Reviews

25 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Armchair Thriller: High Tide: Part 1 (1980)
Season 2, Episode 21
Bernard Herrmann's music
9 July 2016
Just saw this on TV.

Amazed that almost the whole music score is a plagiarism of Hitchcock's Psycho score by the great Bernard Herrmann.

It sounds as if whole sections have just been lifted from the soundtrack album.

I'm amazed Southern Television got away with it, unless they paid a royalty.

Or maybe just thought they were too small and insignificant to anyone to find out?

All those violins were unmistakable.
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Columbo: Double Exposure (1973)
Season 3, Episode 4
9/10
First rate Columbo
21 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I particularly liked this episode because of Robert Culp's excellent acting and star presence. Falk as always is immaculate, but the sparring with Culp when both know that Columbo knows he did it, is as good as McGoohan, which is the best there is.

The tiny nuances on Culp's face as the plot unravels are priceless, his arrogance at believing himself much cleverer than Columbo, his taunting about the lack of real evidence, even his inane grinning at the end at the irony of being found out by his own method. A great Columbo.

Some great comedy and repartee as the murderer is stalked on the golf course spoiling his game with that undertow of seriousness in finding the clues for the knock out evidence.
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Columbo: Negative Reaction (1974)
Season 4, Episode 2
9/10
Up there with the best
30 November 2014
A very entertaining Columbo, with many exceptional comedy moments. Falk embarrassingly putting his cigar ashes in his pocket in an immaculate home. The lovely Joyce van Patten's nun mistaking him for a hobo after he is out all night and unshaven and more crumpled than usual. The hilarious Larry Storch as a super nervous driving instructor. I have only left 1 mark off just because Dick van Dyke is such a nice guy I can't take him seriously as a murderer, even with that unflattering beard, but that's just me. Falk's acting is faultless, picking up the dust on the clock on the mantelpiece etc. The final trick of unmasking the perpetrator is interesting and unusual. A treat.
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8/10
Fine old fashioned pioneer movie.
26 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen this several times and warm to it the more often I see it. The nostalgic narration is not too obtrusive and works well to knit everything together.

Gable growls his way through a usual tough guy that melts gradually through the film, a fine vigorous performance as pioneer man, even singing and dancing (of sorts!). Montalban has an interesting role (virtually without dialogue) at the beginning of his career. Whitmore has a small part and looks every part the mountain man. Menjou is a revelation if you saw him in Paths of Glory, as a fine second fiddle who you would want as your friend. Hodiak is good as an impassive, proud and upright Indian. Napier (West's Batman's butler) as an aristocratic survivor of Waterloo! And Maria Marques a comely and well acted female lead.

The music is sweeping and fits fine, the photography absolutely superb, the Technicolour very very very beautiful, the native Americans portrayed as human beings with a history. Some nice comedy moments at the marriage. A romance virtually a silent movie with man and wife not speaking each others languages. The savagery and danger of early life not skimped. The final showdown is thrilling and realistic.

Old Hollywood showmanship but the ending brings a lump to my throat as the son describes his father's life and the wisdom he passed on.
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8/10
excellent kitchen sink drama from a bye-gone age
30 January 2007
to anyone who lived through these times and these types of factory settings this film resonates.

The Burke character of the communist agitator invokes criticism of left bashing but anyone who had experience of the British motor/engineering industry in these times knows that it is much closer to the truth than many people want to believe.

However to those that think the film has right wing bias you only have to look at how the useless fat cat directors are portrayed (having no knowledge of the business they are taking large salaries from), hardly an advertisement of capitalism. Plus even the "sympathetic" management end up not supporting the worker who supported them, as bad as the agitator in their own way.

Good performances all round, outstanding from Richard Attenborough, Pier Angeli, an unusually good turn by Michael Craig and dependable Bernard Lee as the dim union man manipulated easily by the agitator.

A style of film-making gone now but interesting social commentary of the times. Recommended for social historians and affectionados of good acting.
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Columbo: By Dawn's Early Light (1974)
Season 4, Episode 3
10/10
a pinnacle of Columbo episodes
18 January 2007
maybe my favourite Columbo and maybe the best too.

Just look at McGoohans eyes behind that stiff and unyielding exterior, particularly in the one scene where he unbends a little in the office interview with the Lieutenant. No wonder he won the Emmy for this performance.

The contrast in his style with Falks is the highlight of this episode, no wonder they became good friends with many invitations to come back as yet another murderer and also to direct. They bounce off each other superbly taking an already high quality TV series into new realms.

