hendersonville film society Articles
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz, Robert J. WilkeIn Brief: Terrence Malick's second film, Days of Heaven, is almost impossible to critique in normal terms. As drama, it's not entirely satisfactory in the usual sense. Its story is at once simple and rambling. It feels a lot more like a late period silent movie than something from 1978, but even that doesn't describe it adequately. It's less something to watch than something to experience for both visual beauty and Malick's unique sense of film as a living embodiment of capturing the smallest details of place and making them indelible. It is not going to be to everyone's taste.
Genre: Period Drama
Director: Leslie Arliss
Starring: Margaret Lockwood, James Mason, Patricia Roc, Griffith Jones, Michael RennieIn Brief: No perfidy is too perfidious for Margaret Lockwood in — and as — The Wicked Lady, and it's a good thing because the film pretty much rises or falls on the depths of her depravity. Everyone else — with the exception of James Mason as a highwayman — is pretty bland in this nicely produced film that's too genteel for its own plot. It obviously suffers from the pitfalls of its era, but somewhat makes up for this with the thievery, adultery, duplicity and even murderous hijinks of Ms. Lockwood having a fine melodramatic time.
Director: David Frankel (Hope Springs)
Starring: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Adrian Grenier, Simon BakerIn Brief: Meryl Streep (when she was still trying), Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci keep this comedy going about the ins and outs of the fashion magazine world — and in the process, they buoy up Anne Hathaway (whose role is more at fault than she). It's mostly a lot of good fun with some terrific performances, but when none of those first three names are onscreen (fortunately, they mostly are onscreen), things tend to bog down.
Genre: Historical Drama
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Starring: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Robert Shaw, Orson WellesIn Brief: A Man for All Seasons — the Oscar-festooned film from 1966 — is solid, sober filmmaking that tells the story of Thomas More, who lost his head for refusing to compromise his religious views. Impressively made and superlatively cast.
Director: Guy Hamilton (Live and Let Die)
Starring: Angela Lansbury, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Tony Curtis, Edward FoxIn Brief: A diminished budget — and other things — conspire to make this attempt at a big screen Miss Marple movie to accompany successful Hercule Poirot films. It’s not actually bad, it’s just not all that hot. The magnificently catty duels of the divas — Liz Taylor and Kim Novak — are certainly fun, but the mystery lacks zing.
Genre: Biographical Documentary
Director: Paul Bonesteel
Starring:In Brief: Scrupulously detailed, reasonably comprehensive and beautifully presented documentary on the great American poet Carl Sandburg from Asheville filmmaker Paul Bonesteel. Whatever you think you know about Sandburg, I suspect this movie — and the people in it — know more than you do, and it's quite a pleasure to find out.
Genre: Musical Drama
Director: Carol Reed
Starring: Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed, Harry Secombe, Mark Lester, Jack Wild, Hugh GriffithIn Brief: Winner for Best Picture — and Director, Art Direction, Music, and Sound — Carol Reed's Oliver! was a big crowd-pleaser in 1968. It was big and colorful. It was impeccably cast. And it was filled with catchy songs that most of us had been hearing on the radio or TV variety shows ever since the play had achieved hit status. That was 1968. How does it stack up now? Probably about the same, if feeling a little more old-fashioned than it already was. But is that necessarily a bad thing? Maybe not.
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen (The Wild Geese)
Starring: Roger Moore, James Mason, Anthony Perkins, Michael Parks, David HedisonIn Brief: Roger Moore (taking a break from his 007 duties) plays a misogynistic, cat-loving Scot named Rufus Excalibur ffolkes: a man with a commando unit all his own who is called in to deal with terrorists (headed by Anthony Perkins, no less). The terrorists are threatening to blow up an oil rig in the North Sea unless ransom demands are met. It's every bit as ridiculous as that sounds, but it's also relatively entertaining — for the most part.
Director: François Truffaut
Starring: François Truffaut, Nathalie Baye, Jean Dasté, Patrick Maléon, Jane LobreIn Brief: François Truffaut directs and stars in this adaptation of two Henry James stories -- an odd and decidedly small-scale work for the filmmaker. The story concerns a man who is obsessed with his dead wife -- and indeed all of the dead people in his life. It's certainly interesting — occasionally fascinating — but it's undeniably morbid.
Director: Mel Brooks
Starring: Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman, Dom DeLuise, Sid Caesar, Bernadette PetersIn Brief: Mel Brooks' 1976 silent movie about Mel Brooks (as Mel Funn) signing up stars to appear in his silent movie. Broad slapstick and Borscht Belt comedy that will appeal more to some than others.
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