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Hamlet (1948) Review


Very Good
This Hamlet, a Best Picture winner, unfortunately stands as one of the stagier productions of the famous play. Gone are (among other scenes) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; in their stead we get more of Laurence Olivier, who also directed, as the put-upon prince of Denmark. Olivier chews scenery with the best of them, playing the tights-clad Hamlet as a sort of prissy boy who'd probably rather be eating grapes. Olivier's direction is problematic, too, jerky and obvious, drawing your attention to the constant camera pans and away from the action. Still, a solid rendition if the classic play, though not really deserving of its platitudes. (At least, not any more.)

Treasure Island (1950) Review


Good
Yo ho ho and a bottle of old school Disney!

When you think of Long John Silver, Robert Newton immediately jumps to mind -- not just the winking scowl, but that crackling har har har mates! voice, too.

Continue reading: Treasure Island (1950) Review

Hamlet (1948) Review


Very Good
This Hamlet, a Best Picture winner, unfortunately stands as one of the stagier productions of the famous play. Gone are (among other scenes) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; in their stead we get more of Laurence Olivier, who also directed, as the put-upon prince of Denmark. Olivier chews scenery with the best of them, playing the tights-clad Hamlet as a sort of prissy boy who'd probably rather be eating grapes. Olivier's direction is problematic, too, jerky and obvious, drawing your attention to the constant camera pans and away from the action. Still, a solid rendition if the classic play, though not really deserving of its platitudes. (At least, not any more.)

Around The World In Eighty Days (1956) Review


Excellent
I love movies based on bets: Around the World in 80 Days is a three-hour adventure, packed with celebrity cameos (hundreds of 'em, literally), and bearing a remarkably descriptive title. This celebrated picture gives us David Niven as the inimitable Phileas Fogg, an English gentleman who accepts a wager that bets he can't travel around the world in 80 days. Setting off by balloon, ship, and train, Fogg's travels (with manservant Passepartout (Cantinflas)) takes him on a journey that was truly epic for its era. Still, it doesn't look like he's going to make it at first: one hour into the movie, he's still in Spain, at one of the longest and least interesting bullfights put on film. The cast of thousands and absurb scenarios overcomes the overlong oddities in the movie: Producer Michael Todd won the Best Picture Oscar for this, his first feature film, before dying in a plane crash two years later. Too bad so many of the stars appearing in the film are unrecognizable by today's audiences.
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