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The Prisoner at 50: celebrating a landmark TV show

Jamie Andrew Sep 29, 2017

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner was imaginative, unfathomable, and years ahead of its time...

It’s fifty years this month since The Prisoner premiered on British screens, bringing with it blazers, badges and mind-bending bad guys. The show ran for a mere two years, two truncated seasons and seventeen episodes, but its surreal imagery, iconic catchphrases, cerebral plots and absolutely bonkers ending have earned it a perennial place in our cultural consciousness.

See related Star Trek: Discovery episode 2 review - Battle At The Binary Star Star Trek: Discovery episode 1 review - The Vulcan Hello Star Trek Discovery: take our special quiz here!

It's truly an odd-beast, quintessentially sixties in some respects, timeless in others. It's hard to describe or define it as any one thing: it's a spy show that isn't a spy show; it's an action show with bigger
See full article at Den of Geek »

Best Royal Movies

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation by Cecil Beaton

This week marks the 90th birthday of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in 1926. The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on the 21st of April and her official birthday on the second Saturday in June. (Trooping of the Colours)

She is the world’s oldest reigning monarch as well as Britain’s longest-lived. In 2015, she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, to become the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regent in world history.

Looking to celebrate her Majesty’s birthday? First, everyone rise for the national anthem of the United Kingdom.

God save our gracious Queen!

Long live our noble Queen!

God save the Queen!

Send her victorious,

Happy and glorious,

Long to reign over us:

God save the Queen!

For more on the Queen’s schedule, visit the official site: www.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Examining Hollywood Remakes: The Omen

  • Cinelinx
Our series on remakes continues with a film which is more of a duplication than an actual remake. This week, Cinelinx looks at The Omen (2006).

If you’ve seen the original version of The Omen (1976) and then you watch the remake from 2006, you have to ask “Why did they even bother?” The remake was barely even a remake. It was a shot-for-shot, scene -for-scene copy of the original. Released on the 30th anniversary of the original, it offered absolutely nothing new, except a more modern cast and some mediocre CGI effects. Other than that, this is a completely unnecessary, gratuitous photo-copy of the first version.

About this film Rolling Stone Magazine wrote, “Not since Gus Van Sant inexplicably directed a shot by shot remake of Hitchcock’s Psycho has a thriller been copied with so little point or impact”. Recently, we did a dissection of the Van Sant remake of
See full article at Cinelinx »

DVD Review: "Chain Of Events" (1958) Starring Kenneth Griffith; Region 2 Release From Network Distributing

  • CinemaRetro
By Darren Allison

Chain of Events 1958 Region 2 DVD Review: Directed by Gerald Thomas, Starring Kenneth Griffith, Susan Shaw, Dermot Walsh, Freddie Mills and Joan Hickson. Released November 2nd 2015

A taut 1958 crime melodrama, Chain of Events features noted actor and film-maker Kenneth Griffith as a bank clerk whose attempt to dodge a fare has devastating consequences; a powerful cast includes Rank "Charm School" starlet Susan Shaw and future Richard the Lionheart lead Dermot Walsh. Chain of Events is also directed in sharp, pacey style by the ‘Carry On’ legend Gerald Thomas.

Rather curiously, Chain of Events was adapted from a radio play written by the late Australian character actor Leo McKern. John Clarke (Kenneth Griffith), an uninspiring sort of gentleman, one day boards a bus on his way home from work and foolishly “forgets” to pay his fare. He is caught by an inspector, but instead of owning up to it,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Cummings Pt.3: Gender-Bending from Joan of Arc to Comic Farce, Liberal Supporter of Political Refugees

'Saint Joan': Constance Cummings as the George Bernard Shaw heroine. Constance Cummings on stage: From sex-change farce and Emma Bovary to Juliet and 'Saint Joan' (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Frank Capra, Mae West and Columbia Lawsuit.”) In the mid-1930s, Constance Cummings landed the title roles in two of husband Benn W. Levy's stage adaptations: Levy and Hubert Griffith's Young Madame Conti (1936), starring Cummings as a demimondaine who falls in love with a villainous character. She ends up killing him – or does she? Adapted from Bruno Frank's German-language original, Young Madame Conti was presented on both sides of the Atlantic; on Broadway, it had a brief run in spring 1937 at the Music Box Theatre. Based on the Gustave Flaubert novel, the Theatre Guild-produced Madame Bovary (1937) was staged in late fall at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Referring to the London production of Young Madame Conti, The
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Aussie wants to put the smell back into cinema

Australian writer-producer Tammy Burnstock has been fascinated by the world.s first and only .Smell-o-Vision. feature ever since she interviewed its director/cinematographer Jack Cardiff in 1986.

