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  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent

    EL DORADO (1966)

    It’s pretty brave to remake a movie seven years after the original, and an original that was almost immediately acclaimed as a classic, but Howard Hawks achieved it in every suit of the pack for this splendid good-hearted western which reimagines his own Rio Bravo. John Wayne is Cole Thornton, a tough aging gunfighter for hire who teams up with a drunken sheriff, an old Indian runner and a greenhorn knife expert and card sharp to prevent a range war near the frontier town of El Dorado.

    Robert Mitchum plays the drunk sheriff – a role previously interpreted by Dean Martin – and while he might not be such a convincing drunk, he’s more than convincing as a sheriff and a bigger match for Big John in the star stakes. The final scene as the two of them hobble on crutches down the street is a brilliant pay off for the whole ‘buddy-buddy’ feel of the movie. Arthur Hunnicutt is a more than acceptable replacement for Walter Brennan as the aging assistant and if James Caan seems too modern to be riding horses and talking about Mississippi river boats, he at least holds his own in several scenes with his esteemed stars. I fancy Caan’s role is another which could have gone to Elvis Presley; indeed had Presley not been drafted into the US Army I expect he would have co-starred in Rio Bravo in the Ricky Nelson role. There is decent female support from Charlene Holt and Michelle Carey, although Holt is no Angie Dickinson. Ed Asner is the big villain and Christopher George impersonates Jack Palance as a rival gunslinger. Hawks famously said of the film that the plot didn’t matter as it was all about personality and that certainly feels the case as scene after scene has been written not to drive the narrative but to build the intimacies and rivalries between the good guys and the bad guys. Coupled with Hawks’ keen eye for comedy and a music score from Nelson Riddle that addles Batman, and you really have a movie for the ages and for all ages.

    El Dorado is exciting when it needs to be, with few surprises, but it really doesn’t seem to matter. The ending of the movie was changed [for the better] as Wayne’s character was supposed to die. The final gunbattle is excellently presented, as are the opening sequences where Wayne meets all his fellow protagonists in one scene after another. The movie serves as a lesson in how to construct a linear time frame, introduce character and plot and resolve the story tidily. The set-up is functional, but Hawks’ character driven direction creates the roses that bloom on the thorny stems of Leigh Brackett’s script.

    Phenomenally good.     

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent

    I'll have to watch some of ChrisNo1's Westerns given his reviews but somehow they don't usually appeal to me, maybe they'd be best at the cinema or on as large a TV as possible.

    I didn't watch all of Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw which was a double act of The Rock and Jason Stratham, the latter protecting his sister Vanessa Kirby, who had to adopt a more street accent than her usual given the role. Her presence lent it a Mission Impossible vibe and I suppose the whole thing was a bit Tango & Cash, if anyone recalls the Sly Stallone/Kurt Russell 80s action adventure which was almost meant to have dumb dialogue to appeal to its target audience. This too was let down by its poor banter between the leads who nonetheless committed to it. Idris Elba was in there too as a sort of RoboCop cyborg villain with indestructible tendencies. With Election Night on, I should have lined this one up so I could jump back and forth but I tuned in too late; I did notice however it was very much like No Time To Die in terms of plot, a weird scientist who'd invented a poison that would infect people was so on, I think this was out in 2019 so not so far off in terms of scripting given the Bond film release delays, this would have just got in before Covid while Bond of course didn't. Perhaps also the slightly puerile rivalry between its leads ie the two 007s. Has anyone else seen this and noticed it?

