Classical Film Review: Seven Samurai [1954]

The Seven Samurai is Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s finest work and made an easy transference into a Western, The Magnificent Seven, six years later. A Samurai answers a village’s request for protection after he falls on hard times. Kurosawa’s characterization of the six Samurai and the farmer’s son who wants to join them is peerless-…

Brief Encounter [1945]

Brief Encounter is a story about love being inescapable, about two people brought together by fate. You can call it ‘circumstance’ or ‘coincidence’, if you’re not a hopelessly old-fashioned romantic like me… But what’s the fun in making a film about it? Filmed during the war, this love story comes from a time when falling…

Classical Film Review: Gone With The Wind [1939]

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, is one of the bestselling books of all time, with at least 28 million copies having been published in nearly every language. Its immortality was however secured by David O. Selznick’s 1939 film adaptation- winner of 11 Academy Awards, including the first for a black actor,…

Classical Film Review: Paths of Glory [1957]

Paths of Glory is arguably the best film about the First World War, and certainly one of Stanley Kubrick’s finest. It is a treatise on human injustice; a compelling and harsh indictment of war. The title is entirely ironic and comes from a line in eighteenth century romantic poet Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a…

Classical Film Review: Torn Curtain [1966]

Hello and welcome to the Classical Review… otherwise known as the Alfred Hitchcock Review… because yes, this week it’s another Hitchcock film: Torn Curtain! An American physicist, Michael Armstrong, shocks his friends and family by defecting to East Germany at the height of the Cold War! [VT- Shock!] Even his fiancée, Sarah, is surprised by…

Classical Film Review: Citizen Kane [1941]

Citizen Kane was voted the best ever American Film in a BBC poll and it is a miracle of cinema. In 1941 a group of stage and radio actors, a first-time director, an inventive cinematographer and a hard-drinking writer were given the keys to a studio and total control… And they somehow made a masterpiece.…

Classical Film Review: The Manchurian Candidate [1962]

The Manchurian Candidate is a film so brilliant that its title has now passed into everyday lexicon. In a fantastic opening sequence set in 1952, an American patrol squad in the Korean War are abducted by Soviet agents, flown to Manchuria, brainwashed and returned. Their charmless platoon sergeant, Raymond Shaw, played by Laurence Harvey, is…