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The Uninvited [1944] [DVD]
The Uninvited [1944] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ray Milland
Price: £14.14

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great ghost story, 14 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Uninvited [1944] [DVD] (DVD)
A dramatic and suspenseful ghost story - and they don't ruin it by 'explaining away' the ghosts, either. In some ways it reminds one of 'The Innocents', although it does not quite reach the heights of this. Nevertheless, 'The Uninvited' is well worth watching, with its eery atmosphere and the deft touches that give it that little something extra. The acting and camera work are most effective.
A high-quality transfer with good sound make this DVD very worth acquiring, apart from the quality of the film as such.
Recommended for all who like a good chiller of the old-fashioned kind (no gore, no annoyingly visible threat).


Madeleine [DVD]
Madeleine [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ann Todd
Price: £3.70

5.0 out of 5 stars A rather forgotten gem, 14 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Madeleine [DVD] (DVD)
David Lean is associated with epic films such as 'Lawrence of Arabia' or 'Dr Zhivago', yet he was also a master of the film equivalent of chamber music. Some of his early films are just as good as anything he made later, and this is one of them. It is the story of one of the more unusual criminal cases of the nineteenth century - one which has not ever been satisfactorily solved.
This is a film noir, but set as a period piece; one might also say it is a period piece set as a film noir. Fine acting, wonderful camera work, and a gripping story make this one a classic. It stands in the tradition of 'The Lady Or The Tiger?', posing a tricky problem for us - I reveal no more. Lean manages to make the emotional part of the story just as gripping as the rest, which only adds to the effect.
The transfer is high quality, with crisp sound.
Highly recommended for all who like whodunnits, romances, crime stories, court dramas... well, for just about everybody.


The Man Who Never Was
The Man Who Never Was
Dvd ~ Cliftion Webb

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in its own way, 14 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Man Who Never Was (DVD)
A fine film by Ronald Neame, telling a most unusual story. Although some details were invented by the film makers, the story as such is true, making it all the more interesting. The transfer quality is high, adding to the pleasure.
If you like odd stories, if you like suspense, and if you like war stories that do not deal with the front line, try this one.


Perry Mason: Season 1 [DVD]
Perry Mason: Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Raymond Burr
Price: £13.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Perry Mason Season 1 - A most excellent start, 1 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Actually, this series ought to be so well-known that a review is not necessary. Still, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since it was first broadcast. For modern audiences, it is of interest as being the granddaddy of perhaps all crime thriller TV series.
The episodes run at just under an hour each, and the usual pattern is to start with some situation in which people are introduced to the viewer, generally in some way that makes clear that there is competition, or anger, or jilted love, or whatever. At some point a character is suddenly involved in something much deeper than mere divorce or shoplifting (to give instances), and is charged with murder. The lawyer Perry Mason has become involved by this time, perhaps because someone close to the accused, or the accused person him- or herself, has come for advice. Sometimes Mason simply stumbles into the situation. There is then the courtroom, and the examination of witnesses, often with a surprising twist or two. Very occasionally an episode will not adhere to this pattern.
Nearly always, the district attorney Hamilton Burger (W. Talman) and the Homicide Detective Lieutenant Tragg (R. Collins) form the opposition. Mason and his trusty confidential secretary Della Street (B. Hale) and the private detective Paul Drake (W. Hopper) have their hands full to find out the truth.
There are - not surprisingly - quite a few known faces among the figures in each episode, as well as many now forgotten actors. The stories are generally to a good standard, the acting is very good indeed, and the whole format works very well as entertainment. Occasionally the budget shows itself (many a corridor is represented by the same piece of set, for example), but that is only to be expected in a TV series at that time. (Alfred Hitchcock would later show how TV formats and budgets could be transferred to the silver screen in 'Psycho'.)
If you are a fan of crime shows, and have never seen 'Perry Mason', then by all means invest in it.
The transfer quality and the sound quality in this DVD are very good. Don't be surprised that it is all black & white - they didn't have colour TV in those days.


