Archive for August 11th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(UK 1938 84m) not on DVD

Doing the nine o’clock walk

p  Jerome Jackson  d  Arthur Woods  w  Derek Twist, Paul Gangelin  novel  James Curtis  ph  Basil Emmott  ed  Leslie Norman  m  Bretton Byrd  art  Peter Proud, Michael Relph

Emlyn Williams (Shorty Matthews), Anna Konstam (Molly O’Neill), Allan Jeayes (Wally Mason), Ernest Thesiger (Walter Hoover), Ronald Shiner (Charlie), Yolande Terrell (Marge), Julie Barrie, Jenny Hartley, William Hartnell, Will Hay Jnr, Iris Vandeleur,

Occasionally you come across something to warm the cockles of your heart.  I’d long known of Arthur Woods’ ‘B’ crime pic, indeed I remember reading about it in the Halliwell Guide, where he called it, with typically succinct idiosyncrasy, an “excellent little-seen suspenser.”  It was years later when I finally got to see it, and in a wretched print, too.  It’s never shown on TV, and as for video or DVD you’re having a laugh.  Yet here’s a film that wouldn’t be disgraced in comparison with the best of Hitchcock in the thirties.  It may not be The 39 Steps or The Lady Vanishes, but it’s at least as good as anything else Hitch made in that decade.

            Shorty Matthews is a penny and shilling crook who’s been inside for 18 months for some petty crime or other, and who is released on the day a man is hanged for murder.  He decides to go and look up some friends in his old haunts, and then makes his way to see his old flame, Alice, now living the high life as a dance hall hostess.  When he gets to her lodgings, he’s horrified to find her dead, strangled with a silk stocking, and, fearing that he’d be the principal suspect, he makes a run for it.  Sadly for him, he’s seen leaving the scene of the crime and the police have a description posted in all the evening papers.  He decides to catch a lift with some lorry driver up north, and runs into a friend of Alice’s who he convinces of his innocence, and who conspires with him to try and do what they can to find the real murderer. (more…)

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akira 1

by Allan Fish

(Japan 1988 124m) DVD1/2

Ultimate Energy

p  Ryohei Suzuki, Shunzo Kato  d  Katsuhiro Otomo  w  Katsuhiro Otomo, Izo Hashimoto  comic  Katsuhiro Otomo  ph  Katsuji Misawa  ed  Takeshi Setama  m  Shoji Yamashiro  art  Toshiharu Mizutani

VOICES BY:- Mitsuo Iwata (Shotaro Kaneda), Nozomo Sazaki (Tetsuo Shima), Mami Koyama (Kei), Tessho Genda (Ryusaku), Hiroshi Otake (Nezu), Koichi Kitamura (Miyako), Michihiro Ikemizu (Inspector, Council I), Yuriko Fuchizaki (Kaori), Masaki Okura (Yamagata),

It’s now two decades since Akira first burst into the western consciousness.  Up until its arrival, animation – that is to say feature length animation – was monopolised by the increasingly soporific output by Disney.  Now we can perhaps see the impact of what it lead to, most famously the popularity of traditional non-manga based anime, led by the ever fantastic Hayao Miyazaki, but also a proliferation of a brand of animation tailored specifically towards adults – even though it was with adolescents they proved most popular.  Manga promised them violence, blood, profanity and also a great deal of sex, often involving huge-tentacled demons with a lust that can be best described as insatiable.  There have been other important manga works, from Ghost in the Shell and Wings of the Honnemise to the work of Satoshi Kon, from Perfect Blue to Tokyo Godfathers to Paprika.  When it arrived, it was as if a new culture had been shown to us; the world of animation would never be the same again. (more…)

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