Finlay Currie

Finlay Currie

Finlay Currie Quick Links

Film RSS

49th Parallel Review


Good
A contingent of Nazi naval officers are stranded on the Canadian mainland after their U-boat, on the prowl in Hudson Bay, is destroyed. They resolve to trek across Canada, then either cross the border to still-neutral U.S.A. or find passage on a non-Allied boat back to the Fatherland. Director Michael Powell stages their odyssey as a series of politically charged set-pieces as the disdainful Nazis find their beliefs tested by a cross-section of Canadian clichés, from French-Canadian trappers (among whom is Laurence Olivier attempting a dead-on imitation of Pepe Le Pew), Native Americans, and Eskimos to a WASP-y outdoorsman (Leslie Howard), ordinary Joe's, and the members of a religious commune. Leading the goose-steppers is Lieutenant Hirth (Eric Portman), maniacally loyal to his Führer and whose sneer can't be anything but villainous.

The title of Michael Powell's WWII propaganda actioner refers to the boundary separating the United States and Canada. A suitably righteous narrator tells us it's the world's only undefended national border and, as such, befits the values of peace and democracy shared by the two countries. 49th Parallel isn't a strident call to arms meant to guilt-trip Americans into re-thinking their neutrality, but rather a tribute to the Canadian (and to all free-thinking) people who were already involved in the anti-Nazi effort. By praising democratic values and warning of the Nazi threat looming over the free world, 49th Parallel was director Michael Powell's roundabout exhortation to the American people to join the good fight.

Continue reading: 49th Parallel Review

The Edge Of The World Review


Good
Not to be confused with The Center of the World, this 1937 film will mainly be of interest to fans of director Michael Powell, whose Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes (among others) have become classics of the cinema.

The Edge of the World is one of Powell's early films, a stark story about life on an inhospitable island off the coast of Scotland. In fact, it's so inhospitable that half of the community feels it's time to leave altogether. To settle the matter, two of the young men who reside there decide to race to the top of the local cliff face -- the winner chooses whether they go or stay. Alas, tragedy ensues during the climb, and the clannish residents of the island become even more embittered than ever.

Continue reading: The Edge Of The World Review

Alice In Wonderland (1966) Review


OK
It doesn't take the Ravi Shankar soundtrack to cue you that this version of Alice in Wonderland -- just an hour long, shot for the BBC -- hails from the 1960s. Taking the story's thinly veiled drug metaphors to their ultra-serious limit, the movie has a bit of a Cheech and Chong feeling to it, and the star power of John Gielgud, Peter Sellers, and Peter Cook (among many others) conspire to ensure that Alice (Anne-Marie Mallik) doesn't even got top billing. This was one of the first of director Jonathan Miller's numerous BBC teleplays, and his greenness is apparent -- it's neither kid-friendly (the actors don't wear animal costumes, they just allude to them) nor particularly clever, coming across in the end like a kind of Alice's Greatest Hits. Finally, I know it was 1966 television, but Alice just never works in black and white. It's like The Wizard of Oz without the yellow brick road.

Billy Liar Review


Very Good
Billy Fisher isn't even an undertaker -- he's an undertaker's assistant. Against this pathetic profession he finds himself so bored silly that he daydreams constantly of a land where he's a military hero and ruler, and the two meet at random throughout the film. More and more, Billy dreams of escaping his horrible life, planning to run off to London with girlfriend Liz (Julie Christie). But can he do it? Billy Liar is on the repetitive side, but John Schlesinger's imagination in interpreting the source material makes it worthwhile. The ending remains one of cinema's great mysteries -- not in what happens on screen, but why it happens. Discuss amongst yourselves.

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.

Ben-Hur Review


Excellent
To hell with Gladiator.

Scratch that. Ben-Hur is no stupid gladiator movie. As the title sequence tells us, this is "A Tale of the Christ," an unabashed religious fable, albeit one that only shows its hero from the back.

Continue reading: Ben-Hur Review

Finlay Currie

Finlay Currie Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Suggested

Jack White's First Ever Live Video Of 'The Rose With The Broken Neck'

Jack White's First Ever Live Video Of 'The Rose With The Broken Neck'

He unveils the 2015 video for his Danger Mouse collaboration.

Tom Hardy And His Dog To Read CBeebies Bedtime Story On New Year's Eve

Tom Hardy And His Dog To Read CBeebies Bedtime Story On New Year's Eve

Hardy and his pet dog Woodstock will read 'You Must Bring a Hat' on CBeebies on New Year's Eve.

Kate Tempest - Bristol O2 Academy, 8.12.16 Live Review

Kate Tempest - Bristol O2 Academy, 8.12.16 Live Review

If you like your poetry dubstep-free and styled by old, dead geezers wearing cravats, look away now.

Advertisement
The Jesus and Mary Chain Are Finally Back With New Album 'Damage And Joy'

The Jesus and Mary Chain Are Finally Back With New Album 'Damage And Joy'

It's their first release in almost two decades.

Advertisement

Finlay Currie Movies

Advertisement
Ben-Hur Movie Review

Ben-Hur Movie Review

To hell with Gladiator.Scratch that. Ben-Hur is no stupid gladiator movie. As the title...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.