Archive for October 24th, 2008

by Allan Fish

(USA 1937 82m) DVD1/2

Once upon a time…

p  Walt Disney  d  David Hand  w  Ted Sears, Otto Englander, Earl Hurd, Dorothy Ann Blank, Richard Creedon, Dick Richard, Merrill de Maris, Webb Smith  story  Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm  m  Frank Churchill, Leigh Harline, Paul Smith  m/ly  Larry Morey, Frank Churchill

VOICES BY:-  Adriana Caselotti (Snow White), Harry Stockwell (Prince Charming), Lucille la Verne (Queen), Billy Gilbert (Sneezy), Otis Harlan (Happy), Roy Atwell (Doc), Moroni Olsen (The Mirror), Pinto Colvig (Sleepy/Grumpy), Scooty Mattraw (Bashful),

Is there any film in movie history more beloved by children and adults alike?  The Wizard of OzE.T.Star Wars?  Maybe as much, but somehow Snow White resounds stronger.  Certainly its making was the most troubled and the risk taken that much greater than by the makers of that aforementioned trio.  Indeed, it was not only a first – the first animated feature cartoon, rather than animated feature, as fans of Starewicz and Reiniger will testify – but it had nearly as much of an impact as The Jazz Singer had had a decade previously.  It may not be the best Disney feature, but it’s still some kind of marvellous.  (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(USA 1997 136m) DVD1/2

Paging Rollo Tomassi

p  Arnon Milchan, Curtis Hanson, Michael Nathanson  d  Curtis Hanson  w  Curtis Hanson, Brian Helgeland  novel  James Ellroy  ph  Dante Spinotti  ed  Peter Honess  m  Jerry Goldsmith  art  Jeannine Oppewall  cos  Ruth Myers

Kevin Spacey (Sgt.Jack Vincennes), Guy Pearce (Lt.’Ed’ Exley), Russell Crowe (Off.Bud White), James Cromwell (Capt.Dudley Smith), Kim Basinger (Lynn Bracken), Danny de Vito (Sid Hudgens), David Strathairn (Pierce Patchett), Graham Beckel (Dick Stensland), Ron Rifkin (D.A.Ellis Loew), Matt McCoy (Brett Chase), Paul Guilfoyle (Mickey Cohen), Amber Smith (Susan Lefferts), Darrell Sandern (Buzz Meeks), Simon Baker Denny (Matt Reynolds), Shawnee Free Jones (Tammy Jordan), Tomas Arana (Breuning), Michael McCleery (Carlisle), Gwenda Dracon (Mrs Lefferts), Brenda Bakke (Lana Turner),

Of all the great films released in the nineties, few could have been greeted with such joyous surprise as LA Confidential.  Firstly it was directed by someone who, up until that time, had seemed no more than a journeyman director and, secondly, it was a throwback to the old fashioned noirish dialogue and seedy atmosphere of the forties, with added modern censorables.  Furthermore, if it still isn’t as complex or delicious as the novel on which it is based and the finale does slightly disappoint, it’s still a damn near magnificent achievement that also showcased new talents in front of the camera.

            It’s Christmas in L.A. in 1952 when we meet three officers; one a by the books youngster with a prestigious father, the second an aggressive short fuse heavy with a hatred of woman beaters, the third a professional celebrity who once arrested Bob Mitchum and lives for his status as technical adviser on a Dragnet-like TV show.  However, when a colleague of theirs is killed in a diner massacre, each comes to find evidence that leads to unexpected sources and corruption on high, but the three need to combine resources to find their man and get the justice they require. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(France 1936 82m) DVD2 (France only)

Aka. The Story of a Cheat

No mushrooms!

p  Serge Sandberg  d/w  Sacha Guitry  ph  Marcel Lucien  ed  Myriam Borzoutsky  m  Adolphe Borchard  art  Henri Ménessier, Maurice Guerbe

Sacha Guitry (The Cheat), Jacqueline Delubac (Henriette), Rosine Deréan (The Jewel Thief), Pauline Carton (Madame Morlot), Serge Grave (cheat as a boy), Marguerite Moreno (The Countess), Roger Duchesne (Serge Abramovich), Pierre Assy (cheat as young man), 

The greatest comparison made when discussing Sacha Guitry is often to his English counterpart Noël Coward.  Both have the reputation of theatrical wits who dabbled occasionally, for their own amusement, in the waters of film that they generally thought beneath them.  Coward’s film output, however, consists nearly entirely of his partnership with David Lean, in which the latter was undoubtedly the greater creative force.  Guitry directed nearly all of his own films, in addition to writing them.  He was definitely theatrical, as witty and cosmopolitan – arguably even more so – than Coward, and yet somehow it might be more accurate to compare him to Marcel Pagnol.  Both had a very definite niche in film, and revolved around a world that they not only knew but almost perpetuated.  François Truffaut even compared Guitry to Lubitsch, and though Guitry isn’t quite in his league, he was a lot more cinematic than people gave him credit. (more…)

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