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The Naked Truth (1957)
Now here are the figures McGregor have a look at them
Go on we all like to read a bit of gossip about people in the media spotlight. But what if someone has uncovered something decidedly unflattering that the person concerned does not want to be revealed. Welcome to the delightful black comedic premise of late 50s 88 min comedy film "The Naked Truth". With his typical iconic roguish person it's another excellent performance from that British cad Terry Thomas as Lord Mayley. His pivotal scene exemplifying the premise occurs during his conversation with Nigel Dennis (played with well educated, unscrupulous brilliance by Dennis Price) when he looks over a copy of the scandalous publication, initially salivating at the prospect of what he might read. His demeanour soon changes when he finds that surreptitiously he is the main object of intrigue. For me, good though he is, he is easily overshadowed by the acting genius of Peter Sellers whom excels as television audience favourite 'Wee Sonny McGregor' a fake Scots entertainer with an ability to create a wealth of characters. Amongst the ones we see are the elderly canal boat inspector and a quite ridiculous over the top Irishman, no wonder he gets punched by a Dublin pub customer for taking the micky! Also worthy of praise is Peggy Mount as the anxious, desperate authoress Flora Ransom and her extremely nervous daughter Ethel played by Joan Sims. Delighted to finally nab a DVD copy of this bright and breezy comedy (which benefits from a jaunty moving incidental music score) earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised that you also get an approx 2 min trailer which perfectly captures the manic mood of a movie whose premise is as relevant today as it was on its original release. Definitely one of the best black and white British film comedies and is well worth adding to your collection!
Wish Me Luck (1987)
truly stunning wartime drama series!!!
As a fan of wartime drama series like Secret Army I picked up this Network 2007 title earlier this year and having now strolled through the entire contents I must say, despite the lack of extras, I'm extremely delighted with the entire 23 episodes of "Wish Me Luck" (in a 4/4/4/3/4/4 disc configuration). It has certainly been an enthralling emotional journey for a show that is superbly crafted with well-defined characters, dramatic scripts, effective incidental music and marvellous location filming. Each season of the show follows an established pattern of introducing two new trainee British agents of conflicting backgrounds and personalities and after initial training they find themselves in occupied French territory attempting to put what they have learnt to good use. The German aggressor for each run is primarily personified by a significant officer. For the 1st season it was the softly spoken Colonel Werner Krieger (Warren Clarke), the 2nd season the unsettlingly quiet Colonel Voller (Donald Gee) and the 3rd brought us the barking mad power crazed General Stuckler (Terence Hardiman). The first two seasons pose additional personal complications for Liz Granger with the eventual disintegration of her marriage and her blossoming romance with Kit Vanston a highly effective operative whom she knew before the war. Each season concludes with a dramatic final set piece. In the 1st it is the rescue of Matty Firman from the Germans, in the 2nd it is the engineering factory raid coupled with the resolution to Vivien's renewed relationship with her daughter and in the 3rd it is the mass German assault on the Le Crest resistance movement. Personally I found the 1st season incidental music a trifle overpowering however there are some beautifully effective pieces used in the 2nd and 3rd seasons which helps to greatly enhance the viewers enjoyment. Although present in the 1st it is the beautiful location filming used during the 2nd and in particular 3rd season which is especially breathtaking and helps to significantly elevate this series against other World War Two drama series. Although all the regular cast contribute marvellously to the overall believable aspect of the series I personally would single out both Michael J Jackson & Kate Buffery for special praise for their outstanding performances as Kit Vanston & Liz Grainger, two stars whom convey such a resonate believable atmosphere to their characters, their previous history prior to the war and their newly blossoming romance in such dangerously difficult present times. Passionate delivery of scripted lines can also be appreciated from many of the series guest stars like Trevor Peacock (Renard), Nigel Le Valliant (Laurence Grainger), Shirley Henderson (Sylvie), Caroline John (Helene), Bryan Pringle (Father Martin), Jeremy Brudenell (Jean-Louis) and Stuart McGugan (Gordon Stewart) to name but a few. If you enjoy great emotive exciting drama with engaging character interaction matched with stunning scenery and appropriately moving incidental music then I strongly recommend you nab a copy of this series. I am confident it will be the wisest investment you have ever made!
