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FAVORITE UK MOVIES

 
 
Stinger
 
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Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 01:53 pm
Larry

Glad you liked the links.

Here are a few films that may not have been mentioned yet, but are worth a viewing sometime.

Brazil
Bridge On The River Kwai
Don't Look Now
Educating Rita
Goodbye Mr Chips
Great Expectations
Ice Cold In Alex
The Italian Job
The Killing Fields
The Man Who Would Be King
Scrooge
The Winslow Boy
Zulu

There are others I could add, but the above should keep you busy for a while! They are all quality films....I promise!

The Sellars night sounded great. Sellars was a big influence on a lot of the present generation of British comics. He was on the airwaves from the early 1950's in the 'Goon Show'. It was a BBC radio show, that was (especially for the time) madcap, surreal, and even a little dangerous! The men in suits at the BBC, didn't quite know how to deal with Sellars or the rest of the Goons and their brand of comedy, that was ahead of it's time.

All of the Goons are now in comedy heaven...our loss is heaven's gain!

Here's a link in relation to the death of the last Goon...Spike Milligan. It contains a little history about the show, and it's cast. (For anyone who's interested in that kind of stuff)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/1273879.stm

Sellars and Spike Milligan, could probably be called the Godfathers of modern British comedy. Although Sellars went on to international stardom, it's very possible that... ( and this may be a surprise to fans of Sellars in the US ) the main creative force of the Goons, was actually Spike Milligan. He was a troubled genius, who provided the majority of the writing for the shows. A veteran of WW2, who never fully recovered from 'shell shock', or PTSD as we call it now. Although, in-between his bouts of depression, he continued writing and performing, right up to the very end.

Amongst the regular listeners / fans of the Goon Show, were several young kids, who would later grow up, go to university, become friends, and eventually star in a TV show called Monty Python's Flying Circus.

And the ripples continue to this day...with new generations of comics, who were fans of the Pythons...and Spike...and Peter...etc etc etc...
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 02:23 pm
"Brazil" still remains the most brilliant comic satire ever committed to film save "Dr. Strangelove." It's "1984" and "Brave New World" on speed and a synergy of other drugs! A synergy of all the components of film making that constantly amaze every time I see the film. That final fantasy sequence just blows me away.
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Stinger
 
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Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 02:56 pm
Lightwizard - Glad you approved. I was lucky enough to see Brazil on the big screen when it was first released. WOW!

Thanks to it's director, and ex Python Terry Gilliam, it also very neatly connects Brazil, to the Monty Python team, who were greatly inspired and influenced by the comedy team - 'The Goons', which of course included Peter Sellars, who appeared (in several roles), in the classic Dr Strangelove.

I seem to remember that another former Python, Michael Palin, was also in Brazil. In real life, he's a really nice guy. In Brazil, he was also a 'nice guy', which made the revelation of his dark side - in a torture scene, a little more chilling. I think he said that he played it that way on purpose. Just an apparently normal guy, capable of inflicting pain. The banality of evil.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 03:11 pm
"Brazil" was one of Paulene Kael's favorite movies. My favorite part is the Mom and her gradual face lifts. Hysterically funny and a sad commentary on our psycho society.
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flyboy804
 
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Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 04:43 pm
Just saw an extremely interesting if not outstanding documentary, "Lost in La Mancha". It started out as a documentary on the making of Terry Gilliam's "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote". Though it was a bit repetitious, it presented an exceptional view of Gilliam in the frustrating and futile process of trying to complete a film in spite of constant problems with weather, ailing and schedule conflicted stars, insurance companies, backers, noisy sound stages, overflying planes, etc. It is a splendid example of Murphy's Law.
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LarryBS
 
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Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 07:24 pm
Thanks again stinger. I rely on a daily news e-mail from bbc for my news, so I remember when Milligan died. I posted a topic elsewhere, in the General Forum I think, on Radio Programs, which was about the new BBC7. Among other shows, Dickens and LeCarre dramas and mysteries for example, they have the Goon Show, as well as Hitchhiker's Guide and others.
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Stinger
 
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Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2003 01:47 pm
Lightwizard and flyboy

Gilliam seems to have been plagued by adversity in his career. The latest example was the failed attempt to make his Don Quixote film.....perhaps that's just as much our loss. There was of course his battle to make / release Brazil...which was a battle of legendary status. Gilliam of course had the last laugh on that one.