Now Burnstock is part of the team that aims to screen a restored version of Scent of Mystery, retitled Holiday in Spain, to cinema audiences around the world including Australia.

Released in 1960, the film starred Denholm Elliott as a mystery novelist who discovers a plan to murder an American heiress (Beverly Bentley) while on vacation in Spain. He enlists the help of a local taxi driver (Peter Lorre) to try to thwart the crime. The cast included Leo McKern, Diana Dors and Paul Lukas.

Cardiff and producer Mike Todd Jr. updated a system invented by a Swiss man, Dr. Hans Laube, which piped artificial scents through a network of tubes to the back of each seat in a theatre.

Laube first demonstrated his .Scentovision
See full article at IF.com.au »

Richard Callanan obituary

My friend Richard Callanan, who has died aged 70 after a fall, made important contributions to two great educational endeavours: making TV programmes for the Open University and co-ordinating groups for the University of the Third Age (U3A).

He was a maker of arts programmes for the Open University between 1969 and 1979; and among those he recruited to appear in Ou productions were Patrick Stewart and Ben Kingsley. Richard was largely responsible for the famous appearance of Max Wall as Vladimir opposite Leo McKern as Estragon in Waiting for Godot in 1977. He went on to become well known too as a producer and director of children’s programmes: in 1990 he won a Bafta as producer of the BBC series Maid Marian and Her Merry Men; and in 1993 a second for Archer’s Goon.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Mitchum Stars in TCM Movie Premiere Set Among Japanese Gangsters Directed by Future Oscar Winner

Robert Mitchum ca. late 1940s. Robert Mitchum movies 'The Yakuza,' 'Ryan's Daughter' on TCM Today, Aug. 12, '15, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series is highlighting the career of Robert Mitchum. Two of the films being shown this evening are The Yakuza and Ryan's Daughter. The former is one of the disappointingly few TCM premieres this month. (See TCM's Robert Mitchum movie schedule further below.) Despite his film noir background, Robert Mitchum was a somewhat unusual choice to star in The Yakuza (1975), a crime thriller set in the Japanese underworld. Ryan's Daughter or no, Mitchum hadn't been a box office draw in quite some time; in the mid-'70s, one would have expected a Warner Bros. release directed by Sydney Pollack – who had recently handled the likes of Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, and Robert Redford – to star someone like Jack Nicholson or Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Criterion Collection: The French Lieutenant’s Woman | Blu-ray Review

In the decades since its premiere, The French Lieutenant’s Woman is now most commonly discussed for its placement in the extensive awards resume of its star Meryl Streep, since it was her follow-up to her Best Supporting Actress win for 1979’s Kramer vs. Kramer and would serve as netting her first nomination in a leading category (it’s also interesting to note Streep won the Golden Globe but ultimately, perhaps ironically, lost to Katharine Hepburn, the iconic performer who previously held the most nominations record). But at the time of its release, the final product was the result of a decade long ordeal, seeing many auteurs, actors, and screenwriters attempting to adapt the notoriously ‘unfilmable’ 1969 novel by John Fowles, an experiment in form termed “post-modern historical fiction.” Directed by Karel Reisz, the Czech-born British auteur a British New Wave progenitor of the realist strain of filmmaking, it remains one of his most prolific works.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Arthur Daley, Del Boy and Rumpole – three characters straight out of Dickens

George Cole’s death is a reminder of a trio of brilliant comic creations who could easily have graced the great writer’s novels

The death of the actor George Cole has rightly resulted in a rush of clips and memories of his stand-out TV role: the bumbling crook Arthur Daley in Minder. But, for me, thoughts of Cole’s frequently belittled Mr Big always blur with two other peak-time characters of the same era who also had a comically troubled relationship with the law: David Jason’s Del Boy Trotter in Only Fools and Horses and Leo McKern’s Horace Rumpole in Rumpole of the Bailey.