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent

    THE SISTERS BROTHERS (2018)

    Paul Dewitt’s western novel The Sisters Brothers was an astute reimagining of Homer’s Odyssey, its attentions being the onset of fate. Jacques Audiard’s cinematic retelling misses that point completely and prefers to reinforce the notion that priorities change as personal circumstances alter. So John C. Reilley’s compassionate Eli Sisters wants to quit the bounty hunter trade, disgusted by the assassin’s name he and his violent, drunken, womanising brother have garnered while working for the mysterious Commodore. Their latest mission entails chasing down a chemist, Hermann Warm [Riz Ahmed], who has fashioned a chemical solution that would revolutionise gold prospecting. The Commodore wants the formula. He has already dispatched Jack Gyllenhaal’s wary, wiry John Morris to track down Warm, but Morris isn’t an assassin, so the Commodore prefers the strong arm tactics of Charlie and Eli Sisters. Not trusting the brothers either, he also sends gunmen after them. Charlie [Joaquin Pheonix] is in constant conflict with his sibling, ultimately because he’s angling to replace the ailing Commodore at the tip of a Gold Rush company. Eli just wants to settle down and open a store with a school teacher he’s sweet on. Both men have suffered abused childhoods and have matured into deadly killers, yet at the moment their paths begin to separate circumstances thrust them both on an entirely different path, one that entails revenge and a little gold lust.

    The film misses the core heart of its original story, but remains impressive in its look and the four central performances. The gunbattles have an unspectacular nature to them; they take place with the protagonists very close to each other – as they would have to be in the days of the old west to ensure accuracy and maximum bullet impact. They are noisy, brutal, confusing and fast. If the magical gold prospecting scenes and Warm’s vaguely Marxist sentiments seem to be a tad romanticised, I can probably accept that. I did find it hard to identify with the characters, all dreamers of sorts, and all prepared to kill to maintain the dream, which makes them somewhat uninteresting. John C. Reilly, as always, provides the moral conscience of the film and is probably the best thing in it.

    The film bombed in America but was very popular in France and continental Europe where it was nominated for and often won a host of awards.  

  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,981MI6 Agent
    edited July 7

    One of my favourite movies of all time. A masterpiece of urban gothic. The coalescence of the interests of Scorsese and Schrader with the talent of Herrmann at a particular moment in time, the cinematography and all the performances make this film mesmerising and powerful. A brilliant review, @chrisno1 . I find the post-bloodbath scenes more ambiguous, though: they're possibly the hallucinatory projections of a dying Travis but they may also represent a survivor's synthesis of fantasy and reality: either way they offer the viewer some kind of emotional resolution after all the cathartic violence. It's interesting to watch this again now in the light of DeNiro's own stance on today's presidential candidates lol

    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 53 years.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent
    edited July 7

    Thanks for that @Shady Tree - magic in cinema doesn't happen often, but it happens there. I am glad someone picked up on my review. One of my better efforts, I feel. Now, back to the mundane:

    CARRY ON UP THE JUNGLE (1970)

    One of the last cinematic parodies made by the Carry On team of Peter Rogers / Talbot Rothwell / Gerald Thomas and possibly one of the most obviously enjoyable. There are no sophisticated comic homages here, this is a bawdy studio bound rib tickle at the expense of King Solomon’s Mines, Hammer Pictures ‘cave girl’ series and Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan movies and books. Sid James is the useless inebriate jungle tracker Bill Boosey and Bernard Bresslaw his native guide Upsidasi. Together they lead a sex-obsessed quartet of upper class Englishness, including Frankie Howerd’s esteemed ornithologist Prof Tinkle. On the way they encounter the cannibalistic Nosher tribe, Terry Scott’s man-boy jungle orphan, and the all-female Luvvy-Duvvys, ruled by Charles Hawtrey’s hilarious King Tonka. Valerie Leon [one of ours, of course] plays a sexy primitive huntress, Leda.

    As I said, subtlety is left somewhere on the spaces in between the script. An outrageous hoot from start to finish with the double-entendres falling thicker than feathers off the fabled Oozlum bird. The joke about the oysters is worth the admission fee alone [“I had a dozen of them last night and only five of them worked!”]. Production values are slim at best. Apparently Kenneth Williams, who was unable to take part, considered this one of the better entries in the series and he probably isn’t far wrong. Carry On movies are peculiarly British and perhaps do not translate well when exported, but for these Sunday morning London eyes, Up the Jungle is a terrific slice of irreverent smutty fun.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    THE MILLION EYES OF SUMURU (1967)

    @chrisno1 was kind enough to post a link to watch this movie but a quick search on my streaming site pulled up a beautiful remastered version from 2015.