Highly recommended.
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Casino Royale (2006)
2/10
not a Bond film
28 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
this is really a Bruce Willis or Arnie film, not a Bond film at all.

The pre-credit sequence is boring with zero humour or panache in Craig's delivery of the punch line.

Judy Dench is looking old and completely out of place in a film that is supposed to go back to the beginnings of Bond. And we have the oldest cliché in the book of Bond at odds with his superior, blah blah, done in every cop film since the dawn of time.

The Sony product placement is just crass throughout for a Sony/Columbia picture. Is this a movie or an advert? The title song is instantly forgettable with lyrics mumbled.

The cartoon credit sequence is the poorest graphics since Dr No, simply boring with no imagination or wow factor. It looks cheap compared to the great graphics we have come to expect and makes the whole film look cheap compared to greater Cubby Brocolli efforts.

Craig is not debonair, tall, dark or handsome and has no wit or class, totally miscast as Bond. He would be better as the villain's No 2 henchman rather than Bond.

The idea that the world's terrorists depend on a legitimate casino game to fund their activities is as ludicrous as Moonraker's laser guns or Die Another's invisible car, but this is the whole plot of the film.

There are 3 good action sequences and the rest is FAR too long. The love story bit dialogue between Bond and Vesper particularly is yawn inducing with no chemistry between the actors on screen, and Vesper's suicide at the end particularly contrived and unbelievable. The whole end sequence of destroying a Venician building shows no imagination and is obviously just tagged on as an afterthought.

In conclusion it's just another formula action film with none of the class and features that make a good Bond film. The hero could have been any cop/agent/private investigator so the whole has none of the distinctive and memorable scenes that always went into a Bond film.

A big disappointment.
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The Sunshine Boys (I) (1975)
8/10
a class movie about a non-class act!
23 October 2006
question: how do you steal a scene from the expert of expert scene stealers Walther Mathau in full, furious and brilliant Grumpy Old Man mode? answer: quietly, deadpan, and with perfect timing as George Burns does here.

I know nothing of Vaudeville but this remains a favourite film, the two leads are hilarious, the script funny, the direction and pacing very fine. Richard Benjamin is very funny as straight man - trying to get at Burns through the window etc. Even the small parts are great.

There are so many funny scenes, Mathau messing up the commercial, Burns repeating his answers as if senile...

A delight.

Enterrrrrr!
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a turkey to include in a top ten list of all turkeys
22 October 2006
Connery is far too old for this kind of caper, even if this were some kind of acceptable entertainment that did not completely waste 2 hours of your life. The scenes of this 70 year old man fighting and "running" to avoid a hail of fire from multiple heavy machine guns were just laughable, having to be cut every 1/2 second because without the editing it would look ridiculous - even with the editing it looked ridiculous. I mention this because did not see it mentioned anywhere else here where the other aspects of this disgraceful production are well documented and entertainingly described with far better imagination than anything shown by the film-makers. One to rank with Connery in 'The Avengers' as a complete waste of everybody's time, talented actors, and audiences shown no respect for the ticket money they've shelled out.
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9/10
film for ALL ages
28 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Let's get this out of the way... I hate Hollywood movies by number, Disney schmaltz, stereotyped screenplays, and endings and plot devices you can see a mile off... so why do I like this film? Basically the story is a true and affecting one of loyalty beyond death, and the kind of love a dog gives a loving master which could easily have me reaching for the sick bucket in the wrong hands. Well directed by Don Chaffey who went on to much work on TV series like Danger Man, The Prisoner, The Avengers, Mission Impossible etc in a simple unassuming manner which perfectly fits the low key style required to get just the right emotional punch and uplift at the end.

A well constructed screenplay gets us off to a favourable start but the acting all round hits exactly the correct note. Donald Crisp is really excellent as the crusty Scotsman, and lifts Laurence Naismith (Moore and Curtis' boss in the Persuaders) to the same level in their long running feud scenes and affecting melting to friendship through common love of the little dog at the end. Andrew Cruickshank (in the original Dr Finlay) is wonderful as the Lord Provost in the crucial highpoint turnaround scene. The comedy turns like the officious policeman and the court reporter who lets the kids into court are spot on. Even the kids are fine.

The actors stick close to a style suitable for a Disney movie but the clever understatement (helped by the character motivation not wanting to appear too weak in loving a stray dog) make the unfolding story and ending carry a real emotional punch. Yes, it's corny but based on a TRUE corniness, and that's what makes it stand out among Disney (and other!) films. Beautiful colour throughout and if you've ever been to Edinburgh you will like the recreation of the old city. The music is also excellent, the strings perfectly complimenting the Scottish theme with bagpipe like harmonies.

