Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
A lovely movie. The idea that a movie about a strip joint could be so classy and funny seems absurd. Yet here is a loving portrayal of London's Windmill Theatre whose motto "We never closed" (or, as some wags used to say, "We never clothed")sustained them through World War Two and at least into the 60s. Judy Dench seems to have shed her Dameness for a a high old time as a very glamorous, and slightly camp, septuagenarian. Bob Hoskins (also producer) is very restrained yet determined as her adversarial business partner. And Christopher Guest puts in a surprise appearance as the Lord Chamberlin befuddled at having to grant a license to such a licentious business enterprise. It is he that comes up with the idea that nudes absolutely still on stage are "art". The depiction of the London Blitz is romantic and at one moment tragically graphic. A must for Denchophiles, Anglophiles, nude lovers, showbiz types, and anyone who likes a good yarn well told.
Never having seen much of this genre I was pleasantly surprised at Vincent Price's subtle ringing of the changes of evil, making one feel almost sorry for him. He's followed closely by that master of sadistic acting, the sadly underused Patrick Magee. What I didn't expect was how gloriously tacky the production values were. Shot, I am told, partly on the sets left over from Becket, the costumes and the lighting were all rather garish early acrylic BBC. Added to this are all the silly names. Corman seemed to have his tongue firmly in his cheek on this one. It's not very far from this to Rowan Atkinson's Black Adder, Mel Brooks' When Things Were Rotten, and especially Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
One of the great poetic drama works of the 20th century, this has been televised three times; in 1954 with Christopher Plummer, Richard Burton(from the original Broadway cast that starred John Gielgud)and Mary Ure, this version and a later one. Would that this one could be on DVD. Fry has been trying to get this one done again definitively. It is known for the paraphrase Margaret Thatcher made of it when she said, "The lady's not for turning!" Set on a sunny rainy afternoon,and evening in the Middle Ages,the play is a whimsical-serious parable of the aftershock of World War Two, the meeting of a soldier wanting to end it all and a lovely young woman accused of witchcraft and sentenced to burning. It's for people who love language and the interplay of rich comic characters (the townspeople are hysterical).