Quai des Brumes (aka Port of Shadows, 1938)

Although I have not seen this Marcel Carné film for more than 20 years, its images still linger. Last December (2016), when the death was announced (aged 96) of an actor who in 1938 was an enigmatic new-comer (Michèle Morgan), it was these images that returned to me. In a poll made around 1980, Quai…

Obsession (aka The Hidden Room, 1949)

A few months ago we screened Odd Man Out (1947), which featured a scene with Robert Newton (1905 -1956) playing a drunken artist and, although this was not far from the character for which Newton would be remembered (i.e. Long John Silver, the quintessential pirate persona), it was not far either from the larger-than-life repuation…

From Here to Eternity (1953)

Directed by Austrian-born Fred Zinnemann (1907 – 1997: he originally wanted to be a violinist then, while studying Law, became interested in American film so emigrated) and based on the bestselling novel by James Jones, From Here to Eternity received 13 Oscar nominations and won 8 of them – including Best Picture, Best Director, Best…

Bond Street (1948)

We start 2017 on  the SECOND Sunday (8th) of January with a British portmanteau film comprising four interlinked stories These are based on an idea from Terence Rattigan and a collaboration with writers Rodney Ackland and Anatole de Grunwald. Its variety of genres (comedy, crime thriller, social drama) comprise stories behind the making of a…

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…