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Reviews Written by
Robert SMITH (Portsmouth, England)
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Tales of Terror & Darkness
Tales of Terror & Darkness
by Algernon Blackwood
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A DECEPTIVE TITLE, 16 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered TALES OF TERROR AND DARKNESS for a friend, but although it is a very good selection, it is not really a new one. When he was going through the book he realised the stories were somewhat familiar, and upon checking the content he found that it was a combination of the two earlier collections TALES OF THE UNCANNY AND SUPERNATURAL and TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS AND MACABRE, but with a few stories cut out - presumably for reasons of space.

So although there was nothing wrong with the book as such, it would be a disappointment to a reader expecting a fresh selection of stories.


The Jazz Singer (Wisconsin/Warner Brothers Screenplays)
The Jazz Singer (Wisconsin/Warner Brothers Screenplays)
by Robert L. Carringer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.95

5.0 out of 5 stars THE JAZZ SINGER - an excellent and useful guide to the 'first talkie', 15 Aug. 2013
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This book is a well-produced and very interesting study of a key film in American cinema. As well as the screenplay, there is a valuable selection of stills, including some from the 1953 remake and some production photos. It also includes the story on which THE JAZZ SINGER play and film was based plus a breakdown of the music featured throughout the film. This particular series is usually nicely produced and informative and it is good to have studies of this kind made available. The text is not too 'academic' so is very accessible to the reader who is not accustomed to the more 'highbrow' style of film writing which has become more prevalent since the 1960s. If this makes me sound like a William K Everson fan (though I own books by the late Andrew Sarris, Molly Haskell and others) then I plead guilty!


Scales of Justice - The Complete Series [DVD]
Scales of Justice - The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patrick Wymark
Price: £9.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNUSUAL CRIME SERIES FROM THE 1960S - AN INTERESTING AND ENJOYABLE SET OF CINEMA FEATURETTES, 22 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Thirteen mainly b/w crime films originally shown as support to the main picture. Quite a few familiar faces, some at the start of their screen careers and some in unusual roles (eg: Peter Barkworth as a slimy blackmailer) and entertaining plots based on fact and introduced by Edgar Lustgarten. Generally very good picture quality, particularly in the b/w episodes. Also interesting for the trimmings (architecture, interiors, cars, etc.) and worth watching for use of locations.Set arrived in good time for Christmas and my partner was very pleased indeed with them.A very happy choice of present which we both enjoyed.


Hetty Wainthropp: Missing Persons [DVD]
Hetty Wainthropp: Missing Persons [DVD]
Dvd ~ Patricia Routledge
Offered by figswigs
Price: £16.10

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HETTY WAINTHROPP PILOT, 22 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Dvd arrived in good time for Christmas so well done on that front! Rather more serious than the spin-off series, but interesting all the same.Patricia Routledge's performance more low-key, but none the worse for that. Doubt if it's been shown much on tv so a good opportunity to catch up.


Frank Borzage Vol 2: Lucky Star, Liliom  [DVD]
Frank Borzage Vol 2: Lucky Star, Liliom [DVD]
Dvd ~ Janet Gaynor
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £7.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid and Neglected Rediscovery from 1930, 20 Jan. 2013
When this dvd came out I hesitated as it was £20. Luckily, I went for it and was richly rewarded. LUCKY STAR (1929) [does the part-talkie of this exist anywhere? It was scheduled at London's NFT in 1975] and the surviving footage from THE RIVER (1929){about 50m, more than I thought had survived - good, full-blooded stuff] were well worth catching up with, but LILIOM (1930) was a revelation. I had been interested in seeing it since the 1970s but had failed to catch up with any of its few NFT showings. And it seems as if it was banned here in England (or at least had limited showings) due to its treatment of the Afterlife. After a hesitant start, the film starts to draw one in and the stylised look is very attractive as one would expect from a Fox - Borzage movie. However, the film literally takes off after Liliom's death in a way unlike any I've ever seen before. I won't say any more as this would spoil it. I lent it to a friend (not telling him too much!) and he was astonished also. It's a mystery why this film is so underrated unless the religious and moral feelings at the time blinded viewers to the overall quality of this film. And I defy anybody's eves not to mist over during the last scene. Picture quality and sound are both excellent and the general handling of the film overrides any quibbles one might have over some of the acting. As the dvd is now less than half the original price I would recommend it heartily.


The Great Divide [DVD] [1929] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
The Great Divide [DVD] [1929] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £12.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Early Talkie, 18 Jan. 2013
Until recently I'd hardly heard of THE GREAT DIVIDE (1929). It's an interesting and entertaining early talkie, combining romance, comedy, singing and drama in a Western setting. Although some of the plot elements are very familiar, the film is generally amusing and does not outstay its welcome at just over 70m. A young Myrna Loy is particularly watchable as a (Mexican?) femme fatale. Image / sound quality is pretty decent especially considering the (until recently) obscurity of the film. And though described as Region 1, it played on our machine which normally plays only 0, 2, 3 and 4 so will be a good buy for fans after Europe only / Region 0 discs. Robert Smith


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