From Russia With Love

BBBBB (out of 5) James Bond’s adventures continue, just as fast and fantastic as they were the first time around.  In this second installment, Bond (Sean Connery) is sent to Istanbul to recover a Russian decoder machine that a defecting agent plans on giving to the British government. Is the agent for real, or is…

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The Unsinkable Molly Brown

BBBB (out of 5) The story of Molly Brown, rags-to-riches society lady and Titanic survivor, is told in this exuberant musical. Debbie Reynolds is a fantastic spitfire as Brown, who marries her gold-mining boyfriend (Harve Presnell) before he strikes it rich and moves her to a giant house and the life of a queen. Molly becomes…

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Mary Poppins

BBBBB (out of 5) After so many years, this film hasn’t aged a day: whether you’re a young tot or a full-grown adult it still retains its fresh charm and lively vigour. Julie Andrews is brilliant as the magical nanny who lives on a cloud and comes down to earth to be a guardian for children…

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The Chalk Garden

BBBB (out of 5) Hayley Mills plays a precocious teenager with a hyperactive brain who gets her governesses into trouble to alleviate her boredom. She does this much to the chagrin of her exasperated grandmother (Edith Evans) and short-tempered butler (Mills’ real life father John Mills). In order to soften her granddaughter out, Evans hires her…

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The World Of Henry Orient

BBBB (out of 5) Peter Sellers takes a back seat in this mini-adventure that tells the story of two young girls growing up in broken homes in New York City. One is the daughter of a divorced woman who lives in an apartment with her also-divorced best friend. The other is an emotionally unstable girl whose…

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Zorba The Greek (Alexis Zorbas)

BBBB (out of 5) After a young Englishman (Alan Bates) learns that he has a small inheritance on the Greek island of Crete, he travels there to see what life has in store for him. What he ends up encountering is the worldly, zesty Zorba (Anthony Quinn), who lives life to the fullest and has…

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Becket

BBBBB (out of 5) The relationship between Kenry Henry II of England and his best friend Thomas Becket, later to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, makes for an unforgettable viewing experience in this excellent film by Peter Glenville. After ascending the throne and following the death of the previous Archbishop, Henry (Peter O’Toole) decides that…

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The Pink Panther (1963)

BBBB (out of 5) Henry Mancini’s cool-as-ice jazz score is just the beginning of enjoying this witty comedy, the first to feature the antics of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. Peter Sellers is a scream as Clouseau, a French detective who is visiting a posh Swiss resort with his gorgeous wife (Capucine) on the trail of…

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The Night Of The Iguana

BBB.5 (out of 5) A one-time pastor (Richard Burton) finds himself working as a tour guide in Mexico after having been removed from his church following a sex scandal. His latest tour is a group of American schoolteachers, the leader of whom is a scary tyrant (Grayson Hall) who makes sure that Burton never gets…

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Marriage Italian Style (Matrimonio All’Italiana)

BBBB.5 (out of 5) It’s impossible to believe there was anyone ever more impressive than Sophia Loren at the height of her powers. This movie shows her off to excellent effect, as Vittorio De Sica follows Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow with another masterful look at sexual politics in modern-day Italy. He also once again assembles the…

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Topkapi

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Thrilling heist caper is right up there with Jules Dassin’s equally memorable Rififi, the setting a lot more colourful this time and the characters a hell of a lot loopier.  A group of jaded thieves decide to combine efforts and steal a precious, jewel-engraved knife from the Topkapi museum in Istanbul….

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The Pumpkin Eater

BBBB.5 (out of 5) This excellent, provocative drama still has enough intensity to make it daring by today’s standards.  Anne Bancroft gives one of the finest performance of her career as an unhappy British woman who has five children and is on her second husband when she meets writer Peter Finch. She leaves her current marriage…

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