In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the birth of one of Ealing's greatest directors, Alexander Mackendrick, StudioCanal are releasing the restored version of the DVD and the first ever Blu-Ray of The Man In The White Suit starring Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker. Ealing Studios' output from the 1940s and 1950s helped define what was arguably the golden age for British cinema. It fostered great directors such as Alexander Mackendrick and Robert Hamer, while giving stars such as Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers the chance to shine. Sidney Stratton (Alec Guinness), a humble inventor, develops a fabric which never gets dirty or wears out. This would seem to be a boon for mankind, but the established garment manufacturers don't see it that way; they try to suppress it. Nevertheless, Sidney is determined to put his invention on the market, forcing the clothing factory bigwigs to resort to more desperate measures. Special Features: Exclusive 'Revisiting The Man In The White Suit' Featurette Stills Gallery Restoration Comparison Trailer
Regina Lambert (Audrey Hepburn) returns to Paris from a holiday in Switzerland to find that her husband Charles has been murdered and her house ransacked. She is later told by a CIA agent that her husband was involved in robbing $250 000 of gold from the U.S. government during World War II and the government wants it back. Later that day she is visited by Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) whom she had met briefly whilst on holiday. When her husband's ex-partners in crime who were double-crossed by Charles start harassing her about the missing money Peter offers to help find it. Thus begins an elaborate charade in which nothing is what it seems to be...
Still the most expensive movie ever made, Cleopatra nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox. It also scandalised the world with the very public affair of its two major stars, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. But Joseph L Mankiewicz's 1963 epic deserves to be remembered for more than its off-screen troubles. An extravagantly elaborate production, the sets and costumes alone are awe-inspiring; Mankiewicz's own literate screenplay draws heavily on the classics and Shakespeare; while the supporting cast, led by Rex Harrison as Caesar and Roddy McDowall as his nephew (and future emperor) Octavian, are all first-rate thespians and generally put in more convincing performances than either of the two leads. Mankiewicz's original intention was to make two three-hour films: the first being Caesar and Cleopatra, the second Antony and Cleopatra. But before the films completion, and following a boardroom coup worthy of Ancient Rome itself, legendary mogul Darryl F Zanuck took back control of Fox and insisted that Cleopatra be cut to a more economical length. A heartbroken Mankiewicz was forced to trim his six-hour vision down to four. This was the "roadshow" version shown at the films premiere and now restored here. Then following adverse criticism and pressure from cinema chains Zanuck demanded more cuts, and the final released version ran a mere three hours--half the original length. Capitalising on the feverish publicity surrounding Burton and Taylor, the shortened version played up both their on- and off-screen romance. This longer four-hour roadshow version allows for a broader view of the film, adding some depth to the politics and manipulation of the characters. But the directors original six-hour edit has been lost. Perhaps one day it will be rediscovered in the vaults and Mankiewiczs much-maligned movie will finally be seen the way it was meant to be. Until then, Cleopatra remains an epic curiosity rather than the complete spectacle it should be.
Taxi Driver is the definitive cinematic portrait of loneliness and alienation manifested as violence. It is as if director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader had tapped into precisely the same source of psychological inspiration ("I just knew I had to make this film", Scorsese would later say), combined with a perfectly timed post-Watergate expression of personal, political and societal anxiety. Robert De Niro, as the tortured, ex-Marine cab driver Travis Bickle, made movie history with his chilling performance as one of the most memorably intense and vividly realised characters ever committed to film. Bickle is a self-appointed vigilante who views his urban beat as an intolerable cesspool of blighted humanity. He plays guardian angel for a young prostitute (Jodie Foster), but not without violently devastating consequences. This masterpiece, which is not for all tastes, is sure to horrify some viewers, but few could deny the film's lasting power and importance. --Jeff Shannon
Francis Ford Coppola took some of the deep background from the life of Mafia chief Vito Corleone--the patriarch of Mario Puzo's bestselling novel The Godfather--and built around it a stunning sequel to his Oscar-winning, 1972 hit film. Robert De Niro plays Vito as a young Sicilian immigrant in turn-of-the-century New York City's Little Italy. Coppola weaves in and out of the story of Vito's transformation into a powerful crime figure, contrasting that evolution against efforts by son Michael Corleone to spread the family's business into pre-Castro Cuba. As memorable as the first film is, The Godfather II is an amazingly intricate, symmetrical tragedy that touches upon several chapters of 20th-century history and makes a strong case that our destinies are written long before we're born. This was De Niro's first introduction to a lot of filmgoers, and he makes an enormous impression. But even with him and a number of truly brilliant actors (including maestro Lee Strasberg), this is ultimately Pacino's film and a masterful performance. --Tom Keogh
Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again..." From the first classic line of this unforgettable film, Rebecca casts its spell. David O. Selznick brought Alfred Hitchcock to the United States in order to give this adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel the proper atmosphere. The resulting film is a stunning marriage of their sensibilities. It paid off critically and financially as well. Like Gone with the Wind, which Selznick released a year earlier, Rebecca won the Academy Award for Best Picture.Laurence Olivier stars as Maxim de Winter, who, reeling from the recent and unexpected death of his glamorous wife Rebecca, impulsively marries a young and adoring governess (Joan Fontaine). The new Mrs de Winter tries to fit into her role as mistress of the great house Manderley, but every step she takes is haunted by Rebecca's spirit. The ghost's brooding presence is personified by the insanely meticulous Mrs Danvers, brilliantly portrayed by Judith Anderson. As Fontaine's character begins to uncover the dark secrets of the de Winter clan, the house seems to take on a life of its own.Passionate love and romance blend seamlessly with typically Hitchcockian emphases on guilt, sexuality and Gothic horror. The production values are stunning and the cast is excellent, down to the least of the supporting players. While Rebecca has enough surprises to captivate even the most jaded of moviegoers, it is also one of those rare films that improves with each viewing. --Raphael Shargel
Alfred Hitchcock takes on Sigmund Freud in this thriller in which psychologist Ingrid Bergman tries to solve a murder by unlocking the clues hidden in the mind of amnesiac suspect Gregory Peck. Among the highlights is a bizarre dream sequence seemingly designed by Salvador Dali--complete with huge eyeballs and pointy scissors. Although the film is in black and white, the original release contained one subliminal blood-red frame, appearing when a gun pointed directly at the camera goes off. Spellbound is one of Hitchcock's strangest and most atmospheric films, providing the director with plenty of opportunities to explore what he called "pure cinema"--i.e., the power of pure visual associations. Miklós Rózsa's haunting score (which features the creepy electronic instrument, the theremin) won an Oscar, and the movie was nominated for best picture, director, supporting actor (Michael Chekhov), cinematography and special visual effects. --Jim Emerson
In one of his best-loved films Elvis stars as Vince Everett a small-time convict introduced to the music business by his cellmate a former country music singer who also teaches Vince the guitar. On his release Vince tastes success as a performer but becomes disillusioned by the record industry until he is advised to set up his own label. He is a sensation but now that he is a superstar will he forget the people who helped to get him there?
Wizard of Oz: We click our heels in anticipation. There's no place like home and no movie like this one. From generation to generation The Wizard Of Oz brings us together - kids grown-ups families friends. The dazzling land of Oz a dream-come--true world of enchanted forests dancing scarecrows and singing lions wraps us in its magic with one great song-filled adventure after another. Based on L. Frank Baum's treasured book series The Wizard Of Oz was judged the best family film of all time by American Film Institute. And this never-before-seen restoration looks and sounds better than ever. We invite you to embark for the Emerald City on the most famous road in movie history. Dorothy (Judy Garland) Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) Tin Woodman (Jack Haley) and Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) await you on the Yellow Brick Road and ""Over the Rainbow."" Singin' in the Rain: Starring Gene Kelly Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds and featuring unforgettable song and dance classics like 'Singin' in the Rain' 'Make 'Em Laugh' and 'All I Do Is Dream of You' it has ""just about everything you could ask for in a movie musical"" Sunday Review. Set in Hollywood in the roaring 20s co-starring Jean Hagen and the incomparable Cyd Charisse and featuring a spectacular 12-minute 'Broadway Ballet' finale it is indisputably ""the most enjoyable of all American movie musicals"" Pauline Kael. The programme now contains a previously-deleted sequence featuring Debbie Reynolds in the never-seen-before footage of 'You Are My Lucky Star'. High Society: Beautiful aloof Newport heiress Tracy Lord (Kelly) is about to marry bland businessman George Kittredge (John Lund) but matters become complicated when her ex-husband C K Dexter-Haven (Crosby) moves to her neighbourhood determined to win back her hand. Things go from bad to worse for Tracy when journalist Mike Connor (Sinatra) arrives to cover the wedding for Spy Magazine. When Tracy is forced to choose between her suitors will she realise that ""safe"" doesn't always mean the best bet?