    Sumuru leads a Spectre style operation committed to ridding the world of it’s male leaders and replacing them with their own female personnel.Though teen heartthrob Frankie Avalon headlines the cast it’s our own Shirley Eaton as evil Sumuru and George Nader as the low-rent spy who get most of the action. Wilfred Hyde-White adds class to the production with his instantly recognisable dulcet tones and there is a not entirely successful running gag about acronyms like CIA and HMG etc. Based on Sax Rohmer’s character this is similar to the Fu Manchu movies made by the same producer, Harry Alan Towers.

    It’s great fun and a typical example of the 60’s spy craze.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,889Chief of Staff

    THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (1932)

    The evil doctor of the title seeks the mask and sword of Genghis Khan to facilitate his desire for world conquest. Not as old fashioned as the date implies, I've seen movies 30 years younger which seem contemporary to this, apart from the lack of a score.

    It's what is known as a Pre-Code film, meaning the makers could get away with more sex and violence than just a year or two later, and this shows both in the torture scenes and Fu's daughter's obvious delight in them especially when she's watching a young man being whipped. She's well played by Myrna Loy before she settled into the Thin Man series. The good guys are a pretty bland bunch.

    But none of this matters because that's not what we're here for. As Fu Manchu we have the one and only Boris Karloff, giving his customary excellent performance. I believe this was his wordiest part to date (he didn't get to speak much as the Frankenstein monster or in "The Old Dark House") and his oft-imitated voice is given free rein.

    Times have changed - nowadays a white Brit wouldn't be made up to look Chinese, as would Christopher Lee be in the same part in the 60s - but this remains a fascinating time capsule: not quite horror, not quite adventure ... ah, got it- it's pulp!

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 27,007Chief of Staff

    I can only heartily agree ☺️

    These films are really just ‘of their time’, absolutely no chance of this type of film getting made today…but they are still funny 🤗

    I remember watching these films with my parents and I’ve watched them with my son…they seem to span the generations even with their high smut content 👀🤣

    YNWA 97
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    The Carry On movies were good old fashioned British humour - an extension of Donald McGill’s saucy seaside postcards of the era.


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • HarryCanyonHarryCanyon Posts: 277MI6 Agent

    MARLOWE (2022) with Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, Jessica Lange, and others. Directed by Neil Jordan.

    The premise: Who cares.

    This is a complete stiff of a neo-noir crime thriller. All of the actors are phoning it in (with the possible exception of Alan Cumming who is chewing up the scenery to an alarming degree), the script is blah, the direction is perfunctory, and nothing feels like it matters. The movie just lays there like a flat beer baking in the morning sun.

    Avoid.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent

    PAVAROTTI (2019)

    Luciano Pavarotti is probably most person’s idea of an opera singer: large in voice, personality and girth. Ron Howard’s documentary attempts to debunk the myth and is mostly successful. It tends to concentrate on the latter, less vocally spectacular, period of the singer’s life, but I think that is more to do with the lack of visual or audio footage of his formative years as an aspiring and then much praised operatic stage star. The odd clip, newsreel or photo has to suffice here. From around 1980, Howard and his research team have plenty of archive material, especially once Pavarotti and his management team become obsessed with ‘concerts’ as opposed to ‘theatre’, something they were roundly criticised for. Bono, from U2, nicely summed up the criticisms of a failing voice and haphazard scheduling: “The reason he is great is because you can hear the experience in every crack of his voice.” You could say the same about latter day Sinatra, Fitzgerald and Joan Sutherland – whom Pavarotti himself namechecks when describing his inspirations, that she taught him how to properly utilise his diaphragm to produce volume and not just noise – also maybe even, dare I say it, shattered old McCartney. [Well, he did write Yesterday]. Conductor Zubin Metha gives the most telling insight against critics, who always know nothing: “The public don’t know what you are doing – but they feel it!” and it was the public who loved Pavarotti even when his talents waned, in the same way they adored Ol’ Blue Eyes etc.

