Robert Newton

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Oliver Twist (1948) Review


Very Good
The canonical movie version of Dickens's Oliver Twist, this is as straight-up and authentic as it gets. Oliver asks for "more," ends up adopted, joins a street gang, and pretty much comes full circle, without surprise and with apt attention to period detail. The movie, however, remains mired in controversy due to Alec Guinness's Fagin, which drew such rabid charges of anti-Semitism (check out his nose) that it was banned in Israel. Definitely the version to see before you subject yourself, say, to Polanski's bloated 2005 version.

Treasure Island (1950) Review


Good
Yo ho ho and a bottle of old school Disney!

When you think of Long John Silver, Robert Newton immediately jumps to mind -- not just the winking scowl, but that crackling har har har mates! voice, too.

Continue reading: Treasure Island (1950) Review

The High And The Mighty Review


Good
In 1954, zipping off to Hawaii by plane must have been a far different experience than any of us can imagine today. The experience was so terrifying -- at least according to The High and the Mighty, a best-selling book in its era -- that the captain had to come out and talk to each passenger personally to explain that they weren't going to crash and die. And that's just after takeoff, before the plane has any problems!

Newcomers to this story may see John Wayne in a military uniform and an airplane on the cover of this DVD (with a title that evokes the air force) and assume, understandably, that they're going to be watching another military drama. Not so: Wayne's Dan Roman is a commercial pilot, and he's working the Honolulu-San Francisco route years after surviving a crash that killed everyone in his family except himself. (Also in the cockpit is Robert Stack, playing the role he would ape years later in Airplane!)

Continue reading: The High And The Mighty Review

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