Apart from the fact that they competed for audiences and awards over a period of more than a decade, a Venn diagram representing these three vivid creations would have other shared areas. Arthur overlapped with Del Boy as con artists with a low
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Review: "Assignment K" (1967) Starring Stephen Boyd And Camilla Sparv, Sony Choice Collection DVD

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

I have seen virtually every James Bond clone released by major studios during the 1960s but "Assignment K" had eluded me until it was released as a burn-to-order title by the Sony Choice Collection. I was expecting another low-brow effort done on a small budget and perhaps affording some guilty pleasures throughout. However, "Assignment K" was a pleasant surprise. It's an intelligently written, well-acted espionage yarn that goes to some lengths to avoid Bondisms in favor of a realistic scenario populated by realistic characters. The film was directed by the woefully under-rated Val Guest, whose talents were generally dismissed at the time as workmanlike competence but which today seem much more impressive. (Guest had some spy movie experience, having previously directed key segments of the multi-director farce "Casino Royale".) 

Stephen Boyd stars as Philip Scott, a high-powered executive of a London-based toy company. When we first meet him,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

London Stage Star and Olivier Henry V Leading Lady Asherson Dead at Age 99

'Henry V' Movie Actress Renée Asherson dead at 99: Laurence Olivier leading lady in acclaimed 1944 film (image: Renée Asherson and Laurence Olivier in 'Henry V') Renée Asherson, a British stage actress featured in London productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Three Sisters, but best known internationally as Laurence Olivier's leading lady in the 1944 film version of Henry V, died on October 30, 2014. Asherson was 99 years old. The exact cause of death hasn't been specified. She was born Dorothy Renée Ascherson (she would drop the "c" some time after becoming an actress) on May 19, 1915, in Kensington, London, to Jewish parents: businessman Charles Ascherson and his second wife, Dorothy Wiseman -- both of whom narrowly escaped spending their honeymoon aboard the Titanic. (Ascherson cancelled the voyage after suffering an attack of appendicitis.) According to Michael Coveney's The Guardian obit for the actress, Renée Asherson was "scantly
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Toronto: Steve Coogan Starring in ‘Boswell for the Defence’

Toronto: Steve Coogan Starring in ‘Boswell for the Defence’
Steve Coogan will take on the part of James Boswell in “Boswell for the Defence.”

The film centers on the Scottish lawyer, diarist and Samuel Johnson biographer in his later days as he takes on one last case. Production begins next year.

This has the potential to be another showy role for Coogan, who recently starred in — and collected an Oscar nomination for writing the screenplay of — “Philomena.” His credits include also “Tropic Thunder” and “The Trip.”

“Boswell” will be adapted by Patrick Edgeworth from his play of the same name and will be directed by Gregor Jordan (“Buffalo Soldiers”). Leo McKern of “Rumpole of the Bailey” fame is the actor most associated with the title role, having toured with it in the U.K. and Australia stage productions.

The deal was announced by Highland Film Group on Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival. Mark Pennell and Steve Chasman
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Martyn Auty on Richard Broke's 'impish humour and gossipy good fun'

During his time as head of Screen One at the BBC, in 1991 I pitched Richard Broke a project called A Foreign Field, with an ageing cast that included Alec Guinness, Leo McKern, Lauren Bacall and Jeanne Moreau. "I'd better commission that now" said Richard, "or they'll all croak before we shoot it."

Throughout the production, in France and at Pinewood, Richard's impish humour and gossipy good fun sustained the whole cast and crew.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

10 Best Royal Films

Next in line to inherit the throne of Royal films is Diana. The film takes audiences into the private realm of one of the world’s most iconic and inescapably public women – the Princess of Wales, Diana (two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts) — in the last two years of her meteoric life.

