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Fire Down Below (1957)
This film may be just about a love triangle in the Caribbean
A delightful film albeit relatively unknown (most people think the title belongs to the later Steven Seagal film). One of those unexpected pleasures to watch as everything gels so that you end up with video moments in your head that stick with you for years. This film could be dismissed as just a love triangle in the Caribbean but it is one of those rare films where the sum is greater than the parts. Fine acting every where. Very nice photography. And while it seems to slow down in the middle to the obvious where the 2 stars, Mitchum and Hayworth, end up together stay with it. The unexpected twist in the final act is a grabber.Forget the all star cast and the expectations that go with that. Sit back, relax and let yourself be pulled into a really good movie that just moves you along into a marvelous final act. When its over you'll sit back and say to yourself: Now that's a movie -let's watch it again.
Noises Off... (1992)
A movie so funny and intricate you have to keep watching it
Few comedies can be watched repeatedly but this is one of them. While at one time a typical British sex farce it is at the same time a hilarious behind the scenes view of what goes into a stage production. You soon realize the backstage antics are funnier than the play. While you begin laughing at the play you end up laughing even harder at the actors and their problems. Michael Caine turns in his usual good performance as do all the actors. Special note of the performances of Christopher Reeves, Carol Burnett and John Ritter because they make us quickly forget that Reeves is Superman, that Ritter did "Three's Company" and the laughs we had watching the "Carol Burnett Show". It takes superb and highly able actors to erase their stereotypes from our mind and these 3 do, and right away. I don't know [as someone commented] if their timing, as movie actors, is off but I certainly didn't notice it. And since timing is essential in this play/film I think they should be congratulated. The way that bottle of Scotch is grabbed and handed around just breaks me up. In fact the movie breaks me up no matter how many times I see it. I hope it comes out on DVD with a "behind the scenes" documentary on how they did the "behind the set" parts! Bravo!!
Much Ado About Nothing (1984)
Superb rendition that that reaffirms one's love of Shakespeare
An afficianado but not expert on Shakespeare, this production was my introduction to "Much Ado About Nothing". I found it a sheer delight. So much so that I fell into the production and it seemed it was over after barely starting. Normally with Shakespeare one seems to maintain a distance whilst mentally translating the old English prose/rhyme but that wasn't necessary with this play. The sets are adequate but we must remember that this is a film of a stage version. It's the acting that makes it so exhilerating. Lunghi is nothing short of stupendous, speaking the lines with great wit, clarity and effect. Lindsay is admirable as her foil and indeed matches her line for line. I would recommend this play/production for anyone who needs an introduction to Shakespeare. For those who are familiar with the bard, they will find this rendition a delight, and far superior to that inadequate, emacerated film version by Branagh.