    Harvey Goldstein suggests Pavarotti “had the knack of making people feel like he was their friend” and that comes out most noticeably in the renditions of traditional songs. Prior to this documentary, the BBC rescreened Pavarotti in the Park, that rain drenched concert from 1993. I was there. Not paying. A group of us hung about Hyde Park loitering and then the heavens opened and we thought, “What the hell are we doing?” Standing under trees trying to catch whispers of the world’s greatest singer while avoiding raindrops that felt like waterfalls was not a great Saturday night. Watching it again after many years, it is interesting to see how much more emotionally attached Pavarotti is to the traditional songs, stuff like Bixio’s Mamma; there is a genuine connection between song, artist and audience which doesn’t necessarily translate as well for the operatic arias.

    Maybe it was his daughter’s brush with death which altered Pavarotti’s life view, reshaping attitudes both to his career and the kind of music he preferred to sing. “Enjoy life,” he said, “and have no regrets.” So too the childhood memories of World War II, the atrocities he witnessed in Modena as revenge was sought on the fascists. These life affirming moments appear to have fuelled his charitable ambitions for children, particularly as a child of poverty, and the poignancy of the pop song Miss Sarajevo, the horrors it reflected from Bosnia seem to have deeply affected him.

    Now, I am not an opera fan, nor a Pavarotti fan, but you can’t dispute genius when it smacks you in the chops and that’s what Pavarotti does at his very best. While in the UK there is still fond memories of Italia 90, the Three Tenors and Nessun Dorma, I always preferred Caruso, a tribute to the singer’s own hero, Enrico Caruso, a tenor who reshaped the perception of classical music in the early 20th Century. Listening to Dalla’s sublime simply melody, you have a real sense of how much Pavarotti cares for music, for people and for history. There are some warts in Pavarotti’s story; Ron Howard prefers not to dwell on them. Like the director’s Beatles’ documentary Eight Days A Week he focusses on what makes his subject important for the then, rather than the here and now, and he has triumphed on a small scale once more.

    Exceptional, in a small way.

    Overall, the BBC’s Pavarotti Night was quite a treat. An Arena doc, this and Pavarotti in the Park. A great night of TV, accompanied by tempranillo, whisky and coffee. Can’t ask for much better than that.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    ZULU (1964)

    Based on the heroic Rorke’s Drift battle, where a small battalion of Royal Engineers withstood an onslaught from 4000 Zulu warriors, this is a distinguished production enhanced by quality photography and an intelligent screenplay. Authenticity is helped by filming in Natal locations.

    After opening scenes of a mass wedding missionary Jack Hawkins vainly pleads with the garrison leader Stanley Baker to evacuate as he has learned of a massacre by the Zulu’s and that they are heading their way. Baker refuses and prepares to defend the garrison by using sand bags and upturned wagons as fortifications. Baker is in conflict with a young Michael Caine sporting an upper class accent but private squabbles are set aside in preparation of the defence with a minimum of resources. Resisting wave after wave of Zulu attackers the defenders hold their position and the Zulu’s, recognising a worthy opponent withdraw.

    Cy Endfield’s forceful direction builds up the suspense and the long battle scenes are never repetitive. When the troop sing “Men Of Harlech” in response to the tribal chanting of the Zulu’s it is an emotional scene. Excellent performances all round, James Booth, Nigel Green and Glynn Edwards, especially. Richard Burton narrates.

    Classy fare.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • HarryCanyonHarryCanyon Posts: 277MI6 Agent

    ZULU is amazing. Still need to see ZULU DAWN one of these days.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,889Chief of Staff

    Signs of a John Barry nutcase- I have three different versions of the ZULU soundtrack, was seriously contemplating buying a fourth recently (didn't), and have never seen the film.

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 27,007Chief of Staff

    Yea, I think that behaviour is certifiable 👀🤣

    I have seen ZULU, and it is excellent 🍸

    YNWA 97
  • HarryCanyonHarryCanyon Posts: 277MI6 Agent

    As it so happens, my wife had never seen ZULU. I remedied that last night (it's streaming on Prime).

    She loved it.

