Film Four & Film Four +1 03-06-08.

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Film Four +1 SID8330 VPID2332 APID2333 Eng


FILM4 03 Jun 2008

Leave Her to Heaven
(1945) Riveting film noir melodrama starring Gene Tierney as an irredeemably evil, possessive woman who resorts to murder.A young couple are slowly torn apart by jealousy. Noir thriller starring Gene Tierney and Cornel Wilde
With a name like Leave Her To Heaven, John Stahl's movie could only be a film noir. Adapted from the book by top thriller writer Ben Ames Williams, the picture is in fact a fine example of the form with top performances from genre stalwarts Gene Tierney (Night And The City) and Cornel Wilde (The Big Combo). Tierney and Wilde are Richard and Ellen, a young couple who marry after a chance meeting on a train. For a while all is wonderful, but then Richard's family fall victim to a string of tragedies. At first it seems as if fate alone is responsible for the misfortune. Richard, though, fears that the death of his brother and his unborn child might have less to do with destiny than Ellen's insane jealousy.

Cheaper by the Dozen
(1950) Clifton Webb is the head of a household of no less than 12 children, whom he tries to rule with a rod of iron.Webb is the head of a household of no less than 12 children, whom he tries to rule with a rod of iron. The ensuing comedy may be utterly predictable, but Webb's anti-charm and the film's frantic pace as the parents try to implement their own style of time-management on such unpredictable creatures is always amusing. The 1920s setting may add little authenticity, but at least it makes the distinctly old-fashioned premise easier to digest.

The Madness of King George
(1994) Deservedly acclaimed film adaptation of Alan Bennett's play about the 18th century royal who lost his marbles.
Deservedly acclaimed film adaptation of Alan Bennett's play about the 18th century royal who lost his marbles.
England in the 1780s. King George III (Hawthorne) has gone gaga. His family and his courtiers have different ideas about what to do for the best. Queen Charlotte (Mirren) remains loyal and supportive. Her lady in waiting (Donohoe) is embarrassed, particularly by the King's desire for her, which his illness has unleashed. The Prime Minister, Pitt (Wadham) tries to pretend that there is nothing wrong. Meanwhile, the conniving, disaffected Prince of Wales (Everett) joins forces with Fox (Carter), the leader of the opposition in an attempt to claim the throne. While the court doctors squabble over the most effective course of action, loyal equerry Greville (Graves) brings in unconventional doctor Willis (Holm), whose methods prove harsh but potentially effective.
This is terrific stuff from Bennett, who wrote the original hit play. There is much to admire: the relationship between king and queen is touching and believable; the medical practices are bizarre and the political intrigue is palpable. All these are conveyed with some priceless dialogue ("To be Prince of Wales is not a position - it is a predicament") and fine acting all round, from Hawthorne's leaps between a raving and a lucid king, to Everett's desperate and duplicitous prince, to Holm's frightening disciplinarian Willis. A great among costume dramas and among British films.

Marvin's Room
(1996) Jerry Saks film looks at the effect of terminal illness on family relationships.The effect of terminal illness on family relationships is a subject exploited by many Hollywood films, usually to powerful and prize-winning effect. This, adapted from a successful Broadway play, is no exception
The painful story of two sisters. Bessie (Keaton) has stayed at the family home in Florida to care for her bedridden father. Lee (Streep) has forged an independent but thankless life as a single mother in Ohio. They are brought back together when Bessie is diagnosed with leukaemia, and the bone marrow of a relative could be her only chance of survival. Revolving more around conversation than action, this is a sharp and sometimes surprisingly funny (though more often mercilessly grim) snapshot of a dysfunctional family coming together, with DiCaprio as a rebellious teen adding more problems to the mix.

Bring It On
(2000) Kirsten Dunst finds that being made captain of her high school's award-winning cheerleading team isn't all plain sailing.Resisting the current trend for teen comedies to indulge in gross-out and satire, Bring It On is a likeable comedy that celebrates, in irony-free fashion, the fine art of cheerleading
Bring It On Here's the strange thing: Bring It On isn't a satire. In fact, it's a film that has nothing but admiration for America's pom-pom girls (and boys). It doesn't treat them as objects of ridicule, or American Beauty-style figures of distant lust for middle-age men.Torrance (Dunst) has inherited the captaincy of her high school's national championship winning cheerleading squad. But just as she reaches the pinnacle of her social world, she discovers that all her team's routines have been nicked from a nearby black high school, whose captain (Union) is out for revenge. With the help of tomboy Missy (Dushka, best known for playing the evil Faith in 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'), Torrance tries to rebuild her team's fortunes honestly. There are jokes about just how odd cheerleading is, and a couple of accidents played for laughs, but mostly it treats the characters sympathetically. By the current standards of American teen comedy, Bring It On is remarkably restrained, even a bit prim. Dunst and Dushka work well together: Dunst is a subtle and intelligent actress who is expert at playing all-American enthusiasts, while Dushku has a great sneer.

Three Days of the Condor
(1975) Robert Redford is Joseph Turner, a lowly CIA employee who is the survivor of an unexplained massacre of his equally lowly colleagues.
Exciting but frequently incomprehensible conspiracy thriller starring Robert Redford as a low-level CIA worker caught up in a dangerous plpt and Faye Dunaway as the love interest
Nothing can top the impact of the opening scene when Joe Turner (Redford), who works in a minor capacity for the CIA in Washington (as a reader), returns to his office from lunch to find all his colleagues have been assassinated. From then on, the thriller becomes more and more complex (ie incomprehensible) and conventional, but with some redeeming Hitchcockian moments, as Turner flees mysterious forces who want to destroy him. The action is punctuated by a romance with Kathy Hale (Dunaway), with whom he holes up.
Although Sydney Pollack's film (written for the screen by Semple Jr, who was also wrote the similarly paranoid The Parallax View, and Rayfiel) presents an intelligence institution unable to understand the past and wreaking havoc in the present with its war-gaming projections of future crisis, it has diluted much of the politics of its source, James Grady's novel. Thankfully, the novel's title - 'Six Days Of The Condor' - was changed, so the running time was subsequently reduced. Von Sydow, Robertson and Houseman are effective as shady figures.

The Sniper
(1952) Gritty tale of sniper Arthur Franz, who has his heart set on using his gun for target practice on real people.Gritty tale of sniper Franz, who has his heart set on using his gun for target practice on real people, while Menjou is the policeman hot on his trail. A little dated now, especially the nervous documentary-style camerawork which soon outstays its welcome, The Sniper's thriller mechanics nevertheless work efficiently, while Franz's psycho is uncannily convincing. Not a patch on Bogdanovich's Targets, however, which tackled a similar story with more cinematic finesse.