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The King's Speech (2010)
I am SO glad finally to see a film on George VI. He was a quietly brave man, who not had not speech problems. During WWII, HE knew of secrets that he could not tell anyone, except perhaps the Prime Minister, (Churchill), who knew them as well. Such things as the real horror of the concentration camps, or the real losses the British forces had suffered, etc. These things were deemed "too horrible" for the general populace to know. So, the King could not speak of them, not even to his own family. He died very, very young -- looking 10 years older than he was.
Colin Firth looks to be great in this role. Too bad he doesn't look as much like the King, as Helena Bonham-Carter looks the queen. (George VI was SO handsome....sigh!) But the trailer has it wrong. George VI did NOT have greatness thrust upon him. He was a great man from the moment he was born!
Suspicion: The Voice in the Night (1958)
I saw this story when it was first presented on TV, and have never forgotten it. I remember that for weeks afterwords, I had trouble falling asleep....(Spoiler)....so sure was I that a malignant fungus was out to get me! I suppose one of the reasons this story terrified me so much is that I believed, (and still do, for the most part), that, (SPOILER) "love conquers all". I have recently read the original short story, (SO clearly written, even in 1907....an era of largely floridly-written works). There is no hint in the original story, (Spoiler) that the two principals are Run-Away lovers...he poor, she rich. No, in the original text story, they are just lovers. At the end of the story, (Spoiler), the principal male character is called "the thing". In the TV version, he is (Spoiler), called by the much more graphic description, "A sponge...a great gray sponge".
The tension builds up and Up and U p, in this drama. Every...Er, "thing" about it was SO well done! I wish it would be re-broadcast and/or put on DVD. Especially now.... Global warming is bound to bring a (Spoiler) lessening or cessation of winds. And this story takes place, (Spoiler), in "the Doldrum" area of the earth. Or so they said in the TV version. In the written version, it is just a "becalmed" area of the North Pacific. Either way, you may NOT "be calmed" for a while after watching this eerily well-played, totally possible drama!
Roman Holiday (1987)
ROMAN HOLIDAY -- 1987, starring Catherine Oxenberg and Tom Conti, looked to be a treat for any romantic person, and I eagerly looked forward to the day when it would be broadcast... Well, I did like the updating, wherein the Princess got to eat pizza for the first time, and also enjoyed the appearance, in this version, of the princess's father, the King, who was not seen in the original. All the acting was very good and earnest. Unfortunately, the storyline was not. I am surprised that it was by Dalton Trumbo, (even, as a blacklisted author, using another author as his "front") because every other movie I have seen which was written by Mr. Trumbo was superiour! The dialogue is OK -- but the storyline......! The two leading characters, (the Princess and reporter Joe Bradley), didn't seem to love each other AT ALL in this 1987 version. The interplay of duty-vs-love was never really in the forefront of this latter version, (1987), as it was in the 1952 version with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. So, all the emotion from the story had just about vanished. "Roman Holiday"'s one-day romance is is said to have gotten its inspiration from the much longer Princess Margaret/Peter Townsend affair....but you'd never guess it here. I wish that Catherine Oxenberg and Tom Conti had been given a better script...they are both very fine actors, and would have given this "eternal story from the eternal city", the depth of feeling as seen in t original, but updated for a modern audience. As it is.... Well, my advice would be, if you have only time to see one version, see the original. (A third version, incorporating the appearance of the King -- and the pizza, seen only in the updated, 1987 version -- with the feelings of longing and love of the original, 1953 version -- would still be very welcome, I think, by all romantics around the world!)
\\Great Show...Full ectm
This is a fun film for anyone, of any age, with imagination! (SPOILER____ALERT) Two teenagers, a brother and sister, time-travel My means of an enchanted painting of a medieval village. They soon find themselves INSIDE the village, and inside the painting! Getting home isn't easy, because a villain, named "Falco" insists on finding the "Jewel of Polaris". He already has the "Sceptor of Polaris", which originally held the jewel -- but the two parts were separated by wise men of the past, because although each part is powerful, when put together, they can help the owner of both parts to rule the world! Evil Falco already has many powers from the Sceptor of Polaris, alone...and the audience horrified by what he does. He just Cannot get the Jewel too! It's really hard, but the brother and sister from the future, together with friends from the village, finally manage a happy ending for all concerned.
The acting here is top-notch! Even evil Falco is played with a debonair, and devil-may-care attitude, which somehow brings his evil into clearer view, than if he just was played as cruel. The rest of the cast, including beautiful Brianna Brown, is well-cast, and very, very believable. This is a "children's" movie...but it can easily be enjoyed by anyone, of any age, with imagination. It does not talk down to children -- a refreshing, and very welcome trend I wish other makers of children's movies would emulate. Sets, costuming, writing, directing, music, and just about everything else, (including the acting!), are believable and just right. If there was a 4-letter word or two in this movie, I missed them....the plot was so exciting, that's all I concentrated on!
All through the movie, the brother and sister mainly were equal partners. But towards the end, the sister is shown to be captured, and it is up to the brother,, (alone), to seek out the Jewel of Polaris in the final stages of their quest. Allowing "the girl" to accompany her brother, and equally share in the danger and triumph of the final moment, would have been far more satisfying to those who, like me, feel "Girl Can Do Anthing"....(too!)
All things considered, however, this is a superior movie for family fun!
The Swan (1956)
The Prince or the tutor? Which will beautiful Princess Alexandra marry?
Wonderful, romantic yet realistic movie. All characters are given dialogue which allows a wide range of emotions -- and the fine cast gives true life and realism to every scene! Sets and costumes are magnificent! (Was a real palace used here...or was it constructed on a studio back lot??) This is movie not just for romantics, but also for those who want to know how the other half, (or other 1/200th!) live and think!
I would like to see this movie re-made! I suggest ANNE HATHAWAY as Princess Alexandra, JOHNNY DEPP as Tutor Nicolas, and ERIC PIERPOINT as Prince Albert!