Michael Williams and Wendell Pierce in THE WIRE
Saturday, 1 October 2016
Friday, 26 August 2016
Fritz Lang 1890-1976
Films in my collection: DIE SPINNEN (1919/1920 two parts) DESTINY (1921) DR.MABUSE DER SPIELER (1922 two parts) DIE NIBELUNGEN (1924 two parts) METROPOLIS (1927) SPIONE (1928) FRAU IM MOND (1929) M (1931) DAS TESTAMENT DES DR.MABUSE(1933) YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE 1937) MANHUNT (1941) HANGMEN ALSO DIE (1943) MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944) WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (1944) SCARLET STREET(1945) HOUSE BY THE RIVER (1950) CLASH BY NIGHT (1952) THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953) THE BIG HEAT (1953) HUMAN DESIRE (1954) DAS TIGER VON ESCHNAPAUR (1959) DAS INDISCHE GRABMAL(1959) DIE 1000 AUGEN DES DR.MABUSE (1960)
Thursday, 25 August 2016
The origins of the German "Krimi" crime dramas go back to Fritz Lang's DR.MABUSE DER SPIELER (1922) which itself owes a debt to the earlier French serials of Louis Feuillade such as FANTOMAS (1914). Lang followed the success of the first Mabuse film ten years later then revived the character in 1960 after his return to Germany - it was this film, DIE TAUSEND AUGEN DES DR.MABUSE and DER FROSCH MIT DER MASKE made a year earlier that really kicked off the "Krimi" as a distinct sub-genre.
I don't think anybody would claim that the krimis of the 1960's produced any masterpieces but they can be entertaining - a bit dull at times, maybe. There were a few c0-productions such as CIRCUS OF FEAR and TRAITOR'S GATE but the krimi remains a very Teutonic sub-genre. The inspirational Dr. Mabuse went of to inspire Claude Chabrol's DR. M (1990) and there has been a recent American remake, so far unseen in the UK. Evidence of the popularity of the character is witnessed by the fact that Gordon Hessler's unrelated SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN was released in Germany as DIE LEBENDEN LEICHEN DES DR.MABUSE. The 1937 film listed below managed to invoke both Edgar Wallace and Dr.Mabuse, not to mention Conan Doyle while, seemingly being unrelated to any. Films in my collection are:
DR.MABUSE DER SPIELER (1922) DAS TESTAMENT DES DR.MABUSE (1933) DER MAN DER SHERLOCK HOLMES WAS (1937) DER FROSCH MIT DER MASKE (1959) DIE TAUSEND AUGEN DES DR.MABUSE (1960) DER FALSCHER VON LONDON (1961) DIE IM STAHLNETZ DES DR.MABUSE (1961) DAS TESTAMENT DES DR.MABUSE (1962) UNSICHTBAREN KRALLEN DES DR. MABUSE (1962) SHERLOCK HOLMES UND DAS HALSBAND DES TODES (1962) DER HENKER VON LONDON (1963) DER GEHEIMNIS DER SCHWARZEN WITWE (1963) DIE WEISSE SPINNE (1963) DIE TODESSTRAHLEN DES DR.MABUSE (1964) DER UNHEIMLICHE MONCH (1965)
Monday, 20 June 2016
|Bud Abbott (1897-1974) Lou Costello (1906-1959)|
Although not fashionable today I remain a big fan of Bud and Lou. Charles Laughton was another fan who said he enjoyed their "low comedy" and was happy to appear with them in ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD. They certainly still make me laugh however many times I see their routines (often barely changed from film to film). Films in my collection are : ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS (1940) BUCK PRIVATES (1941) IN THE NAVY (1941) HOLD THAT GHOST (1941) KEEP 'EM FLYING (1941) RIDE 'EM COWBOY (1942) PARDON MY SARONG (1942) WHO DONE IT? (1942) HIT THE ICE (1943) IN SOCIETY (1944) HERE COME THE CO-EDS (1945) THE NAUGHTY NINETIES (1945) THE LITTLE GIANT (1946) THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES (1946) BUCK PRIVATES COME HOME (1947) THE WISTFUL WIDOW OF WAGON GAP (1947) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948) MEXICAN HAYRIDE (1948) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF (1949) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN THE FOREIGN LEGION (1950) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN (1951) JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (1951) COMIN' ROUND THE MOUNTAIN (1951) LOST IN ALASKA (1952) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD (1952) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS (1953) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR.JEKYLL AND MR.HYDE (1953) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY (1955).
Friday, 3 June 2016
|Stanley Kubrick 1928 - 1999|
Steven Spielberg's A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE was intended as a Kubrick film and taken over by Spielberg at the time of Kubrick's death.
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
|Howard Hawks (1896 - 1977)|
I find it hard to say anything particularly interesting about Howard Hawks except to applaud his professionalism - and countless others have done that before me. Undoubtedly, many of his films are truly great works but achieved with deceptive simplicity. Hawks' world is a man's world populated by professionals who know how to get things done and in simplistic terms that, no doubt, described Hawks' no fuss attitude to story telling. He is certainly one of the Hollywood directors whose work remained consistently entertaining throughout a long career. Films in my collection: SCARFACE - SHAME OF A NATION (1932) BARBARY COAST (1935) BRINGING UP BABY (1938) ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939) HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944) THE BIG SLEEP (1946) RED RIVER (1948) THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951) GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES ((1955) RIO BRAVO (1959) HATARI (1962) EL DORADO (1967) RIO LOBO (1970)
Thursday, 5 May 2016
|William Shakespeare 1564 - 1616|
This year (as if you didn't know!) is the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's death. I consider myself lucky that I was not taught Shakespeare at school. My first real experience of the bard's work was the Olivier version of RICHARD III which I saw on its original release. Although only nine, I loved the film and years later I went to see it every year at the Academy Cinema in Oxford Street when they ran their annual "Olivier in Shakespeare" season. Naturally I bought it on DVD and now have the wonderfully restored Blu-ray. It remains my favourite Shakespeare play. I enjoy the plays, particularly in their film incarnations although I have an aversion to KING LEAR and I prefer the historical plays to the comedies (with the exception of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW). I am aware that their are some important films missing from my collection. The list of films below is divided into two parts. Part one is acknowledged adaptions and the second is the films inspired by Shakespeare's plots, parodies or films that have some connection to the writer.
HENRY V (1944) RICHARD III (1955) HAMLET (1964) THE CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (1965) THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (1967) HAMLET (1969) THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH (1971) KING LEAR (1971) JULIUS CAESAR (1979) RICHARD III (1983) MACBETH (1983) HENRY V (1989) KING LEAR (1999) THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (2004) THE TEMPEST (2010) RICHARD II (2014) HENRY IV (2014) HENRY V (2014)
|RICHARD III (1955)|
THRONE OF BLOOD (1954) Inspired by MACBETH
FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956) Inspired by THE TEMPEST
THE BAD SLEEP WELL (1960) Inspired by HAMLET
ALL NIGHT LONG (1961) Inspired by OTHELLO
WEST SIDE STORY (1961) Inspired by ROMEO AND JULIET
THEATRE OF BLOOD (1973) Inspired by the works of Shakespeare.
RAN (1985) Inspired by KING LEAR
LOOKING FOR RICHARD (1996) Inspired by RICHARD III
MY KINGDOM (2001) Inspired by KING LEAR
ANONYMOUS (2014) Inspired by the works of Shakespeare.
OTELLO (2014) Inspired by OTHELLO and the Rossini Opera OTELLO
|CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (1965)|