Reviews written by registered user
|31 reviews in total|
This film had every possibility of being a great film but sadly it ended up being a real mess. "Thoroughly Modern Millie" does have a wonderful, wonderful cast. How could any film fail with Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler-Moore and Carol Channing you may well ask? The music is wonderfully catchy and the choreography of so many of the numbers simply superb. The sets and costumes are magnificent. The real problem is the extremely overlong and weak script that goes all over the place and never satisfies. "Thoroughly Modern Millie" is is a very, very long film. It needs a savage editing so that it can avoid being in the tedious film category. If only somebody had the courage to do so it would be a great hit. I wanted to like it very much but in the end came away not satisfied which is a great pity as it could have been a great film.
There can be no doubt that this was an entertaining piece to watch. It had a mixed ability cast with many of the main roles very badly miscast. The pre revolution scenes were too sickly sweet for words. I think the real Anastasia would have found them difficult to stomach. The whole series was loosely based on Peter Kurth's book on "Anastasia". It would have been so much better, given the huge budget, if it had been more historically accurate. It is more Mills and Boon than serious drama. It was more a love story between Anna Anderson and Prince Eric than an accurate account. I would have liked to have seen more about the trials. An interesting drama would have not painted the other side all bad like this did. I guess there was an agenda established from the very beginning that there was no possibility of denying that Anna was not Anastasia. That is where the whole thing disintegrates, sadly.
This is the classic film that follows HM The Queen and her family for a full royal year. It was made to coincide with the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales. It is the first time that cameras had been allowed to follow The Queen and her family on official and private family occasions. One such official event is the visit of then President Nixon of the United States. A private moment is The Queen and her family having a barbecue lunch in the grounds of Balmoral. Another shows Prince Charles playing the cello when a string snaps and hits poor little Prince Edward in the face. Yet another delightful scene is The Queen visiting her dogs at Sandringham. As such it is superb primary source historical material. This film did a lot to show that the royal family are not distant figures living in a museum state but are warm human beings trying to get on with the job they have to do. It is a film not to be missed.
What can say about this epic apart from the word, 'Magnificent'. To see such great actors in one film is really quite extraordinary. This is the only time Gielgud, Richardson and Olivier ever acted together on film. To see this is sheer heaven in its brilliance. The world is a sadder places without these geniuses. In the lead is Richard Burton who is really a magnificent Wagner. The young actor who plays Ludwig II is also wonderful. Vanessa Redgrave as Cosima is really superb as is Joan Plowright and many, many other performers such as Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Gemma Craven and the beautiful Martha Keller. Sit back and let it all wash over you. The creation of period is absolutely sensational as is the sheer beauty of Germany and Switzerland and other places. This is truly a glittering gem and should be screened more often.
Appointment with Death is a wonderful film for pure escapism. Piper Laurie is really fantastic as Emily Boynton. Of course Peter Ustinov is always a treat as Hercule Poirot. Sir John Gielgud is a treasure to watch and Lauren Bacall is incredibly good as Lady Westholme. This is a glamorous film with additional supporting cast such as Jenny Seagrove, the handsome John Terlesky, the beautiful Hayley Mills and Carrie Fisher. David Soul is passable as the Boynton family lawyer. The scenery is wonderful, the costumes beautiful and the story intriguing. It is hard to know who has done the deed. The much underrated Michael Craig also puts in an appearance. I wish there could be more appointments with such a talented cast.
I must admit I really enjoyed 'Victoria and Albert'. It was excellent. My only criticism of the film was it could have been a couple of episodes longer as it left out so many other possibilities rushing to reach its conclusion. Jonathon Firth was really very good as Prince Albert and Victoria Hamilton made a good job at Queen Victoria. I particularly liked Dame Diana Rigg as Baroness Lehzen and Penelope Wilton as the Duchess of Kent. Sir Peter Ustinov was marvellous as King William IV. Patrick Malahide was so completely odious as Sir John Conroy. I also found Nigel Hawthorne brilliant as Viscount Melbourne. Rachel Pickup was really very good as Lady Henrietta Standish and David Suchet was great as Baron Stockmar. Jonathon Pryce was adequate as King Leopold I. Elizabeth Spriggs was delightful in a cameo role in 'The Rivals'. I would really recommend this.
Ludwig truly is Visconti's magnificent epic masterpiece. The life of Ludwig II of Bavaria is truly worthy of a great film epic and Helmut Berger is amazingly good in the lead role. The exquisitely beautiful Romy Schneider is incredible as Ludwig's cousin Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The costumes and settings are truly magnificent. Visconti has actually gained access to some of the original locations which make his film truly wonderful. Castle Nymphenberg is truly beautiful. The luscious coronation preparation scene is truly evocative of the period with the magnificent uniforms and court dresses. Izabella Telezynska is amazing in the role of Queen Marie of Bavaria, Ludwig's Mother as is Gert Frobe as Ludwig's confessor. The very talented Helmut Griem is fantastic as Count Durckheim as is Trevor Howard as Wagner. The odious Professor Dr.Gudden is well played by Heinz Moog. John Moulder-Brown is also very good as Ludwig's younger brother, Prince Otto. This truly is a masterpiece of cinema.
Elizabeth Taylor is truly stunningly beautiful in Ash Wednesday. Her character Barbara Sawyer goes through the sheer hell of plastic surgery in an effort to win back her philandering rotten husband Mark, played by Henry Fonda. I must admit I didn't realise what a terrible actor Henry Fonda was until I saw him up against the magnificent Elizabeth Taylor. Helmut Berger puts in an appearance as Barbara's young lover. The scenery around Cortina is absolutely exquisite and Elizabeth Taylor's costumes and hair styling are superb. This film is entertaining as it exposes the dangers of thinking that surgery will right problems that no knife can successfully cut away. This film is pure escapism. Enjoy it for what it is. It is an interesting look at lifestyles of the rich in the early 1970s in Europe. Elizabeth Taylor has some great lines.
Timothy Dalton was truly great as James Bond. There was not a moment that you could not imagine that he was capable of murder if necessary. He did not play the role for cheap laughs like Roger Moore. The script in this film is very good indeed as is the bond girl this time played by Maryam D'Abo. Andreas Wisniewski was incredibly evil as Necros. I just loved his fight scenes and the exploding milk bottles! Of course Desmond Llewelyn is the one and only brilliant Q. Walter Gotell was also great as General Anatol Gogol. While I eventually got used to the Pearce Brosnan as 007, Dalton was a man while the other never quite made it. Dalton has definite panache. What a shame he didn't continue in the role as he was excellent.
Richard Harris is very good indeed as Oliver Cromwell. Alec Guiness is truly in his element as King Charles I providing a brilliant contrast to Harris as Crowmwell. Dorothy Tutin is superb as Queen Henrietta Maria. I also liked Timothy Dalton as Prince Rupert very much. Robert Morely is fantastic as the Earl of Manchester. The battle scenes are superb between the royalists and the parliamentary roundheads. The execution of Charles I is very well done too as are the parliamentary scenes. Why can't films still be as great as this one? The actors, script, setting and costumes all make Cromwell a magnificent film. I recommend it most highly.
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