The Forgotten: The Talented Mssrs. Donner, Raphael & Bates

  • MUBI
Nothing But the Best (1964) signifies a turning point in the British new wave: a sudden flip from grim northern drama to swinging London archness, here under the controls of three masters of that tone.1. Frederic Raphael is best known for writing Two For the Road (impossibly arch) and Eyes Wide Shut (strange... very strange), and this film does have some kind of commonality with those: glamorous young people, sporty cars, hard-to-get-into parties in sprawling country houses... but in essence it's more like a glib black comedy version of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Raphael had previously adapted the source story (by American crime writer Stanley Ellin) as a TV play, and in expanding it for cinema he threw out the ironic twist of fate that dooms the murderous, social-climber anti-hero, perhaps seeing it as an old-fashioned harking-back to Kind Hearts and Coronets (whose ironic twist was imposed by the censor). Now
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