The Ceremony

Last hours of a condemned man, Tangiers.

He is British, his brother American. Ben-Hur (dir. William Wyler) and Paths of Glory (dir. Stanley Kubrick) figure in the latter’s death.

This has an ironical conclusion, suggesting The Singer Not the Song (dir. Roy Ward Baker), the real basis is rather akin to Secret Ceremony (dir. Joseph Losey) and no mistake. “That’s what they come here for,” as Butley says, “the ritual.”

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times avowed himself “dizzy and confused,” the cause he said was the chiaroscuro of Oswald Morris. Similarly Variety, “depressingly dark”. Halliwell’s Film Guide, “murky and pretentious... a bore.”

A Laurence Harvey Production, for Magla Films. Yeats at an auto-da-fé,

And Thou shalt bend, enduring God, the knees

Of the great warriors whose names have sung

The world to its fierce infancy again.


Welcome To Arrow Beach

The eternal return of the cannibal to his diet, “a witch’s tale”.

Says the Pacific Coast hotrodder, “I can’t understand why nymphomaniacs never hitchhike, it’s unbelievable.”

On the other hand, “who can tell us why, why we do the things we do?

The eye of Siodmak’s The Spiral Staircase.

A private beach. Not Dali at the Age of Six, When He Thought He Was a Girl, Lifting the Skin of the Water to See the Dog Sleeping in the Shade of the Sea, not that at all, but rather Hallucinogenic Toreador, by dint of the Dalmatian. A house with barred windows and sister Grace.

The young hitchhiker is mighty impressed with the “frustrated photographer,” mighty. “And to think that my friends think that velvet Day-Glo is where it’s at.”

A parody of the famous dinner scene in Richardson’s Tom Jones, a certain aversion, horror even. “Jason’s very fond of succotash.”

As in Flynn’s The Sergeant, a wartime taste that lingers or recurs.

The hireling fleeth, because she is an hireling.

It’s an election year for the County Sheriff, planted evidence fools him.

A Silver Star in the Korean War for that action.

“I’m for—anything that’s American...”

A Laurence Harvey Production, for Brut.

Halliwell’s Film Guide, “abysmal horror movie with insufficient plot.”