Pillow Talk: Day is an uptight interior decorator forced to share a party line with an amorous playboy who ties up the line with his exploits while she is trying to conduct business. When the two accidentally meet he's taken with her beauty and pretending to be a wealthy Texan begins to court her mercilessly. Though flattered by this stranger's attention it's not long before she discovers his true identity. Now it's her turn to have a little fun...at his expense! Lover Come back: Jerry Webster (Hudson) and Carol Templeton (Day) are rival Madison Avenue advertising executives who each dislike each other's methods. After he steals a client out from under her cute little nose revenge prompts her to infiltrate his secret VIP campaign in order to persuade the mystery product's scientist to switch to her firm. Trouble is the product is phony and the scientist is Jerry who uses all his intelligence and charm to steal her heart! It Happened To Jane: Jane Osgood (Day) is a widowed mother who runs a struggling lobster business in coastal Maine while Harry Malone (Kovacs) is a wealthy businessman who has bought out the local railroad. He harbors big plans for it aiming to transform it into a luxury passenger train replacing the freight train the residents of the area depend upon. When a large lobster shipment of Jane's is rerouted and returned to her dead she decides to fight back and sues Malone with the help of her longtime friend and lawyer George Denham. This instigates a battle of increasingly epic proportions as Malone uses every trick in the book--as well as his massive bank account--to quell the resolve of the spitfire businesswoman; Jane for her part has public sympathy on her side. A reporter for the national news doing a story on Jane (Steve Forrest) begins to fall in love with her and she is forced to decide between the romantic journalist and her childhood friend George. The magical pairing of Lemmon and Day is augmented by the beautiful location photography in Maine and a stellar supporting cast including Mary Wickes Russ Brown and a rare film appearance from Kovacs.
Hell in the Pacific is one of the most original and thoughtful war films of the 1960s. Fresh from Point Blank (1967) Lee Marvin reunited with director John Boorman for this elemental story of a US pilot and a Japanese naval officer washed ashore on an otherwise uninhabited Pacific island. Lee Marvin speaks English; Toshiro Mifune (The Seven Samurai) speaks Japanese; and the audience shares their frustrations as they attempt to communicate, as Boorman does not use subtitles. Once the men become aware of each other's presence they move from wary avoidance through conflict to an uneasy truce as they realise they will have to cooperate to survive. The naturalistic acting is key to the film's success, greatly aided by the fact that both stars served their respective countries in the Pacific theatre during the Second World War. Conrad Hall's cinematography is superb, using natural light to evoke the beauty of the island, and the wide Panavision frame to show the men's isolation and their reactions to each another. Boorman developed further his fascination with man against nature in Deliverance (1974) and The Emerald Forest (1985), and there wouldn't be another poetic war film until Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line (1999). On the DVD: The stereo sound is fine, atmospherically reproducing both the natural sounds of the island and Lalo Schfrin's imaginative score. The picture quality likewise is very good, with the image well focused with strong colours and plenty of detail. Unfortunately the 2.35:1 image has been panned and scanned to 1.33:1 TV ratio, destroying the scale and beauty of the compositions and sometimes meaning the viewer sees only one side of the interactions between the two men. Extras are perfunctory, with production notes, biographies of the stars and a "slide show". Considering even BBC2 occasionally shows the film in near full Pavavision and with Boorman's preferred, TS Elliot inspired ending, this DVD is a lost opportunity to bring a modern classic into the digital age. --Gary S Dalkin
A group of music students decide to share a flat together which results in a series of amusing adventures.
The very epitome of a cult SF classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still is more often referenced than seen, which is a pity since it remains even now one of the most thought-provoking examples of the genre. The title is a misnomer, a mere tease to entice 1950s audiences into the cinema in the expectation of seeing another sensationalist B-movie about murderous aliens (i.e. Communists). In fact, Robert Wise's film of Edmund North's screenplay is a thoughtful Cold War allegory about a Christ-like visitor (Michael Rennie) who comes to Earth preaching a message of salvation for mankind, only to be spurned, killed then finally resurrected (significantly, Rennie's character Klaatu adopts the pseudonym "Mr Carpenter" while on the run from the authorities). Aside from its philosophical message, the film also boasts memorable imagery--notably the giant robot Gort--a much-quoted catchphrase in "Klaatu barada nikto", and one of composer Bernard Herrmann's most admired scores, featuring the theremin and other electronic instruments that must have sounded very otherworldly back in 1951. The result is a bona fide landmark in cinema SF with a central message about "weapons of mass destruction" that's still uncannily relevant today. On the DVD: The Day the Earth Stood Still has been splendidly restored for its DVD incarnation from the original 35 mm print, and the results are demonstrated in the "Restoration Comparison" feature. Also included is a fascinating 1951 newsreel showing Klaatu receiving a certificate of merit amid stories of Communist threats, the Korean war and beauty pageants ("Pomp and pulchritude on parade in Atlantic City"). Best of all is an absorbing commentary track with director Robert Wise in conversation with Nicholas Meyer (both men have Star Trek movies on their CV). --Mark Walker
The Charge of the Light Brigade was an infamous battle in the Crimean War considered one of the greatest military blunders in history and immortalized in the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The ill-conceived expedition to the Crimea was marked by an incredible lack of strategy and planning inadequate weapons camouflage food health care and communications. In the final battle all the soldiers had to protect them was their courage and blind faith. As Tennyson put it: Ours is not to question why/Ours is but to do and die. The film is a classic dissection of the pointlessness of war and the horrors inflicted on the common man who goes to fight in the name of his country. Directed by Tony Richardson and starring Trevor Howard Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement Howards End) and John Gielgud (Murder on the Orient Express Arthur The Charge of the Light Brigade was nominated for 6 BAFTAs.
