Carol Reed

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Our Man In Havana Review


Very Good
Incredibly droll, this Graham Greene-scripted black comedy offers a can't miss premise: In pre-Castro Cuba (though shot shortly after the revolution), Alec Guinness sells vacuum cleaners to support a daughter with expensive tastes. He's soon made an offer he can't refuse: Become a spy for the British government to earn more cash. When he doesn't encounter much in the way of secrets, he makes them up. Soon, one of his made-up contacts somehow turns out to be a real person, with disastrous results. Crammed full of subtle sight gags and bone-dry one-liners, it's an underseen treat.

The Fallen Idol Review


Very Good
Carol Reed took a big chance on this film, his first of three collaborations with Graham Greene. The Fallen Idol is told almost entirely through the eyes of a child, Phillipe (Bobby Henrey, who would make only one other film), and it's a daring decision that gives the film a uniqueness that separates it from what would otherwise be a rather rote drama/thriller.

The story is exceedingly simple: Phillipe is a child of privilege. His ambassador parents are never home, so he spends his days with easygoing butler Baines (Ralph Richardson), whom he adores, and his cruelly strict wife (Sonia Dresdel), who is the cavernous home's housekeeper. Phillipe confides in Baines, who regales him with stories, like the time he "killed a man in Africa." But Phillipe doesn't understand that Baines is just amusing him with make-believe.

Continue reading: The Fallen Idol Review

A Kid For Two Farthings Review


Good
What's a farthing? Well in old Britain, it was a quarter of a penny. Not a hell of a lot.

What's a kid? Well in this case, it's a baby goat with a misshapen horn... and our little hero Joe (Jonathan Ashmore, in his sole film role) thinks that kid's a unicorn. Or as he screeches endlessly, "A you-neeeee-corn!!!!"

Continue reading: A Kid For Two Farthings Review

The Third Man Review


Excellent
Holly Martins' (Joseph Cotten) best friend got himself jun over and buried... so what's all the mystery about Harry Lime (Orson Welles)? Though he didn't make the film, Welles' thumbprint is all over The Third Man, which reteams Cotten and Welles (Citizen Kane) so very memorably. With its Dutch angles and intriguing score (hey, that's a zither!), The Third Man is memorable even though the twisty plot has become a bit on the tired side, as Martins parades around Vienna playing amateur gumshoe.
Carol Reed

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