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  • Napoleon

    Napoleon

    ★★★★★

    One of my 1000 recommended films.

    I haven't seen this for quite a few years but today (all day) I watched this unique film on the big screen, in the 5 and a half hour Photoplay restoration with score conducted live by Carl Davis with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

    The story of how Kevin Brownlow has spent nearly half a century working on restoring this film to as close to Abel Gance's original vision as possible is well known - and…

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story

    ★★★★★

    One of my 1000 recommended films.

    Recently I saw the beautiful new print of this film directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and can report that after fifty years it still looks amazing, with vibrant colours, a remarkably rich score, and performances that linger long in the memory.

    The doomed romance of the modern Romeo and Juliet, Polish American Tony (Richard Beymer, all teeth and eyelashes and so pretty…

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  • Tread Softly

    Tread Softly

    ★★½

    I L<3ve Musicals!

    A rather odd musical murder mystery which is of most interest because it was filmed inside the Granville Theatre, Waltham Green, a house whose demolition in 1971 paved the way for the protection of London theatre buildings. Of course, with this film being in black and white, you can't see the detail in full, but this memoralises a large amount of the auditorium and stage of a lost treasure.

    As a film, it is about a musical…

  • The Wedding of Lilli Marlene

    The Wedding of Lilli Marlene

    ★★

    I L<3ve Musicals!

    A sequel to Lilli Marlene, featuring Lisa Daniely again, but the plot is so thin it is practically invisible, as Lilli edges back into showbusiness via the chorus and impresario Sid James.

    There are a couple of nice song and dance bits, and some interesting brief character bits (Irene Handl, Dandy Nichols), but the existence of this film is a bit of a mystery.

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  • A Single Man

    A Single Man

    ★★★★

    This bittersweet film gets another star on a rewatch. It's Colin Firth's best performance in years as stuffy professor George Falconer ('it takes a long time to become George'), who suddenly finds himself bereaved by the sudden death of his partner Jim in a car accident, and finds it difficult to cope until he decides he needs to make a momentous decision.

    This being the 1960s he cannot talk openly about it, or even grieve, nor can he seek a…

  • Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy

    ★★★★

    This was one of the films on my list of shame, I had been long aware of it but had never got around to seeing it, until now.

    I knew the theme was Nilsson's 'Everybody's Talkin'' and that Jon Voight's character was a would-be hustler, and Dustin Hoffman's character was a low-down dirty rat. But that's about it.

    The film is nothing like I expected. It has some fantastic moments - the way Voight and Hoffman eyeball each other as…