Entertaining Mr Sloane (1970)

DOUGLAS HICKOX Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  United Kingdom, 1970.  Canterbury Film Productions.  Screenplay by Clive Exton, based on the play by Joe Orton.  Cinematography by Wolfgang Suschitzky.  Produced by Douglas Kentish.  Music by Georgie Fame.   Production Design by Michael Seymour.  Costume Design by Emma Porteous.  Film Editing by John Trumper. Joe Orton’s best-known play is brought to the big screen three…

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The Blue Bird (1976)

GEORGE CUKOR Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.  USA/Soviet Union, 1976.  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Lenfilm Studio, Edward Lewis Productions, Sovinfilm, Tower International.  Screenplay by Hugh Whitemore, Alfred Hayes, Aleksei Kapler, based on the play by Maurice Maeterlinck.  Cinematography by Jonas Gricius, Freddie Young.  Produced by Paul Maslansky, Harry N. Blum, Robert H. Greenberg.  Music by Irwin Kostal.  Production Design by Brian…

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Theatre of Blood (1973)

DOUGLAS HICKOX Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  United Kingdom, 1973.  Harbour Productions Limited, Cineman Productions.  Idea by Stanley Mann, John Kohn, Screenplay by Anthony Greville-Bell.  Cinematography by Wolfgang Suschitzky.  Produced by John Kohn, Stanley Mann.  Music by Michael J. Lewis.  Production Design by Michael Seymour.  Costume Design by Michael Baldwin.  Film Editing by Malcolm Cooke.   For anyone who thinks that Shakespeare is meant to…

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Watership Down

BBB.5 (out of 5) This animated film is about a small group of rabbits who have been told by their seer that their warren is under threat of an environmental disaster and will soon be uninhabitable. Only a few rabbits heed the warning, and they set off in search of a new home on a…

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Modesty Blaise

BBBB (out of 5) She’s an ace with a switch blade, she’s undetectable when undercover, and best of all, she can change her hair colour in a flash! Screw Barbarella and her vapid helplessness, Modesty Blaise can handle herself in any situation, and watching her do it in this far-out, groovy sixties spy film is more…

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Nicholas And Alexandra

B.5 (out of 5) If the real Romanovs were this boring it’s no wonder they were all shot. Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman play the famed Czar and Czarina of Russia, the last two monarchs to rule the Imperial nation before the Revolution broke out and changed the history of the world forever. The listless production starts…

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Death On The Nile

BBBB (out of 5) Like Murder On The Orient Express before it, this is an energetic and enjoyable adaptation of an Agatha Christie murder mystery. A group of strangers, old aristocrats and young lovers among them, travel on a barge down the famed Egyptian river and are shocked when one of their passengers, a beautiful…

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The Ruling Class

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Brilliantly perverse observation of the upper classes, and one of the most enjoyably blasphemous films you’ll ever see. When a member of the House of Lords and the 13th Earl of Gurney passes away in an unfortunate accident of an auto-erotic nature, his estate is left to his only surviving son…

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Barabbas

BBB (out of 5) Those who enjoyed the gladiatorial spectacle of Spartacus but felt it lacked the cheesy religiosity of Ben-Hur were likely thrilled with Barabbas, a film that ably gives you both elements for the price of one. Anthony Quinn is excellent as the rough criminal of the title who, on the day of…

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Equus

BBB.5 (out of 5) A socially dysfunctional stable boy (Peter Firth) blinds six horses in a fit of rage and is sent to a psychiatric institute after his arrest. There, an emotionally burdened doctor (Richard Burton, in his last great role) does his best to unlock the boy’s secrets and discover what experiences led up…

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Superman

BBB.5 (out of 5) Despite an extended opening setup, this is an exciting and inventive film version of the classic comic book superhero. Christopher Reeve is perfectly cast as the man of steel, an alien from another planet who is left on earth by his desperate father (Marlon Brando) and raised by farmers (Glenn Ford,…

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