Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Still stands up well
This is a true classic where every aspect shines, but notably the amazing script and performances (especially of Bogart and Claude Rains). It still stands up as perfect entertainment, and the ending is very memorable. Admittedly, it might not be entirely to everyone's taste, but you can't fault it on any level.
Ride the High Country (1962)
A great elegiac Western
This is a Western that deserves more recognition than it gets. On the surface it is a film about two old men transporting gold who are mixed up with a girl and her marriage. This, however, hides a tremendous and moving theme about ageing and the decline of the Old West. This theme is mirrored in the two stars (Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott) whose last film this was. The simplicity of the film and its subtext increase its power and greatness. You'll be absorbed into this film completely, and you won't regret it. Viewing is also made pleasurable by the outstanding performances of its stars, and by Lucien Ballard's amazing photography. In addition, there is a excellent but overlooked soundtrack, which reflects all the elements of the film in a very moving way. This film will satisfy anyone, whether their taste is action or whether they want a more intelligent Western than normal. Ride the High Country will always be one of the greatest elegies ever committed to film (other great elegiac Westerns are The Shootist and El Dorado), and won't disappoint.
The Mission (1986)
A masterpiece of modern cinema.
The effort that clearly went into this film shines out in all areas, which makes watching it a satisfying and absorbing experience. Visually the film is perfect, with some of the greatest cinematography ever viewed on screen, combining majestic jungle scenery with religious imagery and style. Ennio Morricone's musical score is another highlight, incorporating exultant vocals and pensive, moving segments in an effective mixture. The acting is less obviously excellent at the start, but becomes so in later scenes. Truly this film is underrated, too underrated: people condemn the length and occasional slowness of the film, but you do not notice either really. From the incredible opening scene to the moving ending you are carried along on an epic, spectacular and thoughtful voyage through the beginnings, troubles and workings of the mission in question and of the people involved in it. You will not walk away from this film without looking back.
No 'Run Silent, Run Deep' but good nonetheless
Before you mouth explodes with criticisms, remember one thing: this film was not made to be a heavy, fact-reliant war account. It was made for pure entertainment, and it fulfills all its demands in that area. Forget the 'Americans winning the war' content (which Hollywood was releasing over 50 years ago in films like 'Objective, Burma) and the improbable shots of torpedo near misses, and view it as it should be viewed. The action scenes are good, and there is sufficient suspense to keep you awake. Its many inaccuracies weigh it down, but ignore them: this is not a film to be taken too seriously. It's no 'Run Silent, Run Deep', but I'd give it 7/10 anyway.
Dead of Night (1945)
Watch this in preference to films like 'Nightmare on Elm Street'
Today some generations would rather turn on the TV to watch a violent and trivial slasher horror movie on late night Ch5, and would completely ignore this feature nestling in a late night slot on Ch4. All I can say is that it's a pity. Of the five horror stories related in this film the Haunted Mirror story and the Ventriloquist story stand out as true spine tinglers. The Golfing story is more comical and suffers in comparison, but is designed to keep viewers in acute readiness for the Ventriloquist story which follows. The Party story is also more tame than the others. I suppose the Haunted Mirror story and the Ventriloquist story gave people the same feelings about mirrors and dummies respectively that Psycho gave people about showers and that Jaws gave people about the sea. I never looked at our sitting room mirror in quite the same way after watching this film. Michael Redgrave gives a great performance as the increasingly unstable ventriloquist. Without any major special effects this film still chills and thrills in a way that modern horror movies seldom do and the black and white photography helps; the ending would not carry the same atmosphere in colour. Don't pass this one by in favour of any gory modern horror film.
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
A great film
This was the perfect film when I used to watch it as a child, and it still ranks very highly on my list of favourite films. It stands out as one of the great mythical epic adventures ever, and is easily one of the best films containing Ray Harryhausen's special effects. The creatures he conjures up are realistic, suitably monster-like and shine with antiquity: the 50s and 60s monsters have a lot more character than the slick modern ones. There are a lot of exciting action scenes, especially the battle with the skeletons, and the locations fit in well with the story. The faults are few: the acting is not particularly noticeable, and the original story is not always followed closely, but these never detract from the film as a whole: does it need either? There is also an exceptional score by Bernard Hermann. Definetely watch this in preference to the modern TV remake. It is also the perfect family film, as watchable today as it was then. Overall a great film: don't miss it, especially if you're a monster movie fan.
The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)
Worth a look
When looking through a book of film reviews you would (as I've found) not always find this film. It's minor, old and unacclaimed, and as a result largely unknown. It's worth a look, though. While most reviews would not rank it at all highly, and while it's hardly 'Godzilla' or 'King Kong', it's not that bad. The build up and Mexican scenery promise much, and the story (about a strange beast eating ranchers' sheep in a small Mexican town) does have its fair share of suspense. However, the climax, marred by awful special effects (due to the low budget) lets the whole thing down. This film has its good points, so watch it, but don't expect to be overwhelmed.