A Study in Terror

An admirably concentrated mind, put to work on the butchery in Whitechapel known as the case of Jack the Ripper.

In short, exactly what the title claims. “I would hardly refer to this as fun, Lestrade.”

The fight is undercranked in the manner of Terence Young, from Howard Hawks. “Nothing like a piece of cold steel, eh, Holmes?”

Anthony Quayle, a caricature of G.B.S. as Dr. Murray.

It is a fairly simple matter to suggest the crimes in such a way as to present a psychology, the case is something more.

“This butcher boy has the government, has all of us on the edge of a knife! Only this morning three more men were attacked on the streets of London.”

“Carrying Gladstone bags, were they?”

“Carrying Gladstone bags!”

“The latest rumour has it that he’s a Russian anarchist sent by the Czar to bring down the government.”

“There’s no truth to that, military intelligence—”, glissando upwards from Holmes’ violin, “military intelligence such as it is has investigated the rumour and found that there is no truth in it.”

The purely subjective camera is entreated, picks up the key, enters and climbs the stairs.

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, not taking the hint, “a pleasant diversion.”

Tom Milne (Time Out), “curiously ineffective”. Halliwell’s Film Guide concurs, “quite literate, but schizophrenic.”


Captain Nemo and the Underwater City

A prison (Allan Cuthbertson evokes John Sturges’ The Great Escape with his “mine fall” claustrophobia) and a paradise of sorts (two elements of Godard’s Alphaville, the control room and the diving girls with knives).

The paddlewheel sailing ship breaks up in a storm two hundred miles from the English coast on a voyage from New York, slowly the passengers sink and are introduced into Nemo’s dream.

“A conventional affair,” said Vincent Canby of the New York Times, aimed at “very undemanding kids.” The Catholic News Service Media Review Office, “intriguing enough to engross a child’s imagination in this generally pleasing utopian, anti-war fantasy.” Time Out, “nicely na´ve stuff.” Halliwell’s Film Guide faults the production (“stolid rather than solid”) and the script (“makes heavy weather”).

As noted by the Captain, it is the time of the American Civil War.

Art direction by Bill Andrews, cinematography in Panavision and Metrocolor by Alan Hume, score by Walter Stott.

Gold is a by-product of oxygen and drinking water extracted from seawater, in the which it doesn’t corrode.

Chris Burden has the idea in his sculpture, Metropolis II. The elevators are after John Portman, unglassed, and thus the link to Vincent Korda in Menzies’ Things to Come, “ten thousand fathoms beneath the sea”, there one enters “a new life.”

Mobula, a monstrously large ray accidentally created during the construction of Templemere, “even Utopia has its hazards.” Escape is impossible.

Question of arms from Europe swelling the North American fight into a “holocaust”.

The Dictator and the Senator. “Forbidden Area”. Nautilus II. “I’ll show you a glimpse of the future.” Death of Mobula. “This is the prettiest place I ever seen.” The Senator and Nemo’s appointed successor. All Seas Day. “A completely new society.”

Bill Fraser sinks, an echo of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Accidental destruction of Nautilus II. Death of Joab.

“I believe in trying to persuade people to see the rightness of things for themselves.”