The Stranger (Lo straniero) (1967)

LUCHINO VISCONTI Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  Italy/France/Algeria, 1967.  Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica, Master Film, Marianne Productions, Casbah Film.  Screenplay by Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Georges Conchon, Luchino Visconti, script revisions by Emmanuel Roblès, based on the novel by Albert Camus.  Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno.  Produced by Alfredo De Laurentiis.  Music by Piero Piccioni.  Production Design by Mario Garbuglia.  Costume Design by Piero…

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The Whisperers

BBB.5 (out of 5) Edith Evans is excellent as a woman who is slowly losing touch with reality thanks to the decay of age and her perpetual loneliness.  Among her many delusions are her belief that she has a high class background that has been humbled by bad luck, waiting daily for the arrival of an…

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Thoroughly Modern Millie

BBB (out of 5) Julie Andrews is a jazz baby who is determined to be the very definition of “modern”: it’s the roaring twenties and women have a freedom and equality to men that she plans to use to her best advantage, flattening her chest, bobbing her hair, getting a job (as a secretary) and hoping…

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Far From The Madding Crowd (1967)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Thomas Hardy’s tale of love and property is adapted by John Schlesinger into a modest epic starring Julie Christie as its stubborn heroine.  After inheriting a large farm from a wealthy uncle, Christie hires on Alan Bates as shepherd, himself now impoverished by tragedy and no longer believing his suit for her…

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Hurry Sundown

BB.5 (out of 5) Dramatically inept yet strangely riveting tale of racism in the American south, a surprisingly uneven affair by director Otto Preminger. Greedy Michael Caine is hoping to cash in big when he strikes a deal with a Yankee canning company to sell his wife’s sprawling Georgia plantation to them. The hitch is that…

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The Taming Of The Shrew

BBBB (out of 5) The dream team of Burton and Taylor had one of their biggest hits together in this spirited adaptation of the Bard’s comedy. Kate is the viciously tempered elder sister of two whose younger sibling Bianca cannot marry the goodhearted Lucentio (Michael York) unless her sister is married first, as per their father’s…

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Elvira Madigan

BBB.5 (out of 5) A simple story of a tragic love affair is told with affection and beauty in this lovingly photographed drama. A 19th century Swedish soldier leaves his post and his wife to run away with the love of his life, a gorgeous circus tightrope artist named Elvira Madigan (though it’s not her…

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Ulysses

BBB (out of 5) Joseph Strick set himself no mean task when he decided to take on an adaptation of James Joyce’s famously unfilmable (and for many people, unreadable) novel, often labelled the work that gave birth to twentieth century modernism in literature. It plots loosely through the lives of an Irish town on a…

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Closely Watched Trains (Ostre Sledovane Vlaky)

BBBB (out of 5) Jiri Menzel’s Oscar winning film is a poignant observation of the loss of innocence in a world going mad. A young man in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia goes and works a simple job as a train dispatcher in order to live the easy life that has been enjoyed by his early-retired father. He…

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Cool Hand Luke

BBBBB (out of 5) Paul Newman plays the title character, a man so named because of his peaceful countenance among the prisoners on a California chain gang. A former war hero, Luke was picked up by police for getting drunk and destroying a row of parking meters, put into prison and forced into the degrading…

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Bonnie And Clyde

BBBBB (out of 5) Arthur Penn’s electrifying account of the famous criminal couple is still a ripping good film, and after years of endless gunfire in films it is quite amazing how shocking the violence still manages to be. Warren Beatty (making his first film as producer) plays Clyde Barrow and a debuting Faye Dunaway the…

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Camelot

BBB (out of 5) Following the success of My Fair Lady, Jack L. Warner put his studio right to work on filming Lerner and Loewe’s next Broadway musical hit, based on The Once and Future King by T.E. White. The results were not nearly as successful as the former production, a lumbering musical with too…

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