Michael Hordern

Michael Hordern

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Lady Jane Review


Good
Released and immediately forgotten in 1986, Lady Jane is a fairly staid, somewhat off-center, and very long recreation of the very brief life and times of the 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey, who ruled England for nine days in 1553.

Starring Helena Bonham Carter as the little queen and Cary Elwes as her arranged husband, Jane dutifully takes us through her religious devotion, the difficulties of being married to a womanizer and drunk, their eventual coming around to love one another, Jane's rise to queen and rapid deposition, and eventually, her execution at the hands of Bloody Mary.

Continue reading: Lady Jane Review

A Christmas Carol (1951) Review


OK
It's probably the best-known version of A Christmas Carol on film, but sadly this 1951 rendition has aged terribly. Watch it today and you'll immediately note the atrocious sound quality and that the special effects aren't any better than the version made in 1938. Alastair Sim is appropriately grumpy as Scrooge, but he adds little to the role that any other actor has brought to it. Frankly, of all the versions of Carol that are out there, this is the first I'd skip.

Continue reading: A Christmas Carol (1951) Review

How I Won The War Review


Weak
This war farce (about World War II) is just not funny. Even John Lennon in the ultimately ironic role as a soldier in the worst regiment in all of Britain doesn't make much of an impact, and as the movie gets progressively weirder it gets just plain boring, not to mention silly. And rather dumb.

Lady Jane Review


Good
Released and immediately forgotten in 1986, Lady Jane is a fairly staid, somewhat off-center, and very long recreation of the very brief life and times of the 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey, who ruled England for nine days in 1553.

Starring Helena Bonham Carter as the little queen and Cary Elwes as her arranged husband, Jane dutifully takes us through her religious devotion, the difficulties of being married to a womanizer and drunk, their eventual coming around to love one another, Jane's rise to queen and rapid deposition, and eventually, her execution at the hands of Bloody Mary.

Continue reading: Lady Jane Review

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum Review


Good
My personal hero Zero Mostel is not as his best here in the adaptation of the inexplicably popular stage play, the only musical comedy to come out of ancient Rome. The action centers on Mostel's slave Pseudolus and his relationship with Michael Crawford's wealthy teen Hero. Pseudolus wants to be free, Hero wants the hand of the concubine next door. A plot is hatched, and many tunes are belted out. Unfortunately, most of Stephen Sondheim's best songs must have been left in Venice, so if you can sit through junk like "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid," you should be able to make it to A Funny Thing's funnier moments. Buster Keaton's final performance.
Michael Hordern

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