The Madness of King George
His Majesty has lost the Colonies and is put to his purgation, a simple matter of torture and restraint that finally resolves to King Lear with a very happy ending.
A beautiful performance, more than one, a beautiful film, assuredly a masterwork.
Arthur Miller’s arrangement for cinema plunges you visibly into the universe of the Puritans in America, or maybe a black hole there. These people are a long time ago and far from home, the exteriors give you a sense of that.
Hytner throws some efficient casting in, like Peter Vaughan as the farmer Giles Corey, who creates another perspective just by being there. Paul Scofield shows you Miller’s peculiar talent for shifting planes of thought instantaneously, before your very eyes.
The History Boys
The domain of the play is education, it thus has closer ties to If.... than to Butley, where the subject is literature (T.S. Eliot vs. romance novels).
The events in Anderson’s film “can’t happen here”, the schoolmaster is not so overcome by the sophister, and Bennett heeds the warning as he sets forth the reason why.
His best joke is the formal basis on Welcome Back, Kotter, revealing its origins in Wyler’s Dead End.
The dramatic device of the finale is from Hutton’s X, Y and Zee.
The picture is laundry bluing and faded inks, the news (dig-inter) “film is dead”.