Recommended for children of all ages up to 110.

Get a box of tissues out for the last quarter of an hour and enjoy!
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10/10
quality through and through
18 August 2006
A fine, fine film from Sam Peckinpah. One of my favourites from the first time I saw it, the ending is very effective and one of the greatest scenes in Westerns in its simplicity yet emotional punch.

I really honestly cannot think of a bad performance in this film. The evil Hammond brothers are all truly excellent, though the Virginian takes some getting used to as baddie, R G Armstrong is suitably weird as the religious/anti-sex obsessed father. Hartley is beautiful and excellent in the role. Starr is gauche, but that is required of the character so it works OK. The madam is suitably horrid and Buchanan as the drunk judge is even better than his usual scene stealing performances.

But Scott and McRea are a revelation - a kind of B picture version of the Duke in the Shootist, but this is B picture only in budget, in quality terms it is A+++ through and through. Both of their performances are spot on all the way, you truly believe the standards of the mythical west lived in guys like this, putting honour above all else.

So the proof that you don't need a mega budget to make a great, great film, and that age and experience count for an awful lot when these 2 great cowboy stars get together and show us what they are capable of after a lifetime of film making.

"Go now Gil... I don't want the young un's to see this"

"Ok Partner... I'll see you later"

Superb and memorable...
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5/10
insipid TV type movie remake of a classic
7 August 2006
this is sort of OK as an afternoon TV movie but stands no comparison against the Oscar nominated and winning original.

The Cukor version has class written all over it with stupendous performances from Broderick Crawford, Judy Holiday and William Holden, great comic timing and real pace.

This is just ambling along, making the motions, insipid in comparison, the famous gin rummy scene is a bit embarrassing really. John Goodman can't make his mind up whether he wants to be a bully or sympathetic, his pest controller in Anachrophobia was a far better comic performance I think. Don Johnson is so low key he seems to be sleepwalking through the role. Melenie Griffith was far better in Working Girl with an all round superior character transformation. So maybe the script and especially direction have to take the blame to a greater degree.

Cheap off-cut compared to prime rump steak.
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7/10
not as bad as critics made out
28 July 2006
an interesting curio as Chaplin's last film. Loren is ravishingly beautiful and carries the whole film well on her shoulders. Brando badly miscast, he shows some great timing in the madcap farce rushing around scenes, but try to imagine how Rex Harrison could have done this type of slamming doors and hiding farce as the uptight diplomat exasperated with his stowaway - think My Fair Lady. Brando's mumbling performance just does not gel. Apparently he had disagreements with Chaplin and maybe was sulking.

Very nice cameos from Margaret Rutherford (British films of the 50s Miss Marple) and Angelar Scoular (batty girl like in her performance in On Her Majesty's Secret Service), also great comedy performance from Patrick Cargill (British TV comedy and a memorable No 2 in the Prisoner) as the butler. Excellent acting going on here.

It is dull to start with, static camera like silent films, stagy, and obvious studio sets, but by the time the sea sickness scene came along I was laughing and drawn in. The post marriage bedroom scene is funny.

There is a scene at the bar with Sydney Chaplin (Charlie's son) where he tries to distract Michael Medwin, where Sydney looks amazingly like Charlie in attitude and timing - but this is probably due to diligent direction by his father.

A really nice theme music from Charlie again. Yes, it is old fashioned, a filmed play, was absolutely released in the wrong decade, with the wrong leading man, but does show some of the Chaplin traits and even perhaps genius, certainly his humanist philosophy in the treatment of homeless or stateless persons.

A real shame it was so savaged by critics at the time and disappointed him in his old age. He deserved better for his lifetime contribution to the art of film.
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Martin and Lewis (2002 TV Movie)
7/10
above average TV fare if you're interested in the 50s
26 May 2006
I was pulled into this movie, despite a clichéd and standard TV movie type script. This was probably due to the performances and good recreation of the times.

Sean Hayes does not look like Jerry Lewis but made a good stab at recreating his manic energy and routines. Only in the dramatic scenes did I feel a lack of insight in his performance.

Jeremy Northam convinced admirably with his laid back Dean Martin, unfortunately he had little material to work with script wise but got across Dino's couldn't care less attitude which rolled along for years with Lewis until he could take no more.

