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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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  • Let's Have a Murder

    Let's Have a Murder

    ★★

    Flagging as a musical simply as it had at least one specialty number on its original release; however the film as it exists now is missing several bits, including the song and the end credits.

    Under its alternative title of Stick 'em Up, this film is notable for being a rare survival showing the comedy team of Jimmy Jewel and Ben Warriss at their peak of popularity. This is funny enough in places, but the Holmes/Watson parody of the pair as they try to solve a mystery is really tiresome to watch.

  • Songs For a New World

    Songs For a New World

    ★★★★

    I L<3ve Musicals!

    As reviewed on my blog:

    Jason Robert Brown’s earliest show, dating from 1995, is a song cycle loosely connected by the theme of coming to a decision.

    Performed on stage last year at the London Palladium, the same cast of four (joined in one number by rising star Shem Omari James), now perform the musical from their own homes, providing an intimate experience which places the song delivery at centre stage.

    This is my first time viewing…

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  • 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…

  • 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…