Archive for June 1st, 2009


by Sam Juliano

The aptly titled documentary feature Pressure Cooker serves up a newfangled approach to a cinematically antediluvian theme.  The teacher who inspired students in large ways and small was most notably examined in classic films like Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939) and The  Browning Version (1951), and continued with 60’s theatre adaptations like The Miracle Worker (1962) and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) as well as contemporary vehicles like Dead Poets Society, Stand and Deliver, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Freedom Writers, and perhaps most recently The History Boys.  Those who remember the classic Twilight Zone television series will recall the classic episode “The Changing of the Guard” where Donald Pleasance plays a depressed British school master preparing to commit suicide who is visited by the ghosts of students declaring how much a difference he made in their lives.  (more…)

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vikings 1

by Allan Fish

(USA/UK 1958 116m) DVD1/2


p  Jerry Bresler  d  Richard Fleischer  w  Calder Willingham  novel  “The Viking” by Edison Marshall  ph  Jack Cardiff  ed  Elmo Williams  m  Mario Nascimbene  art  Harper Goff, Nick Kosonic  tit  United Productions of America

Kirk Douglas (Einar), Tony Curtis (Eric), Janet Leigh (Morgana), Ernest Borgnine (Ragnar), James Donald (Egbert), Frank Thring (Aella), Alexander Knox (Father Godwin), Dandy Nichols (Bridget), Eileen Way (Kitala), Maxine Audley (Enid), Orson Welles (narrator),

Okay, so this is no masterpiece.  I’d be lying if I tried to pass it off as one.  But there are few films in my cherished memory as much fun to the recollection as Richard Fleischer’s lusty tale of the Norsemen.  We all have our favourite pieces of historical hokum, be it in the form of the Ray Harryhausen fantasies like Jason and the Argonauts or The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, or the escapist fare of Fritz Lang’s Indian films, which have recently come in for reappraisal, or indeed the likes of Land of the Pharaohs or the sword and sandal pics of the turn of the sixties.  You can keep all of them if I can have The Vikings(more…)

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