THIS WEEK'S MOVIES
The real life firemen of Fires Were Stated
Fires Were Started is a film shot during World War II about the lives of firemen during that time. It is filmed with real firemen and has a definite neo-realistic feel to it. I have to admit, is probably more historically significant than a great film. Still, I did enjoy many of the scenes where the fireman (and the women who get them where they need to go) are seen off duty where they sing, drink and show their humanity before we see them in action.
Laurence Olivier in the color enhanced Henry V
I think it's interesting that the 1001 book includes Laurence Olivier's Henry V (1944) over his more famous and Oscar winner Hamlet from three years later. The film has beautiful color and costumes, a distinctive style, skilled acting and creative storytelling. One of the most interesting aspects of the piece is how the beginning is depicted as a performance at the Globe Theater in 1600 before seamlessly morphing into something more cinematic.
The villagers hiding the contraband in Whiskey Galore!
Whiskey Galore! is a slight but charming comedy from Ealing studios and director Alexander Mackendrick. The plot involves the residents of a small island that have taken the alcoholic contents off of a shipwrecked boat and spend much of their time hiding it from the authorities who would take it away from them. Cheers!
Ava and Mason in Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman is a fantasy drama about a woman (Ava Gardner) who gets everyone to fall for her before she forces them all to give up something of value for her. She then meets a mysterious boatman who might be the centuries old Flying Dutchman who may turn out to finally be her match.
I was recently reading James Kaplan's biography of Frank Sinatra (Sinatra: The Voice). The sections on Frank's marriage to Ava Gardner might be the highlight of the book. Stunningly beautiful and hedonistic to boot, her personal life might be more interesting to look at more than almost anything she did on the screen.