Holiday Affair

It’s that time of year when our fiscal and familial thoughts start to focus on a few hours in the last week of December and we have to steel ourselves against the commercial promotions and the perpetration of schmaltzy sentiment introduced by Dickens and given a shot in the arm by Hollywood.  This is why…

All About Eve (1950)

With 14 Oscar nominations (a feat unmatched until Titanic in 1997), this Bette Davis classic won six: Best Picture, Best Support (Sanders), Costume (Edith Head), Best Director & Best Adapted Screenplay (both Joseph Mankiewicz) and best Sound Mixing. In addition it won three New York Film Critics Circle awards (Best Film, Best Director and Best…

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

This is a movie about the movie business and the not so nice people who make movies. But as the main character says, “Don’t worry. Some of the best movies are made by people working together who hate each other’s guts.”             Like Citizen Kane (1941), this film tells its…

Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

Many filmmakers returning from WWII were convinced it was time for Hollywood to grow up and start telling adult stories about the real world at last. Some award-winning pictures followed: The Lost Weekend (1945) dealt with alcoholism and won a Best Picture Oscar; in 1946 that award went to The Best Years of Our Lives,…

Last Holiday (1950)

The June screening for Classic Film Club at SouthBank is an Ealing comedy that offered Alec Guinness his first leading role in a film (rather than a support as he had played thus far). As was the practice at Ealing, its comedy doesn’t come with pratfalls or silly antics but with dark, ironicor even philosophical…

At Four in the Morning (1963)

Our next screening is of a film  kindly provided by the director’s son, Jonathan Simmons, a frequent visitor to Classic Film Club. The first film scored by John Barry (who also composed the Bond theme, of course), At Four in the Morning (1963) was given an ‘X’ rating by the BBFC for it’s adult content…