Archive for February 9th, 2009


by Sam Juliano

William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Or What You Will) like the Bard’s immortal comedies is a wildly improbable and deliciously entertaining fantasy that confirms that beneath the surface is life’s darkest, most terrible truths.  Indeed the wistful production suggests that life is full of sadness and that the best years of life are fleeting, and many of the people we interact with, are capricious and cruel.  In such a world, suggests the Bard, it is our duty to seek out and cherish whatever happiness can be perpetuated.     

Of course, the farcical nature of Twelfth Night asks the audience to believe some rather implausible facts surrounding mistook identity, falling in love and the physical appearance of fraternal twins that stretches the realm of possibility, but that’s all part of the merriment.          

The Pearl Company’s first production of the new season-presently in previews- is a spirited production of this oft-performed and beloved work, which makes the most of unimaginative staging and a particularly uninspired use of what has always been known as one of this work’s strongest assets–the use of music.       (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(USA 1957 95m) DVD1/2

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

p  Henry Fonda, Reginald Rose  d  Sidney Lumet  w  Reginald Rose  play  Reginald Rose  ph  Boris Kaufman  m  Kenyon Hopkins  art  Robert Markell

Martin Balsam (juror No 1), John Fiedler (juror No 2), Lee J.Cobb (juror No 3), E.G.Marshall (juror No 4), Jack Klugman (juror No 5), Edward Binns (juror No 6), Jack Warden (juror No 7), Henry Fonda (juror No 8), Joseph Sweeney (juror No 9), Ed Begley (juror No 10), George Voskovec (juror No 11), Robert Webber (juror No 12),

The title of Fritz Lang’s twist thriller is quite an appropriate nutshell comment for Sidney Lumet’s landmark remake of the earlier TV film (in which Sweeney and Voskovec played the same roles).  This is arguably the greatest film ever made from a play or teleplay, one which even outdid those other famous cinematic versions of TV plays Marty and The Bachelor Party to be the only one of that strain of drama to retain its classic status.  Many people could name the members of Sturges’ The Magnificent Seven or Aldrich’s The Dirty Dozen, but who could name all twelve actors who played the arguing jurors.  That I can (and in juror order, too) is testament to not only my cinematic geekdom, but also to the film’s durability and ability to stay ingrained in the memory of all who see it. (more…)

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