There I was in my teenage years lying on the back room sofa all alone drifting in and out of consciousness. Not only had I caught glandular fever but the doctor, in his wisdom, had prescripted the wrong antibiotics. The mix up had caused my whole body to breakout in a rash. It looked like scarlet fever and I was beside myself! In between the crazy itching and bouts of fever sweats I’d become drowsy from all the medication. I was hallucinating. There I was making my way up the Stairway to Heaven! Continue reading “A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Well I Thought It Was But It Wasn’t Really”
Come along and sing-along with me. Here we go. “Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. Oh, I do like to be beside the sea. Oh, I do like to stroll along the prom, prom, prom where the brass bands play tiddley-om-pom-pom.”
The old British seaside holiday traditions. Bucket and spades, chips in cones, fairground rides, annoying seagulls and Punch and Judy puppet shows. Beauty competitions, cheeky postcards, sticks of bright coloured rock and of course a saucy joke telling comic. Meet Archie Rice (Laurence Olivier) our music-hall stage performer. The gap toothed smiling painted face man with a whole arsenal of well seasoned innuendos ready to fire off from his repertoire. Continue reading “The Entertainer (1960) That Saucy Seaside Comic Sir Laurence Olivier”
Charlie Bubbles (Albert Finney) was tired. He was rich beyond his wildest dreams but like they say, money and fame doesn’t always bring the happiness. He’d started to realise the people around him were leeches, bad influences, money grabbers or just plain annoying. Actually, to Charlie, everyone and everything was annoying. The manner people spoke to him, the mundane world of bankers and solicitors, the reporters and the industry always hounding him. You know what, even Mrs. Noseworthy (Margery Mason) his housekeeper treats him with contempt. Charlie wasn’t happy. Continue reading “Charlie Bubbles (1968) Albert Finney The Returning Disillusioned Prodigal Son”
A spine-chilling sound resonates eerily through the cloudy skies. A man appears, panicked. Fear upon his face. Rain falls in the pitch black of night. Big Ben looms in the moody landscape. The man turns and runs. Down steep stairs, along cobbled lanes. By the River Thames he hurries through the puddles as beams of light from street lamps make ghostly lines and angles. London is asleep. The man is alone. He carries on to his destination. Bursting through the doors of his office, covered in a mix of sweat and rain, he grabs the tape recorder. Agitated and holding back hysteria, Dr. Mark Davidson (John Neville) looks us directly in the eyes and feverishly warns the world of the Unearthly Stranger.
Dr. Mark Davidson – “In a little while I expect to die. To be killed by… something… that you and I know is here? Visible yet moving unseen amongst us all each moment of the day and night. There were times when you thought I was insane BUT listen to this tape I beg you so you know what it is you have to fight!“
Continue reading “Unearthly Stranger (1963) A British Sci-fi Gem With An Explosion Inside His Brain”
Little Hayley Mills is a trendsetter. I used to rock that mop style haircut in the 70’s and here she is parading around the streets of Cardiff in 1959! I must of been so outta fashion. I guess I have my Mum to blame for that? Stick a bowl on my head and cut around it.
Continue reading “Tiger Bay (1959) Brat Attack From Lie Machine Hayley Mills”
My task of trying to go into a movie with as little knowledge as humanly possible can bring up some real surprises. I’d seen the above poster and was convinced that was Richard Attenborough poking his head around the door. It does look like him? Doesn’t it? I knew it was directed by Bryan Forbes. I’d loved Seance On A Wet Afternoon and The Angry Silence. Both Dickie films with Forbes connections. Hey! he never turned up. Now I know, no disrespect, that it’s Edith Evans tentatively peering through the chain latched door.
Taglines – The Whisperers, who are they?
Continue reading “The Whisperers (1967) Bleak Tap Dripping In Kitchen Sink Drama”
Called The Way to the Stars in the UK and Johnny in the Clouds in the USA. This outstanding World War Two drama focuses on the lives of RAF bomber pilots during the course of the war. It shows the progression of new and improved aircraft being tested and flown into battle. Whilst following the day to day routine of the pilots responsible for flying them awaiting their next mission. Moving through the years of 1940 to 1944. It was released in the UK in June 1945 a few months before WWII had finished and overseas in the US during November. Continue reading “The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds WWII Bomber Base Drama”
Babylon is one of those movies that helped shaped my life. One of those films that appear in your life at a certain age and hit that perfect note, right when you are discovering yourself. Continue reading “Babylon (1980) A Movie That Helped Shape My Life Gets Its First US Theatrical Release.”
Bizarrely this is actually a British film. Even with the fact it’s a train trip featuring New Yorker Rod Steiger through America into Mexico. In reality all the interior shots are filmed at Shepperton Studios in England whilst the exterior Mexico landscapes were filmed in Spain. Rod Steiger plays Carl Schaffner a German businessman who’s become a British citizen. Schaffner is extremely wealthy and relentlessly obnoxious with it. To be honest he’s not far removed from a Nazi gestapo officer! Shouting orders and demands at all his lackeys. He’s the brains of the organisation. The big man in the high tower. Until, one day a simple phone call flips his world upside down. Continue reading “Across the Bridge (1957) Rod Steiger And A Train Trip To Mexico For A Fistfull Of Dollars”
Yes I may be of a rotund nature but I’m sure the ladies liked my cuddly frame. Happy go lucky was my motto. Besides, I was a self employed man happy to wander around the good old bars of London supping on whatever booze flowed it’s way into my mouth. A beer always followed a whiskey very nicely. And quite frankly when the whiskey dried up there was always brandy, gin or even a sherry. To be honest I wasn’t fussy. If I was in the pub I could go to work. Me, Irish Jimmy Ruskin (John Cowley) liked to gather information. Observe everything that was happening around me. This knowledge had a price and that price paid for this here nice lifestyle of mine. I wasn’t made for lifting, grafting or labouring. My specialty was collecting crime intelligence and passing it on to my good friend, John. It just so happened that John was otherwise known as Chief Inspector John Edward Johnnoe (Nigel Patrick). Continue reading “The Informers (1963) Underworld Gangsters, Snitches And Inspector Nigel Patrick”