Behind the great stone walls of an English castle the world's most powerful empire is in crisis. Three sons struggle to win their father's favor - as well as his crown. King Henry II (Peter O'Toole) and his queen Eleanor (Hepburn) engage in a battle of royal wits that pits elder son Richard (Anthony Hopkins) against his brothers while the cunning King Philip of France (Timothy Dalton) takes advantage of the internal fracturing in his bid to destroy their kingdom.
Revered as one of the best horror films produced by Hammer Studios The Devil Rides Out is a chilling battle between good and evil. Christopher Lee perhaps best known for his role as Dracula gets to show his good side as the heroic and cavalier Duc de Richleau who maintains the air of a gentleman throughout his tireless battle with a Satanic coven led by the wonderfully villainous Mocata (Charles Gray).
After a chimpanzee gets loose in a pharmaceutical lab and randomly concocts a youth-restoring drug, staid scientist Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant) unknowingly samples the potion and acquires the energy and tempement of a college student!
Nominated for two Academy Awards and considered one of [Woody] Allen's most enduring accomplishments (Box office) Manhattan is a wry touching and finely rendered portrait of modern relationships set against the backdrop of urban alienation. Sumptuously photographed in black and white (Allen's first film in that format) and accompanied by a magnificent Gershwin score Allen's aesthetic triumph is a prismatic portrait of a time and a place that may be studied decades hence (Time). Forty-two-year-old Manhattan native Isaac Davis (Allen) has a job he hates a seventeen year- old girlfriend Tracy (Mariel Hemingway) he doesn't love and a lesbian ex-wife Jill (Meryl Streep) who's writing a tell-all book about their marriage... and whom he'd like to strangle. But when he meets his best friend's sexy intellectual mistress Mary (Diane Keaton) Isaac falls head over heels in lust! Leaving Tracy bedding Mary and quitting his job are just the beginnings of Isaac's quest for romance and fulfilment in a city where sex is as intimate as a handshake - and the gateway to true love... is a revolving door.
A Highland fling on a tight little island! The Scottish islanders of Todday bypass war time rationing and delight in smuggling cases of their favourite tipple from a wrecked ship... Basil Radford stars as the teetotal English official who is totally unable to comprehend the significance of whisky to the islanders. Marvellously detailed and well played it firmly established the richest Ealing vein with the common theme of a small group triumphing over a more powerful opponent.
Neil Simon's classic stage comedy made an effortless transition to the big screen in 1967, when The Odd Couple provided Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau with a tailor-made mid-career affirmation of their status as two of cinema's greatest funny men. Lemmon is Felix, manically obsessed with cleanliness and housekeeping, struggling to understand why his wife wants a divorce. Matthau is Oscar, his slovenly poker-playing buddy who invites him to take the spare room and lives to regret it as they rapidly and comically come to grief like an old, totally incompatible, married couple, revealing exactly why their respective wives have had enough. "I don't think two single men living alone in a big eight-room apartment should have a cleaner house than my mother", Matthau wails, trying to make sense of the disintegrating situation. The pair devour Simon's typically sharp and witty script in a frenzy of classic one-liners that allow Lemmon's trademark twitchy neurosis and Matthau's baleful cussedness to flourish. Great as they are, though, they are nearly eclipsed in the funniest scene of the film by Monica Evans and Carole Shelly as a couple of British expatriate sisters from the apartment upstairs. Carry On innuendo briefly meets Manhattan repartee and the screen crackles with brilliance. It's a comic masterclass. On the DVD: The Odd Couple on disc has no extras apart from the original cinema trailer, but the film, presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, is pristine, Neal Hefti's score providing that instantly identifiable flavour of sophisticated 1960s American comedy. --Piers Ford
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