I think the fault with the movie was that it was made when only one of the duo has passed on, so perhaps there were Lewis traits that had to be down graded at the expense of Martin. However to be fair they did show some of Lewis's control freakery and joke stealing that led to the final breakup.

Still for a TV movie it was definitely above average, these 2 stars were huge successes in their partnership days, and each went on to show their own brand of showbiz genius as they went their separate ways afterwards. In the end a rather sad story.
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Phone Booth (2002)
5/10
interesting let down
21 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Do not read if you have not seen this movie!

Interesting failure let down by plot failures: For me the voice of the sniper was so obviously added in a sound studio after the movie was finished it spoilt the whole suspension of disbelief, he was supposed to be at the end of that phone line after all.

The Farrell character's redemption at the end did nothing for me, he was such a sleaze-bag you did not really feel any empathy or sympathy for him.

The sniper was far too God like through the first 90% of the movie, a common failing in Hollywood. He knew everything about Farrell's life, he was an expert marksman, he was an electronics bugging expert, he was a phone system expert so his calls are untraceable, he was an expert at predicting police tactics etc etc etc... and then lets himself be found just at the right time in the plot by previously phoning a traceable call from the apartment which is to be the scene of his crimes.

The ending was a cop out, I saw the pizza guy denouement a mile off without seeing any reviews or hints, who kills themselves by hacking through their own throats when police are running up the stairs outside the door and you have a gun available?

A great idea for a movie but really needed a Hitchcock to iron out the plot holes and improve the suspense.
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The Keeper (2004)
3/10
average TV movie fare
2 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
do not read if you have not seen this movie! A quite ridiculous and unbelievable plot that the unhinged lunatic sheriff can hide someone in his basement for months without anyone visiting or noticing, and quite by accident has an unhinged lunatic TV presenter groupie woman too who finds the girl by chance and then does not free her because she wants the sheriff to be a TV show star... Boy do these Hollywood scriptwriters do nothing to earn their money. His deputy has no life except popping up every couple of weeks to say his entire mission in life is to find the missing girl as if he has no other work to do, so as to signpost the entirely predictable finale well ahead of time.

Standard average TV movie fare with low production values.

The only reason to watch is the performance of Hopper who is an actor who seems to be able to rise above any crap material, though he does his normal "unhinged" "creepy" type character here, which helps I suppose. After the majority of the movie being fairly "normal" (apart from locking up this girl for months) he goes mental giving her a show with glove puppets. Cliché follows cliché with the knocked out sheriff waking up just in time to knock out the rescuing deputy etc etc etc, lazy scriptwriting.
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Oh Dear.. Oh Dear.. Oh Dear....
26 April 2006
Blake Edwards did not get on with Peter Sellers, and they only came together again many years after Shot In The Dark when both needed the money and boost to their flagging careers. Since then in the documentaries Edwards had tried to puff up his importance to the films, obviously without being able to trash Sellers too much since after his passing it would not be good PR.

If ever there was proof needed that the Panther franchise depended entirely on Sellers genius it is the films that Edwards produced in the Clouseau series without Sellers, basically they are the leaden dross to the varying purity of gold that the films with Sellers were.

Trail was great for the first half hour because Sellers' outtakes were in it. The next half hour was a waste of time for us who had seen the other films since it was just clips we had all seen before. The last half hour was a waste of time period.

This Curse film was a complete waste of time apart from a few minutes at the end when Roger Moore gives lessons to Ted Wass (an actor who has disappeared into the the obscurity he well deserves) in exactly what comic timing and flair really is, and provides more smiles in a few seconds than has been forthcoming in the rest of the entire movie.

A travesty by Blake Edwards which proves just how little his contribution was to the franchise (without Sellers there to bail him out) and how low Hollywood can stoop in the quest to wring the last cents out of a franchise and spoil the pleasant and nostalgic memories of the great and funny earlier films.

Not worth rating.
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Columbo: Dagger of the Mind (1972)
Season 2, Episode 4
3/10
below average Columbo
13 April 2006
I've watched this a couple of times now and it gets worse the more you analyse. Compare it to the episode in Mexico where as a "fish out of water" Columbo has to help the local police. That episode is tightly scripted with a believable Mexican policeman and reason for Columbo to help out. Here we have lazy scriptwriting (exchnage visit) and cartoon English policemen going to their "clubs". Laughable! The theatre setting and "luvie" murderers have possibilities but marred by Basehart's Canadian drawl. The pub scene with "cockneys" is just ludicrous. The difference between the location shoot and the Californian and studio scenes is glaring and off putting.