Time After Time (1979)
HG Wells chases Jack The Ripper in 1979 San Francisco... great stuff!
I watched this 1979 film earlier this week (got it on VHS video way back in 1988 on my birthday!) and having not seen it for quite some time was pleasantly surprised just how really great it is. "Time After Time" takes an interesting spin on the time travel adventure premise by having legendary sci-fi writer HG Wells chase after his old friend John Leslie Stevenson whom it later turns out that he is indeed 'Jack The Ripper'. I love the time lapse journey of the craft which then gives way to a combination of pulses of light and snatches of sound to represent the passage of time. However on occasion this film does have a tendency to overreach itself like for example when the rather dazed 'Herbert' climbs from his craft, finds himself in an exhibition to himself and the conveniently locates a replacement pair of glasses in a piece of furniture located nearby. The historical character out of another time leads to a few really good tongue-in-cheek moments like for example when in McDonalds he says to the man sitting next to him whilst examining the table 'I've never seen wood like this before!" Although credit is certainly due to both David Warner (Stevenson) and Mary Steenburgen (as Herbert's love interest Amy) I'm mighty impressed with Malcolm McDowell's portrayal of this time traveller from 1893 especially in the powerful desperate conviction he conveys in the police interrogation scene towards the end of the film. At about 108 minutes long the combination of tense drama and more light hearted 'adjusting to present day surroundings' moments effectively move along with an engaging enjoyable feel as you'd expect from two time Star Trek motion picture director Nicholas Meyer. I notice that, at present, although this is available as a DVD release with a mouth-watering audio commentary featuring McDowell and Meyer it's yet another title that seems the exclusive province of a USA Region 1 title. I personally think it's definitely high time, we in Europe had the opportunity to acquire a copy of this highly enjoyable slice of time travel sci-fi film entertainment.
Capital City (1989)
'Capital City' - first season now on DVD!
'Capital City' fans rejoice! This first season of this series is now available from Network DVD and I've recently got my copy! Although very much an ensemble piece of key 'maverick' trading floor characters 'CAPITAL CITY' does present us with various moments through both its first and second season when each member of the team plays a significant part in a particular central or peripheral plot line. The cultural mix (English, Irish, American, German, Polish) of Head Trader Wendy Foley's (played by Joanna Phillips-Lane) group of staff is balanced with their own distinctive mannerisms, interests and personalities which helps to make the rather unfamiliar and, to most people, seemingly sterile subject of financial trading reasonably engaging through the engaging performances of the cast. In fact this seemingly dynamic young team of employees is in direct contrast to the rather staid and old-fashioned senior management of Shane Longman as represented by Lee Wolf (Richard Le Parmentier) and James Farrell (Denys Hawthorne). I suspect that such an unconventional way of working as employed by Wendy's team would not have become a reality had it not been for youthful reclusive 'free spirit' Peter Longman inheriting his thirty per cent stock in the company from his father and allowed a more trendy, relaxed modern way of business become a reality. To a certain degree Wendy's (I am led to believe) immediate supervisor Leonard Ansen (John Bowe) follows the establishment in the traditional manner of running the company however his fondness for Wendy rather sees him occupying the 'middle ground' on most occasions. The main interest in the series, I believe, stems from the simmering romantic attraction between Douglas Hodge's Declan and the cool self-assured blonde haired German trader Michelle Hauptmann (played by Trevyn McDowell) which had viewers continually wondering if the situation between these two colleagues would develop beyond the close friendship/fondness that they undoubted have.
Looking forward to browsing through this title, and hopefully the second season of thirteen won't be too far away!