants to make a aerial combat picture and make money, not caring about his subject. He doesn't. The graphics are awful on a par with all else). I'm surprised this film has not been condemned by many in Germany. It is an insult to the spirit of the German military machine in the first world war.
Back to 1987 to see really well made drama and this one a wartime one on the SOE. The first series is really very good, especially with Kate Buffery. Pretty well researched although there are a few errors and with a good feel ending which is not too lacking in veracity. Same for second season except a lot of emotionalism in the last episode and it started to unravel. The third series seems to have become lost in what is either a serious drama on the SOE or something of a Barbara Cartland novel. I have to see the last four episodes but something has really gone wrong and it is a wretched shame because it was so believable in the first two series. Now its wacky. In general though this is a first class wartime drama, far superior in its early series to anything else I have seen. I mean we have a real life Lysander here which was the aircraft type used during the war and that really is a first. Well shot but must have been expensive as a lot of vehicles and factories get blown up in a time before CGI. Julian Glover and Jane Asher do extremely well as the home front whilst Suzanna Hamilton is outstanding in the first series and Jane Snowden is good in the second series, both as radio operators, but JS is a victim of the weird plot in series three. Both these girls seemed to disappear from sight after Wish Me Luck which is a great shame.
Walter Tull was a very good footballer before the First World War. He became one of the first black British men to become an officer in that war. No mean feat but then Tull was no mean man. This so called documentary purports to show what really transpired on Walter Tull's road to being an officer. It is written with a certain ignorance,yet honesty, of a born again racist (or non racist)of present times. What is shown is worse than Tull's training ever was. Tull was treated with scrupulous correctness, in light of his conspicuous courage in the field, before being selected to become an officer. The script shows little understanding of conditions at the time and is totally ignorant of the way Tull was really treated. If it wasn't a true story of a man of high calibre and great bravery, it would sink into a sea of mediocrity. Surely someone could have written a script which was more realistic than this racist garbage but then it would not have been good television.
I was, in fact, at RAF College Cranwell in the early sixties as a cadet and yes, we all saw the film. Your points about Tony Newley are, if I can remember back that far, correct and it was meant to be taking place at the College although I believe much of the filming went on at a Norfolk or Suffolk fighter base such as Middle St George or Waterbeach. Initial flying training was done on Piston Provosts then going onto Vampires or Meteors dependent a lot on height (if long legged it was hard clearing the cockpit if ejecting in Vamps). We did our training on Jet Provosts 3 and 4's as the syllabus changed from being flying intensive to academic intensive. Kenneth Haigh was also in it. Wouldn't mind seeing it again either.
Country Matters was slightly out of the ordinary for MM. Obiously the team were a bit bored and made this episode with tongue in cheek! Drily funny, it deals with those grave matter of sex and murder with a bit of frivolity which might be unbecoming the Middle cLasses of Midsomer but makes everything a great send up and a real hoot. One of the best episodes. There is also the use of actors and actresses already known to friends of PBS English series such as Inspector Morse. Because IMDb has never liked a pithy comment where several hundred words will do I have to continue with this just to meet the minimum amount of lines. IMDb would never have allowed Pauline Kael in her more pithily scathing moments to submit her comments!
The greatness of the original Brideshead Revisited was in the luxury of being able to transpose a very complicated emotional and intellectual book into words. It succeeded in this, but only just, due to superb direction, photography and script which, even in its sparseness, only just allowed the successful transition to film. The problem with anything shorter is that, if it took Mortimer so many episodes to get it right, then there are very few writers who could even get near in under 4 hours, if that. So lets stop beating about the bush. This is a sound reproduction of the calender plot but after that it is not Brideshead Revisited. Call it by another name and I will laud it. It brings in a strong homosexual element and a early sexual attraction between Charles Ryder and Miss Flyte. With that everything becomes unbalanced. Motivations change. The beauty of the original is that it hinted at ????something (a je ne sais quoi) and it was that and the ever strengthening Catholic awareness of family that made this film so fascinating. The original's masterpiece was the script supported by the cine photography. That has been lost. But taken as is, a pretty and interesting film which seems to be loosely based on an early fifties work by Waugh.
Quite a few of the best BBC films have been locked away. There is a possibility that, in the minds of a very politically correct and left leaning BBC upper management, the advertising of Empire and Africa is not a truth that should be allowed anymore. The standard of documentary's, and that of the news itself for which the BBC used to be renowned, has been lowered dramatically over the past 20 years. The BBC are ashamed of British involvement in Africa in the nineteenth Century and do their best to make certain that any programs which reflect otherwise are not available. It's a great pity. No quality anymore just proselytizing. The BBC is being systematically dumbed down to make certain it reflects a government view of the world.
|Page 1 of 5:||    |