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Graham Roberts, Steve Rider, Micky Hazzard, Shirley Anne Field, Luther Blisett, Willie Thorne, Ella Glazer, Derek Martin, George Sanders and Graham Dean - Celebrity - AM Golf Classic 2013 at Dyrham Park Country Club - Hertfordshire, United Kingdom - Wednesday 17th April 2013

Graham Roberts, Steve Rider, Micky Hazzard, Shirley Anne Field, Luther Blisett, Willie Thorne, Ella Glazer, Derek Martin, George Sanders and Graham Dean
Derek Martin

Four Men And A Prayer Review


OK
In Four Men and a Prayer, director John Ford doesn't have one. Saddled by Darryl Zanuck with a claptrap mystery adventure plot involving the dishonorable discharge and subsequent murder of a proud British career officer during the jewel-in-the-crown years of British colonialism and the efforts of his four sons to find the killer and exonerate their father, Ford assumes the role of Houdini. With a handsome physical production, Ford mounts an impressive sleight-of-hand, diverting prying eyes by throwing everything at the audience he can think of, anything to stay away from the actual story, which Ford doesn't want to get close enough to smell.

The nominal plot has stout-hearted Colonel Loring Leigh (C. Aubrey Smith -- who else?) kicked out of the Lancers for signing an order allowing a shipment guns to find their way into the hands of a band of Indian rebels, who end up massacring 90 men at one of those Indian passes so famous in '30s movie adventure yarns. Colonel Leigh is drummed out of the army but knows he's been set up and his signature forged. Returning to England he summons his four sons -- dim bulb Oxford student Rodney (William Henry), pompous barrister Wyatt (George Sanders), shallow ladies man/aviator Chris (David Niven), and stuffy British attache Geoffrey (Richard Greene) -- in order to show them the evidence proving he was framed by an international gun cartel. He doesn't get that far. While the boys are sipping bitters in the ante room, Colonel Leigh is shot dead in his study and the evidence removed. The press claims Leigh committed suicide from his disgrace, but the boys know better and set about to find his killer and clear his name.

Continue reading: Four Men And A Prayer Review

Call Me Madam Review


Very Good
Broadway legend Ethel Merman is known more these days for badgering Milton Berle in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, that blunderbuss 1963 super-comedy that is replayed ad infinitum on cable TV. This is because her brilliant Broadway star turns -- Panama Hattie, DuBarry Was a Lady, Annie Get Your Gun, Gypsy -- are all lost to history, the film versions of her Broadway roles played by Ann Sothern, Lucille Ball, Betty Hutton, and Rosalind Russell, brilliant women all, but no Merman. The exception to the rule was Irving Berlin's Call Me Madam, the archetypal Merman star vehicle, for which Merman won a Tony Award. This was one performance where Merman was the whole show and, in 1953, a film version had to have Merman in the lead and Twentieth Century Fox did right by Merman in Walter Lang's breezy and brassy adaptation.

On the surface, Berlin's energetic Broadway show is extremely dated. The Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse book is a gentle satire of the Washington scene circa 1951, so there are a plethora of Harry Truman jokes that may have been hilarious in 1951 but in this post-history millennium may be greeted with obtuseness from viewers whose sense of history expired with Swing Vote. It is also an old-fashioned musical vehicle, the slim plot being a bald excuse to showcase Merman.

Continue reading: Call Me Madam Review

The Jungle Book Review


Excellent
The Jungle Book may not have much in the way of story (see also Tarzan: Boy raised in the jungle is returned to civilization, plus singing/dancing). However, it's got some of the best songs Disney ever did, including the swinging "I Wan'na Be Like You" and the svelte "Trust In Me." Baloo the bear has since become an institution in the American cartoonisphere.

A Shot In The Dark Review


Extraordinary
The second film in the Pink Panther series doesn't mention its heritage in the title (and in fact there's no relation to the titular jewel at all in the movie), but A Shot in the Dark is widely -- and wisely -- thought to be the best film in the series of five. Peter Sellers is back as the incompetent Clouseau, this time investigating a murder at a wealthy Frenchman's (George Sanders) estate, where all signs point to the maid (Elke Sommer) as the guilty party. Clouseau refuses to see it this way, with wildly funny, slapstick, and simply crazy results. Sellers is on full tilt in this one.

The Jungle Book Review


Excellent
The Jungle Book may not have much in the way of story (see also Tarzan: Boy raised in the jungle is returned to civilization, plus singing/dancing). However, it's got some of the best songs Disney ever did, including the swinging "I Wan'na Be Like You" and the svelte "Trust In Me." Baloo the bear has since become an institution in the American cartoonisphere.

Continue reading: The Jungle Book Review

All About Eve Review


Essential
I'd like to tell you that I checked this film out because it was nominated for the most Academy Awards in history (14 in 1950). I'd like to tell you that I checked out this film because it won Best Picture. I'd like to tell you that I checked out this film because I liked All About my Mother, which gets both namesake and partial plot structure from this film. But that's not why I checked out the film. I checked out the film because I am attempting to build an archive... starting with the letter "A." All About Eve was the first "A" film that the library had, and I figured it couldn't hurt.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Continue reading: All About Eve Review

The Ghost And Mrs. Muir Review


Good
Ghost haunts woman. Ghost helps woman write book. Ghost gets jealous when woman falls for a non-dead man. This 1947 minor classic is quaint and almost absurd by today's standards, but Mrs. Muir still stands as a harmless and cute period piece that nostalgia fans will get a kick out of. Rex Harrison is wildly over the top, considering, you know, he's playing a dead man.

Village Of The Damned (1960) Review


Excellent
The creepiest moment in the recent horror film Godsend - maybe the only creepy moment - occurs when the boy around whom the action is centered informs his father, in a steady, vaguely threatening voice, that he doesn't think he likes him so much anymore. It's scary; the boy is in a sudden position of authority over his dad. The grown-ups in the audience don't like the way it sounds.

It's a good thing, then, that these same grown-ups weren't around in the British village of Midwich circa 1950. In that sleepy hamlet the entire population suffers from a brief blackout one day; a few months later, all the Midwich women of child-bearing age find that they were expecting, and the children, when they come along, are not exactly like the other boys and girls. They are, in fact, exactly like one another: blonde, rather too intelligent for our comfort, and possessed of a particularly icy stare. To say that they are aloof is an understatement. And, perhaps most tellingly, they have a hive mentality: They keep only one another's company, they communicate wordlessly, and when one of these children learns a fact, the others automatically learn it too.

Continue reading: Village Of The Damned (1960) Review

Foreign Correspondent Review


Very Good
In its day, Foreign Correspondent was more than just a good movie (it earned six Oscar nominations), it was also the beginning of Hitchcock's propaganda films, as he (along with many European filmmakers) made movies to compel the U.S. to enter WWII.

Correspondent has intrigue, adventure, charisma, and romance, but it sadly never makes it to classic status. The story is globetrotting tale of an American reporter (Joel McCrea) who heads to London to expose a spy ring. En route he falls in love and is drawn into a major drama with international ramifications.

Continue reading: Foreign Correspondent Review

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