  • PPK 7.65mmPPK 7.65mm Saratoga Springs NY USAPosts: 1,239MI6 Agent

    Saw Alien (1979) on the big screen about two months ago, really enjoyed it since I had only seen it once from start to finish on tv. Been a science fiction fan my whole life and seeing this on the big screen felt like I was seeing it for the first time.

  • MarkerMarker Posts: 99MI6 Agent

    ZULU is one of my favourite films. My wife hated it and would always groan whenever she saw me reaching for the DVD.


    My Last film seem was last night. 'The Money Movers' is an untaxing but entertaining and very violent Australian heist movie. It's typical of the Australian films of its era (late 1970s) and is definitely not for anyone who requires a 'trigger warning' before watching. If you follow Australian cinema of that period you'll see plenty of familiar faces, including Brian Brown (who I like but always appears to play a variation of the same character).

    So, if you're looking for some old-fashioned entertainment, and aren't worried about lack of political correctness, then I recommend it.

    Author of 'An Ungentlemanly Act' and 'Execution of Duty'. The WW2 espionage series starring Harry Flynn.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,363MI6 Agent

    Re some of these films, I recommend Quentin Tarantino's book Cinema Speculation which reviews the making of Taxi Driver and - as befits the title - speculates on how it might have turned out had Brian DePalma, originally attached to the project, had gone ahead with it.

    Brian DePalma briefly pops up in another enjoyably written book, Michael Caine's late 1980s memoirs What's It All About? because he directed Caine's Dressed To Kill. Caine explains his times on many films we've mentioned, such as Zulu, The Ipcress File, Play Dirty - not much on The Italian Job if I recall - though of course, as with Kate Bush's compilation album The Whole Story, it omits the later hits - his Nolan movies, for third act of his career hadn't got going yet. He goes on a bit, enjoyably, because it's one of those memoirs where you sit down with it, like Bob Monkhouse's Crying With Laughter.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent

    THE DEVIL SHIP PIRATES (1964)

    A ‘U’ certificate seems unusually forgiving for a film packed full of floggings, murder, drownings, hints of rape and scenes of general drunkenness. I am not entirely sure Don Sharp’s film was aimed at the child market. Still, there’s no accounting for censorial taste. The Devil Ship Pirates is a swashbuckler of some interest featuring many of the usual Hammer Pictures’ roster of stars and nearly stars. Christopher Lee is the pirate reluctantly forced to join the Spanish Armada. When the invasion flounders, Lee absconds with his damaged ship, the Diablo, and puts into a safe haven in Dorset. There he and his crew attempt repairs while deceiving the isolated local community into believing England has been successful overrun. It’s all a bit silly, but the cast give it their all and the sword fights at least are decently done. The movie has all the hallmarks of Hammer, but also seems a more extravagant production, with costumes and sets above average for the period. Suzan Farmer, who graced many episodes of The Saint, and Natasha Payne play the damsels. Good fun, with certainly enough adult content to keep older minds occupied even if the ‘U’ seems undernourished for this kind of fayre.    

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (1964)

    The Baron has a lot on his plate in this sequel to Revenge of Frankenstein, a blackmailing hypnotist, a deaf and blind beggar girl, the Burgomaster and the police all conspire to throw a spanner in the works as he tries to revive his monster from a block of ice. Peter Cushing plays it seriously straight which makes it all delicious fun, although some of his fellow thespians tend to ham it up to the film’s detriment. Freddie Francis directs deftly and the Baron’s apparatus is a joy to see. The finale sees the castle in flames but we know Frankenstein will be back for more adventures. Wrestler Kiwi Kingston lumbers ineffectually as the Monster, the producers really needed to hire a professional actor to portray the poor creature.

    It’s the least of the Hammer series but still worth a look.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,964MI6 Agent

    Horizon: An American saga - part 1


    Who ends a movie with a trailer for an other movie? Since when was third place in the US box office a sign of being a flop?

