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I stand corrected

I am grateful to a reader and friend for pointing out an error. In a recent piece I said that Winston Churchill was not a movie buff. In fact he loved the cinema and converted the dining room at Chartwell to a private cinema. His favourite film was Lady Hamilton starring Laurence Olivier and [...]

August 27, 2020 // 0 Comments

Mervyn LeRoy, Sean Connery and Nazi Titanic

Over the weekend I caught up with The Directors series on Mervyn Le Roy, watched a tribute to Sean Connery on his 85th birthday and a documentary on a Goebbels-backed film on the Titanic. I suspect  that Mervyn LeRoy is a name with which you are unfamiliar. He made Little Caesar and Fugitive from [...]

August 23, 2020 // 0 Comments

Christopher Lee and cricket loving film stars

In May 1959 C.P. Snow delivered a lecture at Cambridge entitled The Two Cultures which subsequently became a book. It was about the ignorance of academics in the humanities on science and science on the arts. No such cultural separation exists at the Rust. We on the arts side pride ourselves on our [...]

August 11, 2020 // 0 Comments

Our Man in Havana/1959

The Carol Reed/Graham Greene partnership is one of the most successful in cinema and here they combined on the latter’s novel. I had read the novel some time ago but never seen the film until I downloaded it last week. Carol Reed is one of the quartet of great English film directors alongside [...]

August 2, 2020 // 0 Comments

Book review: Utopia Avenue (Part 2)

This is the second part (of two) of my review of Utopia Avenue, the latest novel by David Mitchell just released in the UK. To build upon the themes I touched upon in Part One, I must register that normally I avoid fiction like the plague and hitherto had neither been aware of Mitchell’s [...]

July 29, 2020 // 0 Comments

Will the real Poirot stand up?

I have now seen all the re-runs of Series one of Poirot. Hugh Fraser plays the dim, bespoke Captain Hastings, Philip Jackman Inspector Japp with trademark flapping raincoat as brilliantly caricatured by Stephen Fry in Gosforth Park and Pauline Moran the bossy secretary Miss Lemon. The second [...]

July 14, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Directors/Sky Arts

I was so pleased that a further series of The Directors was being run by SKY. I happened to see listed under SKY Documentaries a documentary on Don Siegel, most famous for the Dirty Harry films with Clint Eastwood. In pushing the “Record all” button I saw there were further programmes on John [...]

July 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

Kind Hearts and Coronets

This classic – which I watched on the Talking Pictures channel yesterday – passed with flying colours the Rosen test of excellence, namely initially deciding to watch the first few minutes of a film I have seen many times and staying with it right to its end. It’s known for the [...]

June 26, 2020 // 0 Comments

Das Boot : a historian’s view

Bernadette Angell (TV critic of the Rust) asked me to appraise the historical  accuracy of Das Boot.      I have seen the much-acclaimed 1981 film which Neil Rosen rates as one of the best war films ever. Aside from the accusation levelled by a New York Nazi, which may have been propaganda, [...]

June 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

Peter Finch and Peter Lorre

I set the Discovering (great film actors on SKY ARTS) on series mode for recording. Most recorded I have already seen but last week I caught up with four on Julie Christie, Peter Lorre, Peter Finch and Anthony Hopkins. Of this notable quartet my two favourites are the Peters. Film goers have [...]

June 7, 2020 // 0 Comments

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