Pick Up On South Street [DVD] [1953]
Pick Up On South Street [DVD] [1953]
Dvd ~ Richard Widmark

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film noir, or perhaps film gris, 15 Aug 2011
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A good story with tension in all the right places, and very good acting by Richard Widmark, Thelma Ritter, and all involved. (Watch for Ritter carrying off one of the most interesting performances of all, managing gallows humour, pathos, and a wonderful kind of nihilism all at the same time!)
The film is certainly a film noir, but the twist (without revealing anything of the plot) is that the femme fatale is not fatale; rather, it is the company she keeps. (For those familiar with Hitchcock's work, the McGuffin is a most excellent one.) Hence the question of whether one can classify this film as noir.
However, all that is for the film buff; it matters not a jot as far as the effect of the film is concerned, and the viewer is rewarded by a tense and entertaining film. It is certainly worth the time.


The Great War - BBC Series 6 Disc Boxset [DVD]
The Great War - BBC Series 6 Disc Boxset [DVD]
Dvd ~ michael redgrave

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic documentary series on World War I, 3 April 2011
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This is regarded, quite rightly, as a jewel in the BBC documentary crown. It is a most informative and well-made documentary on the start, course, and end of the First World War. In view of the time it deals with, there is a quite astonishing amount of original film material to be seen. Of course, some later studio film scenes have had to be utilised, but that does not detract in the least from the general effect. A great advantage of the series is that it also lets eyewitnesses - participants - talk; around 1960-1963, when this was made, such interviews were still possible. This represents an invaluable contribution to history.

The Great War has been described by some as a template for the later Thames Valley TV series The World At War, and this is surely true. The earlier series set the tone by attempting to describe the view from all sides, rather than just that of the eventual victors. This is of particular importance when dealing with the First World War, as many mistakes were made on all sides, and many experiences were the same, especially on the Western Front.

If you are interested in war history, military history, or history in general, then do not miss this. It is worth everything you pay for it!


Alfred Hitchcock Presents : Complete Season 3 [1957] [DVD]
Alfred Hitchcock Presents : Complete Season 3 [1957] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Alfred Hitchcock
Price: £10.00

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season 3, 7 Feb 2010
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This is a treat for those of us who either missed Hitchcock's television work back in the fifties and early sixties, or who were too young (or simply not around yet).
Naturally, the television work is a different matter from Hitchcock's film work. However, Hitchcock himself read all the pertinent matter before the shows were made, and he clearly made sure that standards remained high. Of course, the odd episode in all the series was directed by Mr H. himself.
This particular series, Season 3, is no exception to the high quality. Add in the sensible and decorative packaging and - most important - the high quality of the transfers, and you have a combination that cannot be beat. Settle back on an evening (or a weekend afternoon, or whatever) and watch some of the best entertainment ever created, on or off-screen.
Pay attention to the credits, too - there are some interesting surprises lurking. I did not know, for example, that Paul Henreid (who played Victor Laszlo in 'Casablanca') directed quite a few episodes on 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'.
Naturally, perhaps the greatest pleasure is hearing the master of suspense introduce (and wind up) each episode. He clearly enjoyed this, and one reason that he did not produce any more television after about 1964 was that the writer responsible for the monologues died.
Great fun, best value! Enjoy.


How We Built Britain (BBC) [DVD]
How We Built Britain (BBC) [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Dimbleby
Price: £9.36

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BBC do it again - wonderful, informative, 29 Jan 2009
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The BBC now have a rather long tradition of producing some of the world's best documentaries; this one is certainly true to that tradition. It is informative without being dull; it displays some thorough research, but does not forget the lighter side of things; above all, Mr Dimbleby takes us on a journey most of us would otherwise not think of making. If you like to learn about outre or recherche subjects, and at the same time you like history and architecture, then this gem is just the thing. Even if the above does not apply to you, after watching this it may well do.


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