    These are only two of my questions after watching Kevin Costner's western epic. I'm a fan of western and looked forward to seeing a big budget western on the big screen. The action and acting was really good, and the locations are great. Especially two very different raids were standouts. So what are the problems? My friend who saw the movie with me said something movie critics have said too - a TV mini-series would've been a bytter medium for this planned four-part series of movies. There were three distinct stories in the movie, and non of them really interconnected with each other before the credits rolled. What's worse - non of them reached a natural ending or pause by the time the movie ended. Movie series such as Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games managed to find natural places for plot threads to pause at the end of each film, and as a result Horizon part 1 doesn't feel like a movie. The missplaced trailer for Part 2 is a symptom of this.

    I still liked many of the elements of the movie, but Horizon ends up being less than the sum of its parts. I still want to see the planned four movies in the cinema, but I doubt it will happen. I even fear this may be the end of the Western cinema epic.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,597MI6 Agent

    FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY (1964)

    I like Gerry and the Pacemakers and this is one movie that I haven’t seen before. I presume this wasn’t far behind The Beatle’s first movie and Jeremy Summers has picked up on that success and directed with some considerable zest and vitality. Nice scenes of Liverpool and some “Keystone Cop” sequences add to the flavour of the era. These sort of movies rely on the strength of the musical numbers of which there are plenty of good ones here. The script is a little loose as the band take part in a music contest. There’s some good support from actors such as T. P. McKenna, Derick Guyler, Eric Barker and our own Margaret Nolan. Cilla Black and group The Fourmost appear as themselves along with the then popular disc jockey Jimmy Savile (who would later be exposed as not so nice after his death).

    The whole thing is pretty noisy and Gerry Marsden doesn’t really show much promise as an actor, though he sings brilliantly. The comic scenes are naive but it’s all good fun and if you were a kid in the 60’s then it’s a great piece of nostalgia.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 27,007Chief of Staff

    I haven’t seen this…I should remedy that…😁

    YNWA 97
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,889Chief of Staff

    @Number24 - "Back To The Future Part 2" ends with a trailer for Part 3.



    Unthinkable (2010)

    I watched this knowing nothing about it. At first it appears to be a fairly standard story - FBI agent Carrie-Anne Moss is trying to track down where terrorist Michael Sheen has hidden 3 atom bombs. I expected a lot of agents running around, talking desperately by phone as they go from building to building, a bit like the TV series 24.

    But that's not how it develops at all. Initially we don't know how Samuel L. Jackson's character fits in and then it becomes clear. Horribly clear. And that's all I'm going to say except it's not for those of a nervous disposition and gets more intense as it proceeds.

    Acting wise, Sheen deserved an Oscar and everyone else is fine, too.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,393MI6 Agent
    edited July 12

    THE LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (1971)

    Generally considered a cinematic disaster, the Kirk Douglas / Alexander Salkind produced The Light at the Edge of the World is due for some worthy reassessment.

    This is a peculiar puzzle of a movie, something of a mess, something of a dream, something brutal. Whatever it is, I couldn’t take my fascinated eyes off it. Despite the best intentions of Kirk Douglas, Yul Brynner and Samantha Eggar, the film is poorly directed and hacked about so badly it makes little narrative sense, chiefly because for much of the runtime there is no dialogue, only scary laughter, wistful longing gazes or gasps of anguish. For twenty minutes mid-movie the only line spoken is: “Release him.” Everyone tries, I suppose, but there seems to be a lack of elegance in the script, based on a Jules Verne novel, and this transposes itself onto Kevin Billington’s direction. The British documentary maker was never fostered with such high expectations again.

    Kirk Douglas plays the keeper of a brand new lighthouse constructed on an island off Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America. He’s menaced by Yul Brynner’s band of ruthless scavenger pirates who have been using the island to lure ships and store booty. Samantha Eggar’s shipwrecked damsel gets caught up in the ensuing chaos. Motivations are incomprehensible. The constantly jeering, heckling and cheering pirates are a nasty lot. Like all the Bond films, you ask yourself why Brynner’s pirate captain didn’t kill Douglas when they first met as he did the other two lighthousemen. Very odd. Screeching music. The dreamlike visage of the thing is all that kept me watching.

    Okay, I was joking, The Light at the Edge of the World really doesn’t need reassessment. It isn’t as terrible as some critics might tell you, but it isn’t very good either. Hard to believe they spent $11million on this. 

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