The problem is Falk is not on camera enough to lift it, and a wealth of British character actors are wasted with not enough nuance in the script, and no interesting villain like Patrick MacGoohan, Jack Cassidy or Robert Culp to mask the story shortfalls with screen presence. The murder and denouement is just lame and it is surprising this episode came so early since it bears all the hallmarks of the type of episode you get when the series is going down the drain and a desperate attempt is made to liven the pattern up with a new location. Columbo has done far better than this, but I must admit that compared to more standard TV fare a bad Columbo is still better than a lot of other things you can pass the time with because Peter Falk is in it.
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Bronco Billy (1980)
7/10
a feel good Clint
30 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
maybe this film did not do well because it is about a bunch of losers, albeit warm hearted losers who stick together and have the advantage of a loyalty most families don't have.

Stand out scenes are Clint's reaction to the little kid being hit at the bank robbery, and Clint swallowing his pride to get his buddy freed with the god awful sheriff - a nice performance of the corrupt lawman getting emotions running in the right direction.

Scatman does his usual scene stealing thing, Bottoms is good, it is interesting to see McKinney in a sympathetic role after his Clint nemesis in Outlaw Josie Wales, Geoffrey Lewis always dependable manages a wonderful slimy coward, Sondra Locke is her usual wooden self, Clint must have been blinded by love to put here in so many of his movies, she deservedly disappeared without trace after splitting from him. Clint does a nice inversion of his tough guy, man with no name persona, although the direction is nothing special.

All in all a pleasant way to spend a few hours if you have not seen it, a little slow and rambling but the virtues of loyalty and helping one another make you sympathetic for this bunch of losers and their dreams. If todays kids are so street smart that this film is too old fashioned and corny for them, maybe that's a shame.
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Fearless (1993)
10/10
great film
23 January 2006
caught this on TV last night. Second time around for me, the first time this film had a great effect on me personally. I survived a close workplace explosion many years ago and remember vividly to this day the unreal feeling going home on bus and train as if walking on air in slow motion while the whole world around me carried on bustling by as normal.

Weir again surpasses himself judged against his Truman Show and Witness standards of excellence, what an interesting film maker he is.

Bridges has never been better, if you think his comedy performance in Lebowski is magnificent you should check out his drama performance here.

Rossellini looks ravishing and delivers a wonderful and subtle performance.

Perez does very well interpreting a difficult role of an ordinary someone not too bright (as Del Toro does also doubled) trying to understand what is happening around her.

Hulce does a lovely comedy turn as the archetypal ambulance chasing lawyer.

Turtturo does a fine underplayed turn as the company hired doctor engendering sympathy.

Even the child actors do very well, obviously everything clicked in this film in what is a very difficult subject matter to get across.

This is an art film for adults, a film that looks at the meaning of existence, the journey from life to death, the randomness of chance accidents, the "bullet with your name on it", religion, atheism, the value of psycho therapy, the pain of loss, coming to terms with the insignificance of individual life in a huge universe, and the value of relationships.

It can have the same type of emotional effect as reading The Catcher In the Rye when an adolescent... if you know what I mean... you will know what I mean.
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7/10
nice elegiacal western
12 January 2006
just caught this thoughtful film on TV again.

not a particular Mitchum fan, but here he is gives a wonderful world weary performance as the "outside man" gradually learning kindness and companionship and friendship against the odds of his upbringing and circumstances and the hand that fate has dealt him.

Not a particular shoot em up type western but a film about belonging and extricating yourself from a bad lot when down a blind alley. Just watch as he reacts to the little kindnesses as he recovers from his injury or the final scene with his beloved horse, lovely low key acting.

Beautiful photography too. Passes a lazy afternoon very nicely.
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King Kong (2005)
1/10
don't believe the critics
29 December 2005
I looked forward to this film after a good review in the Sunday Times magazine and enjoying the Ring films.

What the hell do they pay these reviewers for? to get it SOOO.. wrong.

This is a train wreck of a film, a pointless stretching out of the original. The 1933 drags while getting to Kong, this one you can grow a beard before anything happens, with no reason for the time spent, no character development, you don't really care who lives and dies after all the chit chat, and half of them disappear with no logic or explanation anyway, never having seen what happened to them.

The plot absurdities are too numerous to mention, and have been documented well by other reviews here, a children's film script written for a 3 year old, by scriptwriters with a mental age of 5 years old.

