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 Glass Menagerie

BBB (out of 5) After years of playing the leads in a number of Tennessee Williams adaptations for the screen, who better to direct a film version of one of the southern scribe’s less turgid pieces than Paul Newman? He directs real-life wife Joanne Woodward as the domineering mother who lords over her shy, physically…

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Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  United Kingdom, 1966.  Anglo Enterprises, Vineyard Film Ltd..  Screenplay by Francois Truffaut, Jean-Louis Richard, based on the novel by Ray Bradbury.  Cinematography by Nicolas Roeg.  Produced by Lewis M. Allen.  Music by Bernard Herrmann.  Production Design by Syd Cain.  Costume Design by Tony Walton.  Film Editing by Thom Noble.   In a frightfully cold, futuristic society, books…

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Petulia (1968)

RICHARD LESTER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1968.  Petersham Pictures, Warner Brothers/Seven Arts.  Screenplay by Lawrence B. Marcus, adaptation by Barbara Turner, based on the novel Me And the Arch Kook Petulia by John Haase.  Cinematography by Nicolas Roeg.  Produced by Raymond Wagner.  Music by John Barry.  Production Design by Tony Walton.  Costume Design by Tony Walton.  Film Editing by Antony Gibbs.  Cannes…

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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1966)

RICHARD LESTER Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/United Kingdom, 1966.  Melvin Frank Production.  Screenplay by Melvin Frank, Michael Pertwee, based on the musical book by Burt Shevelove, Larry Gelbart, from the play by Titus Maccius Plautus.  Cinematography by Nicolas Roeg.  Produced by Melvin Frank.    Music by Stephen Sondheim, Ken Thorne.   Production Design by Tony Walton.     Costume Design by…

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Deathtrap

BBB.5 (out of 5) Stagebound adaptation of Ira Levin’s play fails to open the plot up for film but is still an enjoyably claustrophobic experience. Christopher Reeve plays a young playwright whose latest opus has caught the eye of his mentor (Michael Caine). Caine has invited Reeve over to talk about his play, but he’s let…

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The Wiz

BBB (out of 5) Come on and ease on down the road to where the Wiz lives! This exuberant musical, based on the successful Broadway play, is an African American version of The Wizard Of Oz, with a host of memorable, Motown-inspired music (arranged and directed by Quincy Jones) that make for one of the…

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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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Murder On The Orient Express (1974)

BBBB (out of 5) The seventies saw a few Agatha Christie murder mysteries made into films, and this is the most celebrated of them all. While riding a train through Europe after solving yet another confounding case, Hercule Poirot (a slyly hilarious Albert Finney) finds that a notable passenger (Richard Widmark) was murdered during the…

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Regarding Henry (1991)

MIKE NICHOLS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1991.   Paramount Pictures.   Screenplay by J.J. Abrams.   Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno.   Produced by Mike Nichols, Scott Rudin.   Music by Hans Zimmer.   Production Design by Tony Walton.   Costume Design by Ann Roth.   Film Editing by Sam O’Steen.    Recreating the charm of Frank Capra classics is attempted in…

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Heartburn (1986)

MIKE NICHOLS Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1986.   Paramount Pictures.   Screenplay by Nora Ephron, based on her novel.   Cinematography by Nestor Almendros.   Produced by Robert Greenhut, Mike Nichols.   Music by Carly Simon.   Production Design by Tony Walton.   Costume Design by Ann Roth.   Film Editing by Sam O’Steen.    A mesmerizing performance by Meryl Streep…

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