Robert Coote

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A Matter Of Life And Death Review


Excellent
When a modern viewer considers the work of Michael Powell -- whose perverse Peeping Tom is a cult classic -- a tender love story that defies death -- yes, a little like Ghost -- is not something that typically comes to mind.

Yes, sure, Powell (and frequent collaborator Emeric Pressburger) made family fare like The Red Shoes, but A Matter of Life and Death (often known by its alternate title, Stairway to Heaven) is something entirely else. To wit: The story involves a British airman named Peter (David Niven), who is on the verge of crashing his plane during his World War II mission, and spends his last moments before bailing out speaking over the radio to American wireless operator June (Kim Hunter), with whom he makes a special connection. Peter jumps before crashing, but is surprised to find himself washing up ashore, fully intact. And wouldn't you know it, he soon encounters June, and the two are immediately in love.

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The Swinger Review


Grim
Ann-Margret proved she could get her freak on (remember Tommy's baked beans?) in this 1966 farce, wheren a young Ann joins the "swinger underground" as an observer and makes up wild stories about her crazy life to sell to Girl Lure magazine. Mostly these comprise song and dance routines... that is, when the plot makes any sense at all. Ann's fab as ever, proving that she can make the crappiest of stories look, well, passable.

Theatre Of Blood Review


OK
This is about as close as Vincent Price got to playing Hamlet, in his campy and bizarre Theatre of Blood. Recalling Dr. Phibes, Price once again plays a man hell-bent on revenge, only this time it's an actor murdering his former critics. Unfortunately the killings aren't as wild in the Theatre -- even a drowning in a vat of wine looks an awful lot like someone splashing around in water. Come on Vincent, throw in some food coloring for us! And Vinnie with an afro... some things are too frightening for the movies.

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The Horse's Mouth Review


OK
Alec Guinness channels Peter O'Toole in a rare comedic role in The Horse's Mouth, wherein he plays the beloved, irascible painter Gulley Jimson, from the novel of the same name.

It is bizarre to see Guinness strutting about a fancy London flat, drumming on a silver tray like a tambourine and muttering in a throat-tangling, guttural roar, but he loves the role so much it's hard not to like him -- even if he is a jerk. Guinness adapted the book himself, earning a solo credit for the screenplay.

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Robert Coote

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