North by Northwest

January 5, 2019 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Staged at Adelaide Festival Theatre, 4 January 2019 (Directed by Simon Phillips) (1959 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock) Everybody knows the story: Manhattan Ad-man Roger O. Thornhill is mistaken for a (non-existent) government agent, kidnapped, framed and chased across the country by Cold War heavies. Hitchcock’s romantic thriller is a classic, featuring legendary scenes such as the interlude on the train to Chicago between Thornhill (Cary Grant) and Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint), the attack on Thornhill by a crop-duster, and the chase over the Mount Rushmore monument. And besides Grant and Saint, there were James Mason as a suave villain, Martin…

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Our Best (& Worst) Australian Films

October 29, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Classic Film, FILM |

"The Devil's Playground"

THE BEST DOZEN: OUR LIST Bliss (1985) (Directed by Ray Lawrence) [“After Harry Joy dropped dead… his life was never the same again.” Hell is real! Ray Lawrence creates a totally original rendering of the Peter Carey novel, as good as his next film (see below) is not, with evocative and surreal touches and a great turn by Barry Otto as fallen adman Harry Joy.] The Cars That Ate Paris (1974) (Directed by Peter Weir) [It gives “Mo-Town” a whole new meaning. No-one got this when it came out, a jet-black comedy of mythic, small-town, country-dark Australia.] The Castle (1997) (Directed by…

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21 August – Birthday Cake for Filmfolk

August 21, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Image by Kgayhart

We don’t suggest film-makers are horses, but several interesting players celebrate birthdays today… 1892: Charles Vanel Charles was the whispery menace of films of the 1940s and 1950s, most memorably in The Wages of Fear (above) and To Catch a Thief (below). 1924: Jack Weston His career didn’t have many highlights, but as Elaine May’s corrupt and needy attorney in A New Leaf, he was sensational. 1930: Frank Perry He had more misses than hits, but The Swimmer, based on a story by John Cheever, was out of the top drawer: 1944: Peter Weir Probably the greatest Australian director, whose films…

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18 AUGUST – COLLECTIVE BIRTHDAY CAKE

August 19, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, Classical Music, FILM, MUSIC |

18 August 1750 – Antonio Salieri His work has faded, leaving behind a (probably unfair) reputation of the poisoner of Mozart… 18 August 1920 – Shirley Schrift (Shelley Winters) The needy, blowsy slattern with a heart of gold and born to lose – Shelley’s specialty. Her great film moments: The Great Gatsby (1949), A Place in the Sun (1951), The Night of the Hunter (1955), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), and especially Lolita (1962). 18 August 1933 – Roman Polanski His reputation has taken a battering of late, but he gets a plea in mitigation for films such as…

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“The Party of the First Part” – Jean Hagen

August 3, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM |

Jean Hagen (born 3 August 1923) gave the performance of a lifetime as Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain (1952). Lina might look dumb but she’s formidable, in fact, and a scrapper!  Witness her resistance to replacement by actresses without her fog-horn / breaking-glass voice, when she reminds the studio head of Monumental Pictures about relevant clauses in her contract:

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