It reminds me of a line in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. I think Paul Newman said something like...'I've got vision, and the rest of the world is wearing bi-focals.'

Or something like that. Perhaps my memory is playing tricks with me. If he didn't say it....he should have!


Larry - Glad to have been of assistance. Spike Milligan had many fans in the UK, including members of the Royal family.

At a British comedy award show, which was broadcast live on TV a few years ago, Spike received a lifetime achievement award. A letter was read out, after Spike had received his award, in which Prince Charles heaped praise on Spike....extolling his virtues and contributions to comedy etc etc etc etc.....After a couple of minutes of glowing praise, Spike...totally deadpan said something like...'Crawling Bastard'. (Or words to that effect) Needless to say, it got the biggest laugh of the night. Only someone like Spike would have had the nerve to say it, and get away with it. In his eighties, and still being mischievous.

But it was taken as a joke, which was it's intention. Spike still received an honoury Knighthood (He was Irish so technically not eligible for the real thing) So the palace apparently has a sense of humour!
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Stinger
 
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Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2003 02:00 pm
Okay....it was going to annoy me the rest of the night. I had to check.

"Boy, I've got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals."

http://www.destinationhollywood.com/movies/butchcassidy/famouslines_content.shtml

Is this a sign that I need to get out more, or find a new pastime?

No. I didn't think so either.

What could be more important than watching films!!!!!!
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larry richette
 
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Reply Fri 7 Feb, 2003 10:04 am
Lightwizard--you are still misquoting Pauline (not Paulene, your spelling) Kael! BRAZIL was NOT one of her favorite movies. She did not even reprint her review of it in her selected film criticism collection which is entitled FOR KEEPS, a collection which Kael compiled as an archive of her most important work.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Fri 7 Feb, 2003 10:37 am
Are we correcting typographical errors now, larry? Maybe since the Spellcheck has been erratic (and being fixed), you'd like to volunteer to go through all the posts and correct them?

The review is in her book "Hooked" and is, as far as any Kael review might be, she gives it a good review, albeit with a little disclaimer at the end that again makes one wonder whether she liked it or not. I'm going by an interview much later than the review on PBS with Charlie Rose and not having a perfect long range memory, I'm only going by what came up in the conversation about the film but I also read it elsewhere. It wouldn't be the first time a reviewer had a first impression of a film and had changed their mind. I'm, of course, not absolutely sure that's what I heard from that long ago so feel free to pick on me.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Fri 7 Feb, 2003 10:43 am
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Thinkzinc
 
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Reply Sat 8 Feb, 2003 08:26 pm
steissd, you are right, Trainspotting is a British film, filmed in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and is, IMO, one of the most excellent British films in recent years, both harrowing and funny.

Someone already mentioned it, but I love 'The Full Monty' too, hilarious!

The trend of this thread seems to be older films, and any starring Margaret Rutherford or Alastair Sim usually get the thumbs up from me Smile
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msolga
 
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Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 07:53 am
Larry

One that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet: Women In Love.
One of Ken Russell's but thankfully, he was still exercising a bit of restraint in his direction at this stage.
I loved it! (probably because I'd read the book) All the characters were perfectly cast (IMO) & it had a wonderful nostalgic ENGLISH feel to it. I still remember Ursula dancing as Gudrun sang I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (or was it the other way around?)
Does anyone know the name of the actor who played Hermione so splendidly? What a gruesome, slimey character she was!

Speaking of Lawrence, I saw a b&w production of Sons & Lovers years ago, which really impressed me. Any idea who directed it?
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mac11
 
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Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 08:06 am
msolga: Here's a link for you - IMDb's info on Women in Love - Eleanor Bron played Hermione.

