Time Is My Enemy
The blighter who conveniently demobbed in the Blitz comes back from the dead for getaway cash after shooting a jeweler during a holdup.
The widow is married to a London publisher who jocularly complains of his stalwarts, catering to their whims means driving far out and arriving “dead on seven”.
Scotland Yard is a friend to the family, the gang is well known for its modus operandi.
The Italians have a man in camp under the guise of a British officer, this informer is thought to be a Greek lieutenant actually working for British counterespionage on the trail of the Italian agent.
Life in a POW camp, 1943. The Germans are set to take over, the Greek is dead, the informer must be found, a mass escape is planned during a performance of Hamlet.
Eugene Archer of the New York Times liked the film in spite of himself, thinking as he said that a certain element of comedy “slows the pace”. Time Out Film Guide similarly admires the pic but has it slightly muddled.
Greyfriars Bobby, the true story of a dog
The film is handled in two movements (Blake Edwards adds a third, with S.O.B.).
De Sica’s Umberto D. brings the story to Edinburgh, where Seaton’s Miracle on 34th Street settles the matter.
A Matter of WHO
Capital comedy on the most serious of issues, bribery, barratry, corruption. “You know, Ivanovitch, you’re a carrier of corruption that may never be found.”
The influence of Ealing is palpable and well-studied, also Reed (Night Train to Munich, The Third Man).
A paragon of style, a reference point much-imitated.
Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, “a lively little treat.” TV Guide, “a strange idea for a comedy”. Hal Erickson (All Movie Guide), “a curious subject for a British comedy.” Halliwell’s Film Guide, “not really a starter.”
The Argo, Hercules, Medea, the Golden Fleece.
The treachery of Pelias, his misrule of Thessaly.
The giant figure of Talos, the Harpies, Poseidon, the Seven-Headed Hydra and the skeleton army sown from its teeth.
The games of Mount Olympus, Zeus and Hera. Hermes, the messenger of the gods.
A Jolly Bad Fellow
“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad,” a university research chemist achieves this with a preparation tested on rats and later applied to boring ninnies, the result is exactly described in Richard Quine’s How to Murder Your Wife, famously, or as Beckett says,
in fools has something shocking
An exquisite film, though A.H. Weiler of the New York Times didn’t think so, neither does Halliwell’s Film Guide, nor Time Out (“still manages a grinning gusto”).
The institution is U. of Ockham, or Occam, elegantissime.
One Million Years B.C.
The creation of the world, the dawn of man.
Huston’s The Bible: In the Beginning... and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey are concurrent. The story is from Hal Roach Studios.
A work of genius crowned by Harryhausen’s giant lizards.
“Shocking falls” drive Tumak into Loana’s arms and back to his brutish people, a calamitous war ends in volcanic tumult (The Ten Commandments), the cavemen wend their way through barren wastes.
...the ribs and blood
of the earth, from which all fables grow,
established poetry and truth in us.
The Three Lives of Thomasina
A most complex allegory, scarcely to be taken at face value and yet filmed with punctilious realism by a master director and a proficient crew.
The workings of nature, the state of grace, the functions of science, the love of animals and “my cat Hodge” are all elements in it.
The veterinary surgeon, a cold customer, for the first life.
The village witch, a crofter at her loom, for the second.
The two united at last.
A ginger tabby narrates the tale.
The domain of No. 2, a seaside village, “your village”, a storybook something or other, somewhere, and one is No. 6.
No possibility of escaping, everything very deceptive, and one is questioned.
Chaffey has a strong flurry of direction to convey the bewildering sense of fathomless predicament, before establishing the rhythm of the place.
The Chimes of Big Ben
They are an hour off from the standpoint of a Polish resister thirty miles from the Village in Lithuania, which is where Olympic swimmer and fellow captive Nadia (No. 8, an Estonian) says it is, on the Baltic Sea.
The very pungent joke has No. 6 enter an Exhibition of Arts & Crafts and win the prize and travel to Danzig and Copenhagen and London, nowhere at all.
A secondary joke has every blessed entry but his a portrait of the Village Chairman, No. 2.
The little girl is fascinated by her relative’s suitor (jealous, says her guardian), the man raises Venus Flytraps, she slips in to admire and feed them.
A man wants him to go back to Boston and is killed before her eyes, she leaves hastily, unseen but not unheard.
Jill takes the girl under her protective wing, the child is very clever and gives her a turn or two.
The remarkable substance of the story is reserved for the end, a jewel robbery, a bail jumper. This leaves various elements in raw suspension throughout.
Angels on the Street
The concert violinist’s daughter is menaced and beaten by a furious pimp outside the conservatory of music she runs with her father. The angels take lessons, meet a particularly tough streetwalker who admonishes them.
The pimp is faced down on the street with his girl at gunpoint, and beats a retreat. The enigma of his senseless attacks on the frail musician can’t be understood until she’s watched long enough to reveal her alter ego as the streetwalker regularly beaten for failing to meet her quota.
Chaffey handles this for the surprise, which is as well done as anything of its kind, an elaborate preparation made to look offhand in the telling.