Watch the original for a cheesy but truly awe inspiring film taking into account the year it was made and the technical limitations it was made under, with at least some pace to it.

Watch this to see how today, Hollywood, with all the cgi and electronic wizardry available, can waste a couple of hundred million dollars on something with no artistic merit whatsoever, and residual entertainment value that could fit into 10 minutes.

Some directors have talent, and with no budget or a poor script can still fashion a good film. Jackson is obviously not one of these, he was just lucky with his collaborators on the Ring trilogy, and has now gone off the rails spectacularly with this one. All his talk of the original being his favourite and inspiration only makes your jaw drop further to the floor as to how he could have seen this in the editing suite and thought he had a good film ready to be released.

Sad, sad, sad.
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Grey Owl (1999)
8/10
Nice Attenborough film with good Brosnan performance
29 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
well worth watching, especially with the nice twist of a journalist with integrity, you are expecting a big fall down story line as Grey Owl is unmasked as a fraud, but it is not to be and adds to the generally optimistic and uplifting theme and drama of the story and film.

This has to be Brosnan's best performance to date, he convinces admirably as the English boy playing Indians. The stand out scene is the return to his ?Aunts? where Brosnan and the two elderly lady actresses make a wonderful scene full of feeling of nostalgia and a life lost with so little dialogue, just with expressions and good direction. Perfect.

The story is so little known and the message so universal and all important it is a real pity this film did not get better recognition, maybe in time it may become a bit of a classic and a sleeper. I hope so.

Well done Dickie Attenborough and cast.
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9/10
timeless classic
12 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
you have to get past the time and place and mores of when this film was made. Yes, it seems old fashioned now, with a type of 'British Film' acting that seems arch, but at least we have clear diction and projection, and intelligent dialogue little seen nowadays.

All the performances are first rate, from the 'foot in mouth' gauche newbie teacher who realises his embarrassing mistake, to the repentant Nigel Patrick who puts across genuine regret and regains his humanity and dignity in his insistence to meet up with Crocker-Harris to show some support and kindness to the downtrodden man, and Wilfred Hyde-White doing a wily turn as a most despicable head-master, willing to tread on anybody for his own ends with the smoothness of the arch bureaucrat manipulator.

Jean Kent does a fine wicked-witch, and although you can see that this character has been downtrodden and needs love and redemption as much as Crocker-Harris it is strange that we are manipulated into seeing her as the worst character in the tragedy, maybe Rattigan's homosexuality had something to do with this aspect of the script. But she is presented as cruel, manipulating, and false in public without the redeeming feature of some higher yearning, in the vein of Crocker's poetry and culture, and her search for love without a wider horizon than hanging on to and manipulating her lover, so maybe the character's eviction from the possibility of some kind of paradise is deserved.

But Redgrave towers above them all, and it is a remarkable achievement to get us to feel for this horribly repressed character who attains his own kind of peace and redemption by laying bare his soul in public at the end, and is rewarded by the recognition of the boys, the young seeing genuine honesty before the stunned adults - and the horrible head-master failing to quell the applause put in his true place in the scheme of things at last.

So accept the old-fashioned milieu and be thankful that a Hollywood schmaltz version has not been made, because movies of this bare tearing apart of the human soul and condition are few and far between nowadays, and Redgrave's performance a master class in itself of redemption on earth with dignity and feeling without seeming to act, let alone a million miles away from falling into the trap of over-acting.... brilliant stuff.
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1/10
worst bond
21 November 2005
This beats moonraker as the worst and laziest bond yet. The madonna cameo is just cringeworthy embarrassing with her useless acting "ability", Pierce shows no character whether being tortured or in bed with a girl, where was all that talk of showing the "dark side of Bond" etc. The north Korean torturers are obviously from the Hamburg school of sex fetishists. Halle Berry fills a bikini with a blank stare and looks like she'll cry if she breaks a nail in her fight scenes. How anyone thought they could spin a film for her out of this without it turning into a well deserved turkey is anybody's guess. Ludicrous direction trying to copy XXX rather than a believable bond film. Toby Stevens looks like a schoolboy next to Pierce and unbelievable as a terrifying enemy worthy of bond, he acts as if he is Rik Mayal doing Alan B'startd - and he is supposed to be a re-modelled Korean! The special effects (parachute escape from avalanche) are like a hand painted cartoon in places - people laughed in the cinema when this came up, and it was not laughing along with the film, it was laughing at the film. No wonder the producers turned down Brosnans play for more money and showed him the door, but I blame the producers for letting the series sink to this level also.
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