As many of you saw in my last column, a good majority of the videos I included were deleted by YouTube. This happens when they are very new or very popular and are being sold in DVD formula. The videos I have selected today will more than likely remain online for a long time. However, when I think any of the videos will be short-lived I will try to inform you so you can see them as soon as possible. As usual I’ve included a mixed batch of subjects for your viewing. I’ve also gone down Memory Lane with several very popular 1950´s TV series.
Silent Fall is a 1994 mystery film directed by Bruce Beresford and stars Richard Dreyfuss, Linda Hamilton and Liv Tyler. Nominated for a Golden Bear Award in Berlin it is about a boy with autism who is the only witness to a savage double murder. Intriguing and will have you guessing till the end.
Black Moon Rising is an 1986 action motion picture written by John Carpenter and starring Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Hamilton and Robert Vaughn. Directed by Harley Cokeliss, it also featured Keenan Wynn in his final screen role. The story is about the theft of a prototype vehicle called the Black Moon.
This is a part of a series of the Discovery Channel which looks at the real lives and true stories behind Hollywood blockbusters. This episode looks into Ron Howard’s controversial box office hit – The Da Vinci Code.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1997 television film based on Victor Hugo’s novel of the same name. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It stars Richard Harris as Claude Frollo, Salma Hayek as Esmeralda and Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo in the title role of the hunchback. Directed by Peter Medak, it was filmed in Budapest, Prague, and Rouen. Richard Harris and Mandy Patinkin, as always, extraordinary in their roles.
Caesar and Cleopatra is a 1945 British color film starring Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh with Stewart Granger and Michael Rene. It was adapted from the play Caesar and Cleopatra by George Bernard Shaw. It was directed by Gabriel Pascal and nominated for the Oscar for Best Art Direction. Filmed in Technicolor with lavish sets, the production was reported to be the most expensive film ever made in Britain at the time, coming to £1,278,000. The director even ordered ordered sand from Egypt to get the right cinematic color. Another part of the reason for the cost of production was because it was filmed during World War II and during the shoot, Vivien Leigh tripped and miscarried.
The film version of the play is a lighthearted comedy with brilliant acting from Vivian Leigh as the petulant, conniving, childlike temptress and Claude Rains as the worldly, tolerant and bemused Caesar. This is Shaw at his best. A definite “Must See”
Indiscreet is a 1958 British romantic comedy film starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman directed by Stanley Donen. This was Grant´s and Bergman´s second film together after Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946). The plot revolves about an actress who falls in love with a man she believes to be married but who is secretly concealing from her the fact that he has no wife. It was nominated for three Golden Globes, two BAFTAs and one Writers Guild of America award, but failed to win any of them.
The Madness of King George is a fictional historical 1994 film starring Helen Mirren as Queen Charlotte, Nigel Hawthorne as King George III and Rupert Everett as George, the Prince of Wales. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, it tells the true story of George III’s deteriorating mental health, and his declining relationship with his son, the Prince of Wales. Although modern medicine has suggested that the King’s symptoms were the result of acute intermittent porphyria, nowadays it is thought that he really did suffer from a mental not physical illness. Not very good quality video but film is worth it.
Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy TV series starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher and an unknown and very young Richard Crenna. It began as a radio show broadcast on CBS from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television and ran from 1952 through becoming one of the TV´s earliest hits.
I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, on CBS.
The show, which was the first scripted television program to be shot on 35 mm film in front of a studio audience, won five Emmy Awards and received numerous nominations. In 2012 it was voted the ‘Best TV Show of All Time’ in a survey conducted by ABC News and People Magazine.
Bonanza is an NBC television western series that ran from September 1959, to January 1973. The series stars Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker and a very young Michael Landon. The show is set around the 1860s during and shortly after the American Civil War. It centers on the Cartwright family who live in the area of Virginia City, Nevada.
It is the second longest running western series – Gunsmoke was first. In 2002, Bonanza was ranked No. 43 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time and in 2013, TV Guide included it in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time. The time period for the television series is roughly between 1861 (Season 1) to 1867 (Season 13) during and shortly after the American Civil War.
“Who’s on First?” is a comedy routine made famous by Abbott and Costello. It is so famous that in 1999, Time Magazine named the routine Best Comedy Sketch of the 20th century. In 2005, the line “Who’s on First?” was included on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 memorable movie quotations. An early radio recording was placed in the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2003. And in 1956 a gold record of “Who’s on First?” was placed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. A video (taken from The Naughty Nineties) now plays continuously on screens at the Hall.
If you´ve never seen or heard of Abbott and Costello, this is a great introduction and if you´ve never heard the “Who´s On First” routine – there´s only one thing I can say – Enjoy!!!