Die! Die! My Darling!
The tortures of the damned (a unique sect, an old lady and her balmy or blackmailed servants) exerted upon a bright American miss who had been engaged to the son of the house, a suicide.
That is sufficient for a Hitchcock and makes Narizzano’s masterpiece on the disorderly conduct of a religious fanatic.
They don’t know their own minds, these fans.
Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Yootha Joyce, Peter Vaughan, Donald Sutherland (with Maurice Kaufmann as the man from Allied Television).
A.H. Weiler in the New York Times thought, no, he never did.
There are the beautiful people and there is her, ungainly, fantastical, up to her ears in mumsy-whimsy.
The mod boy is a bit daft, his smasher girlfriend likes catching the eyes of London males but doesn’t really have any use for them (she’s an orchestra violinist, Beethoven Night it’s “animals”).
Georgina’s the valet’s and housekeeper’s daughter, the millionaire they work for has taken an inexplicable shine to her, his wife’s an invalid (when she dies, he turns her bedroom into a “Bessarabian brothel”).
Georgy runs a course into his clutches past a mistress contract to the altar, with the other couple’s baby.
Greasers and gringos across the river, a bandit reconquista answered with force.
The structure has a lot to do with Maté’s Branded, that unfortunately was not noticed by reviewers who thought the film made no sense, or worse in their eyes, that it only meant to in a big way.
Terence Stamp’s accent has been criticized without authority. Karl Malden’s performance has been criticized as “bad”, it is exceptionally fine and subtle.
These criticisms are from Canby (who thought the title character was “a rather perverse, homicidal type”) and Ebert (who complained of the night filters) and Variety (“there seems to have been an attempt to make a ‘great’ or ‘definitive’ film”) and Rex Reed (“I don’t know which is worse—bad cowboy movies or bad arty cowboy movies”) and Halliwell’s Film Guide (“pretentious, self-conscious, literary western without much zest”) and Time Out Film Guide (“a grotesque, pretension-ridden Western which falls flat on its face”).
Cinematography by Stanley Cortez, score by Manos Hadjidakis.
A very amusing farce on the vicissitudes of a widowered Irish hotelier in Brighton.
Narizzano’s very nice direction was ignored by reviewers because Frankie Howerd’s writers wrote the screenplay, and because Narizzano’s direction is generally ignored by reviewers.
A sidetrack of Roman Catholic punsy mayhem featuring Richard Attenborough’s sterling Inspector, Lee Remick’s doll-like nurse, Milo O’Shea’s heroic capitulation, and all the rest of it.
Vincent Canby of the New York Times spearheaded the opposition, it was not to his taste and he gave his readers a taste of his taste.
A work of genius, nevertheless.
Why Shoot The Teacher
The son of a goose and an ass moves out West to Saskatchewan early in ‘35 for a one-room schoolhouse teaching job that pays next to nothing in promissory notes from the farmer who heads the school board, another of teacher’s jokes is the one about the man who fell in and was questioned by folks as he drowned so they could take his place working.
Two more jokes are foisted on him, another farmer’s London war bride who repines in the middle of nowhere and reads Private Lives with him one night at the schoolhouse in a blizzard, then the Socialist meeting held there to celebrate the new party, which makes no impression.
The children don’t know gophers from the Richardson’s ground squirrel (“part of the national heritage”, says the Welsh school inspector), and hunt them avidly in Spring for the government’s penny a tail. The Prime Minister is R.B. Bennett, on his last legs.
Maslin saw the film in New York five years after its Canadian release and called it a “sleeper” (New York Times). Halliwell thought of Cold Comfort Farm, Time Out Film Guide wondered why the farmers were so poor in the Depression.
Come Back Little Sheba
That is, go home to her folks.
Sober Doc (Laurence Olivier) observes the comings and goings, a romance, a wedding, then it’s his turn drunk surrealistically with a hatchet and a sob.
If it isn’t the greatest play written by an American, a perfect production like this one for Granada TV has no part in the blame.
The Class of Miss MacMichael
“If bullshit were music,” that is Dickens, this is Dotheboys Hall.
The American model is Cinzano vs. Bulgaria, who wants that?
“The Pit and the Shed” by Edgar Alan Sillitoe.
“When Miss asks you to do something, you fucking well do it.”
Janet Maslin of the New York Times, “includes certain elements of confusion.” Variety, “dippy doings”. Time Out has “confused intentions,” the Catholic News Service Media Review Office that and “morally objectionable”. Halliwell’s Film Guide, “The Blackboard Jungle lives on, very boringly,” citing Variety, “gives social science a bad name.”
Simi Valley High School kid’s thrown off the football team because he’s three-quarters deaf, he turns to beer and smoke and toot and rockabilly.
And that’s the gospel truth.
He meets a girl, he learns sign language and reading lips, the coach calls him out of the stands for the big game.
And he’s back playing violin in the school orchestra.
A thing of beauty, a joy forever.
Victor French and Lelia Goldoni are the parents, Val Avery the coach, Pat Buttram the barkeep, Byron Morrow the school board president, and Dennis Patrick the new school doctor.
Variety thought it had a bit too much “preachiness”.