I’m a sucker for a good Cold War story. What with the recent Salisbury nerve agent attack not too far from home and all the spy drama hitting the shores again, it’s like it never went away. Well we know it never really did, don’t we? There will always be brinkmanship and contests to see who can swing their todger the fastest in the helicopter move! But you’ll be pleased to know that Gregory Peck didn’t have to resort to that special skill! Night People is set in Berlin just after the Second World War and the start of the bubbling Cold War shenanigans between UK, Russia and the United States and a host of other nations. Continue reading “Night People (1954) Gregory Peck And Cold War Kidnapping In Berlin”
“This is not a story of escape. It is a story of survival. It is set in Changi Jail Singapore, in 1945. The Japanese did not have to guard Changi as a normal prisoner of war camp. The inmates of Changi had no friendly Swiss border or any other neutral country within reach. They were held captive not so much by high walls, or barbed wire, or machine-gun posts, but by the land and sea around them – and the jungle was not neutral, nor was the ocean. They did not live in Changi. They existed. This is the story of that existence.”
I love the way Oliver Reed can go from the pure brute force anger filled badboy roles to lighthearted comedic sweet roles, Hannibal Brooks is by far the latter. Ollie plays reluctant soldier, Stephen ‘Hannibal’ Brooks, a captured prisoner of war, imprisoned at the Stalag VII-A camp near Munich. Brooks gets the chance to help out at the local zoo, feeding and shuffling poo, giant poo at that. The bringer of said big poo is Lucy the Elephant (Aida). Brooks is shocked by the sight of Lucy but it’s not long before the two become great friends. Lucy quickly warms to Brook’s sweet, calming nature and obeys every word he says. It’s not long before these two friends will be spending a lot of quality time together.
Who’d of thought a film about bag piping and dancing could be so completely captivating. Featuring Alec Guinness as the most Scottish man to ever grace the Inner Hebrides, or Outer Hebrides or anywhere in the whole of bonnie Scotland for that fact. With his fiery orange hair and matching mustache, commanding officer Major Jock Sinclair slams back whisky in eager, boisterous fashion. He might ask for a wee nip here and wee dram there but Jock loves his whisky like he loves the sound of the Highland bagpipes. Like air and water, these are the essential life force for our Jock, well you can also add dancing to that list. Continue reading “Tunes of Glory (1960) Kilts, Whisky And A John Mills And Alec Guinness Dance Off”
Opening with that distinct, recognisable voice of Paddington Bear, Commander Lindsay (Michael Hordern) worriedly confronts an air traffic control officer with news that a Dakota airplane has crashed landed at a certain point over Japan. The control room officer is convinced that no distress warnings have come in or the fact that the Dakota isn’t even on that flight path. “How do you know this?” he asks, “I can’t say but if I did you wouldn’t believe me but please believe me I know something has happened!” replies the Commander. Continue reading “The Night My Number Came Up (1955) Dreams, Omens & Final Destination”
Val Guest just impresses every time as I work my way through his varied directed filmography. Enjoying picking around the vast collection of stories he has tackled in his long career. Making sure I hit all the goodies first before I contemplate watching some of the less desirable sounding ones like, well Toomorrow? Also fun fact, can you believe it was Val who started off the cheesy sex comedy series Confessions of a Window Cleaner. Luckily he only made the first one, though he had ventured into saucy land a few years earlier with a slightly naughty one called Au Pair Girls. Continue reading “Yesterday’s Enemy (1959) Val Guest, Stanley Baker And Rumpole Of The Bailey”
After watching the first-rate drama The Browning Version I investigated other films directed by Anthony Asquith. With a keen interest in World War II history, his 1958 film Orders To Kill, based on a former American intelligence operative called Donald Chase Downes novel, it ticked all the right boxes for me.
Opening credits – “The central story on which this film is based is true!”
Had no idea this Fritz Lang World War 2 film, Hangmen Also Die was based on Operation Anthropoid when I went in. Having a keen interest in military history I knew of the deadly task at hand. Interestingly the BBC have a series running at the moment investigating the training of SOE’s (Special Operations Executive) that specialised in espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance. Two SOE officers excelled the special training in the UK, one Czech the other Slovak, Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš. Both assigned with the task of being dropped back into their Nazi occupied home country with a deadly mission, to assassinate a high ranking Nazi leader. That Nazi asshole was dubbed The Hangman, The Butcher Of Prague, a truly hideous man who would also become know as one of the architects of the Holocaust, that beast was Reinhard Heydrich. Continue reading “Hangmen Also Die! (1943) Operation Anthropoid Nazi Assassination”
Having sat in his room staring at the swinging pendulum of his ticking clock for two years straight, Stephen Neale (Ray Milland) has had time contemplating life and reflecting what the future will hold for him. After being on his own for those years, Stephen fancies the hustle and bustle of London, to be surrounded by people again. He’s probably picked a bad time to visit London, the city is being pounded by the Germans during The Blitz but he’s determined. With a spring in his step he takes off to the local train station. As he leaves his building of residence, the camera pans to show the engraved sign on the wall, Lembridge Asylum! Continue reading “Ministry of Fear (1944) Nazis, Bombs & Spies, Fortune Tellers & Cake!”
This is the first adaption of the 1962 novel The Thin Red Line by James Jones. The story follows a band of American soldiers as they are thrown into tough terrain fighting during the Battle of Guadalcanal during the Second World War in the Pacific. Continue reading “The Thin Red Line (1964) The Sane and Mad VS First Sgt Jack Warden”