Laurence Harvey

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F For Fake Review


Extraordinary
I've never seen another film like F for Fake, and if you invest a quick 90 minutes in it I'll wager you'll come away with the same dazed and breathless feeling that I had.

F for Fake was, depending on how you look at it, Orson Welles last feature film as a director, and -- as Peter Bogdanovich describes it in an insightful introduction -- it's not quite a documentary but rather a "documentary essay" about trickery and fraud in its various incarnations.

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Butterfield 8 Review


OK
What, you wanna see Liz Taylor as a call girl? Ya perv. Taylor's heralded performance as the archetypal hooker ("the slut of all time!") with a heart of gold is a bit overrated, it's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof all over again (which she made just two years prior) -- and that was a better movie, too. Laurence Harvey is more effective as the client she falls in love with -- alas, he's married and he's a cad, to boot. This leaves plenty of time for some Oscar-caliber waterworks, which is pretty much how Butterfield 8 shakes out.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Review


Extraordinary
Possibly John Frankenheimer's finest film, The Manchurian Candidate speaks to the Red Scare, the horrors of war, paranoid fears of brainwashing -- all tied in with the game of Solitaire. Frankenheimer owes a lot to George Axelrod's script and Richard Condon's gripping novel, which tells the story of a perfectly brainwashed soldier (during the Korean War), played by Laurence Harvey, who becomes a no-remorse assassin after capture and brianwashing by the enemy. His target and handler are both kept as mysteries until the end, but it's Frank Sinatra as an old war buddy who's suffering terrible nightmares that brings it all to light.

The film, as compelling as it is, is almost undone by Sinatra's performance, which is capable but unequal to his co-stars. Sinatra, of course, had so much power during the making of the film, that he's never really pushed for a good take. As a result, weaker scenes have been left in, presumably due to Sinatra's notorious unwillingness to do retakes. Too bad, because they're needed here badly. It's little matter, though: The Manchurian Candidate's classic structure and breakneck pacing are a perfect match for the movie's incredible story punch to the gut. George Axelrod's script turns Richard Condon's novel into classic cinema. Its suspense is gripping, and its biting political statement (lambasting McCarthyism deeply) is unparalleled in cinema this side of a Michael Moore movie.

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Darling Review


Extraordinary
Julie Christie stars in a role written for her: the brazen bird Diana Scott, a swinging Londoner who is discovered by a reporter for a street interview, then rises through the European modeling/acting world by sleeping with every man she meets. Laurence Harvey (from The Manchurian Candidate) and Dirk Bogarde are two of the men who use her and vice versa.

Darling exposes the jet-set high society of the mid-'60s with the cynicism and detail of a muckraking documentary. Antonioni and Fellini explored the same milieu, but writer Frederic Raphael is a much sharper and subtler satirist than either. (Raphael is also responsible for Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, and Darling's influence on that film is easy to spot). Raphael's script effectively surveys a gallery of posers -- vapid trendsetters, journalists and fashionistas, pretentious artists, and even minor royalty (Diana marries an Italian prince). Though the film drags in a few places, John Schlesinger's direction is generally excellent.

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Laurence Harvey

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Darling Movie Review

Darling Movie Review

Julie Christie stars in a role written for her: the brazen bird Diana Scott, a...

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