- Wednesday, 06 June 2012
THE WOMAN IN BLACK (Momentum). Is there a career for Daniel Radcliffe after Harry Potter? Well, yes; he’s been clever in his choices. First, a play in the nude, Equus, then a musical, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, on Broadway and now Susan Hill’s superior psychological horror story which he has to hold together. He plays a young widower wandering round a creepy dark house, seeing ghosts of children everywhere. James Watkins’s film gives him the right atmosphere and settings.
JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS. There are a number of DVDs to choose from, if you are in a patriotic mood and looking for an easy pictorial history lesson. These include a survey of Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign in THE DIAMOND CELEBRATION (Odeon) and the original documentary record of her coronation in A QUEEN IS CROWNED (Network). THE QUEEN ON TOUR (BFI) covers her trips abroad and for more specialised tastes, there is A ROYAL OCCASION (BFI) which brings together old newsreel footage from Queen Victoria to the present day.
YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE (StudioCanal). This film noir is mainly interesting because it is directed by Fritz Lang. Is there life after death? Is there redemption for the ex-convict who tries to go straight? Henry Fonda normally plays the Good Guy. But here he’s the Bad Guy and guilty. I mean he did commit the bank robbery with tear gas, didn’t he? Or didn’t he? Sylvia Sidney stands by her man regardless.
PASSPORT TO PIMLICO (Optimum). Famous and much-loved 1949 Ealing Comedy: an affectionate satire on the British character in post-war austerity Britain, when ration books were still in use. Pimlico discovers it is a foreign land and belongs to the Duke of Burgundy. A state of emergency is declared. The story is told with mock-documentary newsreel realism. TEB Clarke’s script has the classic line: “We always were British and we will always be British and it’s because we’re British we’re fighting for our rights to be Burgundians.”
DIPLOMATIC COURIER (Odeon). Tyrone Power (working for the Americans) has to get hold of some secret documents before the Russians do. Henry Hathaway’s post-war thriller, set on board trains and in Trieste, is always on the point of being good but never quite making it.
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