On the occasion of the 16th anniversary of her sudden death, acclaimed director Oliver Hirschbiegel (the Oscar-nominated Downfall) explores Diana’s final rite of passage: a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews, “Lost,” The English Patient), the human complications of which reveal the Princess’s climactic days in a compelling new light. Diana is in select theaters now.

As long as filmmakers have been bringing the lives of England’s Kings and Queens to the silver screen have moviegoers been going to the cinemas to be schooled in British Monarchy.

So Arise, Sirs and Ladies,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Candleshoe

Jodie Foster stars in this zesty comedy caper as Casey, a streetwise orphan who is enlisted by con man Leo McKern to pass herself off as the long-lost granddaughter of an English aristocrat (Helen Hayes). Legend has it that there's a stash of treasure hidden somewhere on Lady Margaret's Candleshoe estate. But when Casey arrives in England, she learns that "grandma" doesn't have a penny and finds herself drawn into another ruse to help butler David Niven keep up appearances.
See full article at Sky Movies »

Giveaway – Win The Beatles’ Help! On Blu-ray

Calling all Beatles fans… the group’s second feature film, 1965’s Help!, will be released on Blu-ray on Tuesday, June 25 and Wamg is giving away copies to 2 lucky readers.

Directed by Richard Lester, who also directed the band’s debut feature film, 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night, Help! follows The Beatles as they become passive recipients of an outside plot that revolves around Ringo’s possession of a sacrificial ring, which he cannot remove from his finger. As a result, he and his bandmates John, Paul and George are chased from London to the Austrian Alps and the Bahamas by religious cult members, a mad scientist and the London police.

In addition to starring The Beatles, Help! boasts a witty script, a great cast of British character actors, and classic Beatles songs “Help!,” “You’re Going To Lose That Girl,” “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “Ticket To Ride,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The Beatles Help! Debuts on Blu-ray June 25th

The Beatles Help! Debuts on Blu-ray June 25th
The Beatles' second feature film, 1965's Help!, is on the way on Blu-ray. On June 24 (June 25 in North America), Help! makes its eagerly awaited Blu-ray debut in a single-disc package pairing the digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack with an hour of extra features, including a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, memories of the cast and crew, an in-depth look at the restoration process, an outtake scene, and original theatrical trailers and radio spots. An introduction by the film's director, Richard Lester, and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese are included in the Blu-ray's booklet.

Help!'s Blu-ray edition follows the 2012 release of The Beatles' digitally restored Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour feature films on Blu-ray, DVD and iTunes with extensive extras. Help!'s restoration for its 2007 DVD debut wowed viewers, earning five-times platinum sales in the U.S. and praise from a broad range of
See full article at MovieWeb »

The Beatles’ Help! Coming To Blu-ray June 25

The Beatles’ second feature film, 1965’s Help!, is on the way on Blu-ray. On June 24 (June 25 in North America), Help! makes its eagerly awaited Blu-ray debut in a single-disc package pairing the digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack with an hour of extra features, including a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, memories of the cast and crew, an in-depth look at the restoration process, an outtake scene, and original theatrical trailers and radio spots. An introduction by the film’s director, Richard Lester, and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese are included in the Blu-ray’s booklet.

Help!’s Blu-ray edition follows the 2012 release of The Beatles’ digitally restored Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour feature films on Blu-ray, DVD and iTunes with extensive extras. Help!’s restoration for its 2007 DVD debut wowed viewers, earning five-times platinum sales in the U.S. and praise from a broad range of
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Trailers from Hell: Alan Spencer on Gene Wilder's 'Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother'

Trailers from Hell: Alan Spencer on Gene Wilder's 'Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother'
Laffapalooza! week concludes at Trailers from Hell with television writer Alan Spencer introducing "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother," written, directed and starring Gene Wilder.Baker Street was never like this! Wilder followed up his star turn in Young Frankenstein by writing, directing and starring in this well-researched period comedy featuring the great detective's younger, envious brother, who is overmatched (to say the least) by Leo McKern's Moriarty. Lots of hat-tips to Conan Doyle throughout for devout Holmes fans, but it's a sublimely silly movie on its own. Albert Finney has a cameo dissing opera singers.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »
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