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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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  • Colorado Territory

    Colorado Territory

    ★★★½

    Watched for the Wild West Summer Challenge.

    It took a while to settle down to this remake of High Sierra, transplanted out West. Joel McCrea was an unusual leading man, in no way a romantic lead, not really that tough on the surface, and very understated; here he takes on the old Bogart role as the con persuaded to do one more job.

    The Colorado of the title refers to a bronzed-up Virginia Mayo as a part-Indian woman, who becomes…

  • Road Show

    Road Show

    ★★★½

    I L<3ve Musicals!

    A zany comedy with a few musical numbers, this belongs more to the tradition of the Marx Brothers and Hellzapoppin as John Hubbard (a kind of cut-price Ray Milland) and Adolphe Menjou break out of an asylum to save a carnival.

    With a co-writing credit from silent comic Harry Langdon and star support from pretty Carole Landis (dubbed by Martha Mears) playing the Bond Girl-ish Penguin Moore, this is quite fun and its handful of songs are composed by Hoagy Carmichael, Road Show mixes screwball and slapstick to make a superior minor flick from the Hal Roach Studio.

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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…