I love it! It's outrageous, irreverent and absolutely hilarious. The
special effects are amazing and the gags just keep coming.
There are so many witty lines that it's hard to remember them all.
One of my favourites is when Bruce Willis and Goldie Hawn plan
to murder Meryl Streep (who plays Willis' wife). They concoct an
elaborate plot to push her car off Mulholland Drive, but Willis ends
up pushing her down the stairs instead. After the deed is done he
phones Goldie Hawn and breathlessly exclaims, "Helen? I did it!
She's dead, she started shouting at me and I couldn't take it any
more and I pushed her down the stairs and she's dead!" There is
a long pause on the other end of the phone, then Hawn slowly
asks , ". . . which part of the plan didn't you understand?".
Meanwhile, Streep is not dead, but is slowly standing up at the foot
of the stairs with her head on backwards!
Isabella Rosselini is good as the mysterious Lisle von Rhuman
and, at times, looks and sounds uncannily like her mother, Ingrid
Bergman. The film is not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but it's a scream!
(Jon Whiteley) who arrives in Moonfleet after his mother dies and
finds Jeremy Fox (Stewart Granger), the leader of a gang of
smugglers who was once in love with the boy's mother.
The cast is very good, although I think George Sanders should
have been given a bigger part as he was excellent in such
classics as 'The Portrait of Dorian Gray' and 'The Private Affairs of
Bel Ami'. Joan Greenwood (who used her husky voice to good
effect as the overly-cheerful DJ in the cult TV series 'The Prisoner')
appears as Sanders' wife. Also Viveca Lindfors (who was later to
play excellent cameos in both 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Stargate')
stars as Jeremy Fox's scheming mistress, Mrs Minton.
Granger, as usual, is gorgeous.
The good thing about his film for me, having just bought a
widescreen TV, is that it's in Cinemascope, so it fits the screen!
Rathbone and Bruce appeared in. The films always worked best
when set in Victorian England, unfortunately only this one and it's
predecessor 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' were. The cast is
brilliant, George Zucco makes a suitably creepy Moriarty and Ida
Lupino is brilliant as the tragic Miss Brandon. It was nice to see little Terry Kilburn (who played several
characters in 'Goodbye Mr Chips' in the same year) playing Billy,
Holmes' servant/ assistant. The plot involves Professor Moriarty's plan to steal the Crown
Jewels whilst distracting Holmes with a series of mysteries for
him to solve. Holmes makes the understatement of the century after Miss
Brandon's brother is murdered by saying, "rest now, Miss
Brandon, you've had a terrible day." For me, Basil Rathbone is the best screen Holmes, followed
closely by Jeremy Brett. Also, the fight at the end between Holmes and Moriarty on top of
the Tower of London is very good.
Best part: Rathbone wearing a straw hat and white suit, dancing
and pelting out "Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside!" in a
cockney accent! . . . an absolute scream!
immensely, even though it was about the hundreth time I'd seen it.
It's a wonderful 'family' movie, in that it isn't offensive or overlong-
it's fun. My favourite part has to be the song "busy doing nothing", sung by
the unlikely trio of Bing Crosby, Cedric Hardwicke and William
Bendix (the first and last time they ever sang together!). There are nice touches all the way through, including the 'echoes'
every time king Arthur requests something: "MORE HOT WATER! . . . more hot water. . ." Or "CLOSE THE DOOR! . . .close the door. . ."
to which Murvyn Vye's Merlin replies, "the door closeth sire." While we are on the subject of Merlin, I'm surprised that with a
voice like his he didn't appear in more of Hollywood's costumers.
I've only ever seen him in one other film, and that was 'Green Fire'
(1955). Of course, I have to mention William Bendix's portrayal of 'Saggy' or
sir Sagramore. He turns up in Bing Crosby's prison cell
shame-faced and apologetic for calling him (Crosby) a dragon and
says the following: Saggy: If only there were ought we could do. Crosby: Well, ain't there ought? Saggy: Nought. Whoever heard of a knight of the round table with a thick Brooklyn
accent?! I usually detest musicals but this, along with 'White Christmas', is
an exception. The duet between Rhonda Fleming and Bing Crosby
('Once and for always') is brilliant. It's hilarious when he says she's
pretty, to which she replies enthusiatically, "oh, thou art pretty too
sire!" and he, looking round apprehensively says, "no, say I'm cute
The duel with swords at the end between Flynn and Rathbone (three guesses who wins!)is one of the longest and most spectacular on film, beaten only by the duel in 'Scaramouche'(1952) which was a few seconds longer at nine minutes. This style of story must have been popular at the time because 'The Mark of Zorro', starring Tyrone Power, was made shortly afterwards and is basically Robin Hood in California! Eugene Pallette and Basil Rathbone reprise their roles in 'Zorro' as priest and villain respectively. It may interest you to know that one of the sword fencing instructors for 'Robin Hood' also worked on the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy... amazing!