Tag Archives: John Gielgud

Albert Finney, 1936–2019

A great actor and movie star, Albert Finney, is dead at the age of 82. In the clip above, an interview from 1984, he talks about finding the right way to play then-Pope John Paul II in a TV movie, adopting advice from John Gielgud who told him to borrow a few physical details or … Continue reading Albert Finney, 1936–2019

Around the World in Eighty Days

SEE EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WORTH SEEING! DO EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD WORTH DOING! In the late 1800s, London aristocrat Phileas Fogg (David Niven) makes a wager with fellow members at the Reform Club that he can travel around the world in as little as 80 days. One of the first epics to fill almost … Continue reading Around the World in Eighty Days

War and Remembrance: The Last of the Elephants

The epic follow-up to the miniseries The Winds of War (1983) was made on a daunting scale, and unsurprisingly ended up killing the 1980s trend of huge, costly miniseries because of disappointing ratings. Watching War and Remembrance now is an almost curious experience; made on a budget exceeding $100 million, you can virtually see where … Continue reading War and Remembrance: The Last of the Elephants

Becket: The Bishop Who Found God

A TASTE FOR WINE AND WOMEN MADE THEM FRIENDS. A SUDDEN CLASH MADE THEM MAN AND MARTYR… WHICH LED TO MURDER! When I told a friend recently that I had just seen Becket and that Richard Burton plays the Archbishop of Canterbury, he quickly lost interest. Witnessing a showdown between the King and the Primate of England … Continue reading Becket: The Bishop Who Found God

Gandhi: The Smiling Revolution

HIS TRIUMPH CHANGED THE WORLD FOREVER. Richard Attenborough knows his epics and I bet he’s watched Lawrence of Arabia (1962) more than once. In similar fashion, this film opens with Mahatma Gandhi’s untimely death in 1948 and then goes on to tell his story from the beginning – not his birth but the moment when his journey … Continue reading Gandhi: The Smiling Revolution

Brideshead Revisited: Days of Wine and Roses

Tom Wolfe once wrote that the only reason Brideshead Revisited became a hit in America was because of its portrayal of the wealthy. Sort of a British Dallas, then? Not quite. This miniseries has been so intensely loved it is often dubbed the greatest piece of television ever. I wouldn’t go that far, but it is a sprawling … Continue reading Brideshead Revisited: Days of Wine and Roses

Chariots of Fire: For God and Honor

THIS IS THE STORY OF TWO MEN WHO RUN… NOT TO RUN… BUT TO PROVE SOMETHING TO THE WORLD. THEY WILL SACRIFICE ANYTHING TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS… EXCEPT THEIR HONOR. I have taken up running recently and discovered that it is easy to get hooked. It’s tough in the beginning but some days is like … Continue reading Chariots of Fire: For God and Honor

Elizabeth: The Golden Cage

DECLARED ILLEGITIMATE AGED 3. TRIED FOR TREASON AGED 21. CROWNED QUEEN AGED 25. The opening credits are thunderous and intimidating, suggesting that this is perhaps a horror movie. They are followed by a grisly sequence where people are burned at the stake. However, what appears is a film that is quite obviously and cleverly inspired … Continue reading Elizabeth: The Golden Cage


YOU WILL BELIEVE. In the tenth century, a dragon-slaying knight (Dennis Quaid) unites with Draco, the only living dragon left, to fight an evil king (David Thewlis). Director Rob Cohen followed up Daylight (1996) with another effects-laden movie. Some critics thought it was too violent for children and too childish for adults, and there’s something … Continue reading Dragonheart

Arthur 2: On the Rocks

NO MONEY. STILL FUNNY. Arthur (Dudley Moore) and his wife (Liza Minnelli) try to adopt a child, but lose their entire fortune and have to start over from scratch. The actors are about as likeable as they were in the original, but this sequel is completely unnecessary, doesn’t have many laughs at all, and Arthur’s alcoholism … Continue reading Arthur 2: On the Rocks