Monday, 28 January 2013

JANUARY 28, 2013

023 CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA (1945) Directed by Gabriel Pascal ****

This film rarely seems to be mentioned by film historians and critics but it certainly deserves to be remembered and seen more often (this is my only second viewing in fifty years) as it remain a great piece of literate entertainment. It is probably the film's literacy (a script by George Bernard Shaw based on his own play) that has caused the film to be almost forgotten for there was a lamentable tendency among the supporters of the British New Wave and the young turks of the Nouvelle Vague in France to raise "style" above literacy at all costs and there is no doubt that CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA is filmed theatre but as such it is at least the equal if not the superior of  both the DeMille and Mankiewicz efforts. Shaw's dialogue sparkles, the photography is gorgeous and rarely has such a cast of great British character actors been assembled in one film. Vivian Leigh is a beautiful Cleo (and we are reminded of just how good an actress she was) and Claude Rains is a witty, urbane and quite believable Caesar. For the rest there is everybody from
Flora Robson, Francis Sullivan, Stewart Granger, etc down to Stanley Holloway, Michael Rennie and (if you concentrate) even Roger Moore.

Caesar and Cleopatra

024  MIDNIGHT RUN  (1986)  Directed by Martin Brest. ****

Do you have what I call "comfort films" ?  I'm not necessarily talking about the best films you've seen or even your favourite films but rather ones that you can slip into as easily as a pair of old slippers. MIDNIGHT RUN is one such film for me, As with another De Niro film (THE SCORE) I know every plot twist, most of the dialogue yet immediately I'm into it for the ride although I know exactly where it's going. Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin make a great team as the Bounty Hunter and fugitive up against Yaphet Kotto and Dennis Farina as the Fed and Mafia boss aligned against them. It's predictable and lightweihjy but great fun.
What ever happened to Martin Brest's career?

Midnight Run

Also Viewed :

025  THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)  Directed by Louis Lettier  ***


James wellyousaythat said...

I love Midnight Run DeNiro & Grodin : such chemistry

Weaverman said...

Grodin was a real surprise in that film, one of the few that merited a sequel.