Movie Review – Seven Samurai

Principal Cast : Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Daisuke Kato, Isao Kimura, Minoru Chiaki, Seiji Miyaguchi, Yoshio Inaba, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Bokuzen Hidari, Yukiko Shimazaka, Kamatari Fujiwara, Keiko Tsushima, Kokuten Kodo, Yoshio Kosugi, Shinpei Takagi. Synopsis: A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. ******** Revered as one of the greatest films ever made, Seven Samurai for the longest time formed a significant gap in my career in film appreciation. I have, of course, seen many a film for which Seven Samurai is the…

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Movie Review – Torn Curtain

Principal Cast : Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Lila Kedrova, Hansjorg Felmy, Tamara Toumanova, Wolfgang Kieling, Ludwig Donath, Gunter Strack, David Opatoshu, Gisela Fisher, Mort Mills, Carolyn Conwell, Arthur Gould-Porter, Gloria Gorvin. Synopsis: An American scientist publicly defects to East Germany as part of a cloak and dagger mission to find the solution for a formula resin before planning an escape back to the West. ******** If you were to list all the factors working in Torn Curtain’s favour, you’d be forgiven for thinking the film might be one of Alfred…

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Movie Review – It’s A Wonderful Life

Principal Cast : James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Ward Bond, Frank Faylen, Gloria Grahame, HB Warner, Frank Albertson, Todd Karns, Samuel S Hinds, Mary Treen, Virginia Patton, Charles Williams, Sarah Edwards, William Edmunds, Lillian Randolph, Argentina Brunetti, Bobby Anderson, Ronnie Ralph, Jean Gale, Danny Mummery, Frank Hagney, Carol Goomes, Karolyn Grimes, Larry Simms, Jimmy Hawkins. Synopsis: An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. ********…

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Movie Review – Thin Man, The

Principal Cast : William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O’Sullivan, Nat Pendleton, Minna Gombell, Porter Hall, Henry Wadsworth, William Henry, Harold Huber, Cesar Romero, Natalie Moorhead, Edward Brophy, Edward Ellis, Cyril Thornton, Skippy the Dog. Synopsis: Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it. ******** A sublime murder mystery whodunnit, The Thin Man delivers terrific old-school verbal sparring and a really great mystery element amidst the sparkling chemistry between stars William Powell and Myrna Loy. A massive success at the…

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Movie Review – Peter Pan (1924)

Principal Cast : Betty Bronson, Ernest Torrence, Mary Brian, Jack Murphy, Phillipe De Lacy, Virginia Brown Faire, George Ali, Esther Ralston, Cyric Chadwick, Anna May Wong, Maurice Murphy, Mickey mcBan, George Crane Jr, Winston Doty, Weston Doty, Terence McMillan, Louis Morrison, Edward Kipling, Robert Milasch. Synopsis: Peter Pan enters the nursery of the Darling children and, with the help of fairy dust, leads them off to Never Never Land, where they meet the nefarious Captain Hook. ******** In 1924, the debut big screen appearance of Peter Pan, JM Barrie’s eponymous…

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Movie Review – Maltese Falcon, The (1941)

Principal Cast : Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, Barton MacLane, Lee Patrick, Sydney Greenstreet, Ward Bond, Jerome Cowan, Elisha Cook Jr, James Burke, Murray Alper, John Hamilton, Walter Huston. Synopsis: A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. ***** Nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture, John Huston’s 1941 remake of The Maltese Falcon remains perhaps the definitive potboiler noir detective picture. With Humphrey Bogart making his mark as the indelibly…

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Movie Review – Lost World, The (1925)

Principal Cast : Bessie Love, Lewis Stone, Lloyd Hughes, Wallace Beery, Arthur Hoyt, Alma Bennett, Virginia Brown, Bull Montana, Francis Finch-Smiles, Jules Cowles, Margaret McWade, George Bunny, Charles Wellesley, Nelson MacDowell, Christpin Martin, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Synopsis: The first film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novel about a land where prehistoric creatures still roam. ******** Some references for our review were obtained from this Silent Era article about The Lost World’s reconstruction and home video history. The Lost World represents a milestone of visual effects in…

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Movie Review – Charade (1963)

Principal Cast : Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy, Dominique Minot, Ned Glass, Jacques Marin, Paul Bonifas, Thomas Chelimsky. Synopsis: Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Whom can she trust? ******** Sheer star wattage is the order of the day in Stanley Donen’s classic mystery-thriller Charade, once described as “the greatest Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made”; as true a statement about a film I don’t think I’ve read, for Charade…

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Movie Review – Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The (1923)

Principal Cast : Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Kate Lester, Winifrid Bryson, Nigel De Brulier, Brandon Hurst, Ernest Torrence, Tully Marshall, Harry von Meter, Raymond Hatton, Nick De Ruiz, Eulalie Jensen, Roy Laidlaw. Synopsis: In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen. ******** In April 2019, the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, arguably France’s most iconic landmark behind the Eiffel Tower, suffered significant damage after a massive…

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Movie Review – Cool Hand Luke

Principal Cast : Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet, Joy Harnon, Morgan Woodward, Luke Askew, Robert Donner, Clifton James, John McLiam, Andre Trotter, Charles Tyner, JD Cannon, Lou Antonio, Robert Drivas, Marc Cavell, Richard Davalos, Warren Finnerty, Dennis Hopper, Wayne Rogers, Harry Dean Stanton, Ralph Waite, Anthony Zerbe, Buck Kartalian, Joe Don Baker. Synopsis: A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform. ******** Rough, ragged and featuring an all-star cast, Stuart Rosenberg’s 1967 prison drama Cool Hand Luke…

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