Is this the right Sons and Lovers? IMDb's info about Sons and Lovers (1960) Jack Cardiff directed.
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bree
 
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Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 08:18 am
You beat me to it, mac -- I was just about to post the same information. I hadn't realized, until I looked at Jack Cardiff's credits on imdb, what an amazing career he had (mainly as a cinematographer, although he also directed several movies). The list of movies for which he did the cinematography starts in 1935 and goes up to 2000, and it includes The Red Shoes and The African Queen. I wonder if he ever wrote his memoirs -- I'm sure he'd have some great stories to tell!
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msolga
 
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Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 08:29 am
Thank you, macsm11 & bree

Yes, that's the same Sons & Lovers. What a terrific little film that was. The relationship between the mother & son was excruciatingly convincing!

I can't think of another film I've ever seen Eleanor Bron in .... Pity, a really powerful performance in Women In Love .
A thought: What a pity Russell became so self indulgent in his later film making. And what a shame Oliver Reid didn't live up to expectations after this film.
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bree
 
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Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 08:46 am
msolga, if you really haven't seen Eleanor Bron in any movie other than Women in Love, you owe it to yourself to start renting some of the movies she's been in. She was memorable in several other 1960's movies, including Help!, Two for the Road, and the original Bedazzled. She never got the leading roles that (I thought) she should have, but she always makes an impression in any part she plays. Some of her more recent credits include The House of Mirth and Iris.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 10:35 am
Anyone mention two of my favorite British comedies?

"Genvieve" (when I first saw it, it was so hysterically funny I could
barely catch my breath)

"The Lavender Hill Mob" (a brilliantly inventive comedy with a classic funny car chase)
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Stinger
 
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Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 01:59 pm
Lightwizard

Excellent choices!

Lavender Hill Mob
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0044829

Genevieve
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0045808

When I was lot younger, back in the dark ages, before the arrival of video or DVD (Remember that? How did we manage?), the two films that you mentioned, and many other classics (As we now know them to be) were regulars on television. Even during my 'formative years', I loved these films.

It's a pity that now, with the advent of video, DVD or video games, kids probably have too many 'modern' distractions. Too many choices. Many kids would probably not consider sitting down to watch a fifty year old film, in which the pleasures are perhaps a little simpler, and possibly rather more innocent than what is on offer to them today. I know that's possibly a broad generalisation, since not all kids are the same, but alas, it would appear to be true for many.

In the pre-video days, I had to make do with whatever the three UK TV networks broadcast. I didn't have 100 or 200 channels to choose from. Looking back, I'm glad that I had a limited choice. Imagine what I might have missed!

Kenneth More, (One of the actors in Genevieve), is also the star of 'Reach For The Sky'. If you ever get the chance, it's worth a viewing. It's based on the extraodinary true story of a WW2 RAF fighter pilot named Douglas Bader.

Bader was a squadron commander, a fighter ace, and a war hero. That perhaps would be a remarkable story in itself, but the factor that takes this story into the relms of extraordinary, is that Bader lost his legs in an accident, several years before the war.

However, he possessed remarkable determination, and following the outbreak of war, he persuaded the RAF to allow him to leave his desk job, and return to the skies. I could tell you more, but I wouldn't wish to spoil the film for anyone!

It's been a while since I saw the film, but it's still one of the roles that Kenneth More is remembered for. Perhaps to someone first viewing the film now in the year 2003, it may seem a little dated. However I think that Bader's story, is still worthy of an hour or two of anybody's time. It certainly puts our own little problems and difficulties into perspective.

Reach for the Sky
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0049665
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LarryBS
 
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Reply Thu 27 Feb, 2003 01:40 am
I just saw Lavender Hill Mob a few weeks ago - followed by The Ladykillers, quite enjoyed that one as well. Alec Guiness was very funny. Thank goodness for Turner Classic Movies.
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