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The Browning Version (1951) Review


Excellent
We all hated our grade school teachers -- at least one of them. Here's a movie that shows the flipside of that anger, showcasing Andrew Crocker-Harris (Michael Redgrave in the role of a lifetime) on his last, pathetic day as a teacher at a sleepy school for privileged boys.

Crocker-Harris teaches the terribly unpopular dead languages course to younger children who, almost unilaterally, don't appreciate the subject matter. Not only is Crocker-Harris moving for "health reasons," his cruel wife (Jean Kent) is having an affair with a younger professor (Nigel Patrick). And the kids hate him, calling him "Himmler" behind his back.

Continue reading: The Browning Version (1951) Review

My Fair Lady Review


Essential
This is the cinematic version of Alan Jay Lerner's and Frederick Loewe's musical (the longest-running Broadway show of the 1950s), which was based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (both of which, of course, are still mainstays of theater and high school drama) -- though it has been stripped of its mildly socialistic overtones and turned into a musical romance. Nevertheless, this version of the play/musical is a film classic, which has entertained millions of people since its release.

The plot is familiar: Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) is a professor of linguistics and a pompous, contented bachelor. On a wager with a colleague, Higgins undertakes to teach an illiterate Cockney, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), to speak the King's English. Shaw's message was that, as the human mind is a blank slate, anyone in England could be aristocracy if they only had the right education. Lerner's screenplay dispenses with Shaw's dubious ideology, and instead turns the story into a smart romantic comedy satirizing various levels of British society. And like most musicals, the final message of My Fair Lady is love conquers all -- even misogynistic, pompous blokes like Higgins.

Continue reading: My Fair Lady Review

The Browning Version Review


Excellent
We all hated our grade school teachers -- at least one of them. Here's a movie that shows the flipside of that anger, showcasing Andrew Crocker-Harris (Michael Redgrave in the role of a lifetime) on his last, pathetic day as a teacher at a sleepy school for privileged boys.

Crocker-Harris teaches the terribly unpopular dead languages course to younger children who, almost unilaterally, don't appreciate the subject matter. Not only is Crocker-Harris moving for "health reasons," his cruel wife (Jean Kent) is having an affair with a younger professor (Nigel Patrick). And the kids hate him, calling him "Himmler" behind his back.

Continue reading: The Browning Version Review

The Magic Christian Review


Very Good
The video cover of The Magic Christian features Ringo Starr sitting on Peter Sellers' lap. Starr has on his usual shit-eating grin, and Sellers' expression can only be described as one of sheer horror.

Sellers may very well have had no idea what he was getting into with this movie, an adaptation of the cult novel by the same name from author Terry Southern. The film concerns Sellers' business magnate Guy Grand, who adopts a homeless man (Starr) and presents him to the board as his son.

Continue reading: The Magic Christian Review

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