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Posts Tagged ‘John Huston’

* The Constant Gardener – Starring Ralph Fiennes & Rachel Weisz

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Constant Gardener (2005) Directed by Fernando Meirelles ( City of God (2002)), starring Ralph Fiennes  (The English Patient (1996)) and  Rachel Weisz (The Lovely Bones (2009), The Bourne Legacy (2012, filming)), with Danny Huston (Children of Men (2006))Bill Nighy (Love Actually (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)) and others.  This outstanding, award-winning dramatic thriller, a condemnation of corruption in government and the pharmaceutical industry, follows a soft-spoken and sensitive low level British diplomat, Justin Quayle, played to perfection by Ralph Fiennes, as he investigates the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death.  Quayle’s wife, Tessa, a passionate and, at times, overbearing activist, is portrayed by an excellent Rachel Weisz, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her efforts.  Danny Huston, son of legendary director John Huston and half-brother of actress Anjelica Huston, is also very good as Justin Quayle’s (Fiennes) deceitful immediate supervisor, as is Bill Nighy, as the corrupt head of the Africa Desk for the British Foreign Office.  Magnificently filmed, from the vast and spectacular plains of Africa, to the squalor of the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, to the intimacy of a loving couple with an excellent screenplay by Jeffrey Caine based on the eponymous novel by John le Carré, and superb music by Alberto Iglesias, The Constant Gardener is, in both a large scale and personal manner, a critical look at Western liberal conscience, ethical and moral responsibility, personal virtue, courage and devotion, as well as being a finely honed, complex adult thriller.  Definitely a must-see film. (PR)

See our posts of the films Sunshine, starring both Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, and Spider, starring Ralph Fiennes, directed by David Cronenberg.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

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White Hunter Black Heart – directed by and starring Clint Eastwood

Posted by the editors on Friday, 25 November 2011

White Hunter Black Heart (1990)(DVD)  Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Dirty Harry (1971), Pale Rider (1985), Unforgiven (1992), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Mystic River (2003), Gran Torino (2008), Invictus (2009), and many other magnificent films, as actor, director and/or producer), with Jeff Fahey (Planet Terror (2007) and many others), George Dzundza (The Deer Hunter (1978), Streamers (1983), Grey’s Anatomy (2006)), Marisa Berenson (Death in Venice (1971), Cabaret (1972), Barry Lyndon (1975),  I Am Love (2010)) and others.  In this drama, based on the eponymous novel by Peter Viertel which in turn is based on Viertel’s personal experience as final screenwriter for the legendary film The African Queen (1951), starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, Clint Eastwood plays a Hollywood film director, John Wilson, clearly based on the notoriously difficult and self-centered John Huston, director of The African Queen and many other iconic cinema masterpieces.  In fact, if the small steamboat used in the whitewater scene in White Hunter Black Heart seems familiar, it’s no coincidence:  it is the same boat that Bogart’s character captained in The African Queen!  White Hunter Black Heart, a critical success and a box-office disaster, is a complex film, dealing with antisemitism, racism, and, of course, John Huston’s complicated and disagreeable character.  Eastwood’s directing is quite good, as is his acting, of course.  However, despite having played self-centered characters previously, in many of his westerns, here, it is somehow difficult to accept Eastwood’s posturing; perhaps it’s just the accent, and the character John Wilson’s affectations.  Nevertheless, for Eastwood fans, and fans of the legendary films of John Huston (especially The African Queen), White Hunter Black Heart is a film to be seen. (PR)

See on post on the Clint Eastwood-directed film Invictus.  See our posts on director John Huston’s film, The Misfits, and his final film, The Dead.

We recommend buying your DVDs.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com:

Here is a link to Roger Ebert’s review of White Hunter, Black Heart, in the Chicago Sun Times.

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The Dead

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Dead, directed by John Huston, theatrical release poster

image: Wikipedia

The Dead (1987) (DVD) Directed by John Huston (The Maltese Falcon (1941), The African Queen (1951), The Misfits (1961)), starring Anjelica Huston (Prizzi’s Honor (1985), The Crossing Guard (1995), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)), Donal McCann and others, screenplay by Tony Huston.  A tender, moving, softly sad film about the nature of life, and of death, based on the story The Dead, part of the collection of stories, Dubliners, by James Joyce, The Dead was John Huston’s last film, made when he, himself, was terribly ill and only months from dying. (PR)

We recommend buying your DVDs.  Have a wonderful personal library…

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The Misfits

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Misfits, original theatrical release poster

The Misfits (1961) (DVD) Directed by John Huston, starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift (The Search (1948), A Place in the Sun (1951), From Here to Eternity (1953)), Eli Wallach (Baby Doll (1956), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), The Ghost Writer (2010)) and others.  With an excellent, subtle and powerful screenplay written by the great American playwright Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman, among others), this tragic drama, the last film made by Clark Gable (It Happened One Night (1934), Gone with the Wind (1939), Mogambo (1953))), who suffered a heart attack two days after filming ended and died ten days later, as well as the last complete film made by Marilyn Monroe (How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Some Like It Hot (1959)), and directed by by the masterful John Huston (The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The Night of the Iguana (1964)), features truly superb performances by all, especially Monroe, Gable and Clift.  Moving, supremely sad, heartbreaking. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray disks.  Have a wonderful personal film library..

top image: Wikipedia

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Captains Courageous

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 13 March 2011

Captains Courageous, 1990 VHS version cover

Captains Courageous (1937) (DVD) directed by Victor Fleming starring Freddie Bartholomew, Spencer Tracy, Lionel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas, Mickey Rooney.  Based on the novel of the same name (1897) by Rudyard Kipling (a long and fascinating Wikipedia entry, here).  Captains Courageous offers not only a wonderful sense of realistic detail of fishing the Great Banks in 3-masted fishing schooners in the early 20th century (with much real footage), as well as a sensitive recounting of Kipling’s tale of how a young teenager learns what it means to be fair, to work hard, and to value life, but also offers a wonderful opportunity to delve into the accomplishments of it star-studded cast, and director.  To this end, it may interest you to note the following details of their various filmographies:

Lionel Barrymore: (It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946, Directed by Frank Capra with James Stewart; Key Largo, (1948, Directed by John Huston, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall), brother of John Barrymore, great uncle of Drew Barrymore)

Melvyn Douglas: Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for both (Hud, (1963), starring Paul Newman, and Being There (1979) with Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine)

Spencer Tracy: (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1941, also directed by Victor Fleming; Woman of the Year, 1942, with Kathrine Hepburn) ranked 9th, in 1999, by the American Film Institute’s list of Greatest Male Stars of All Time 

Victor Fleming: (The Wizard of Oz (1939), and Gone with the Wind (1939), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director.)

All said, a film worth watching for any number of reasons. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a wonderful personal film library..

top image: Wikipedia


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