Mona Washbourne

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O Lucky Man! Review


Excellent
Countless "human pinball" movies (think After Hours) owe a deep debt to O Lucky Man! Complex, fascinating, and even a bit confusing, the film is a sprawling, three-hour adventure that will quite literally have you guessing until the very end.

After an opening vignette that tells us exactly what it means to be "unlucky," we meet our "lucky" hero: Michael Travis (Malcolm McDowell) a sales trainee for a British coffee company. His first day on the job, that inimitable McDowell smile lands him an instant position in the field as a traveling sales rep serving the northeast part of England. Soon he's making sales calls and finds himself sucked into an upscale swinger's club, complete with live sex shows. Life's looking up... at least until a lost Travis stumbles upon a secret military base and is tortured as a spy... only to be saved at the last second when something unseen goes awry, causing the base to evacuate.

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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.
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