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Gone to Earth / The Wild Heart

Classic cinematics from first-rank filmmakers. No ballet or heroism, so not a crowd pleaser, but Michael Powell’s original version of Gone to Earth is another unique Archers creation. Jennifer Jones finally gets to chew on a character role with grit, as a natural virgin/vixen misunderstood by contrasting suitors. David O. Selznick’s revision The Wild Heart is a classic too — of unnecessary meddling.

Gone to Earth / The Wild Heart


Kl Studio Classics

1950 / Color / 1:37 flat Academy / 110, 86 min. / Street Date June 25, 2019 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Jennifer Jones, David Farrar, Cyril Cusack, Sybil Thorndike, Edward Chapman, Esmond Knight, Hugh Griffith.

Cinematography: Christopher Challis

Film Editor: Reginald Mills

From the novel by: Mary Webb

Music by Brian Easdale

Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

This is one beautiful production, one that will thrill Powell & Pressburger fans eager to see all of his films. With his typical cinematic simplicity,
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Cummings Pt.3: Gender-Bending from Joan of Arc to Comic Farce, Liberal Supporter of Political Refugees

'Saint Joan': Constance Cummings as the George Bernard Shaw heroine. Constance Cummings on stage: From sex-change farce and Emma Bovary to Juliet and 'Saint Joan' (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Frank Capra, Mae West and Columbia Lawsuit.”) In the mid-1930s, Constance Cummings landed the title roles in two of husband Benn W. Levy's stage adaptations: Levy and Hubert Griffith's Young Madame Conti (1936), starring Cummings as a demimondaine who falls in love with a villainous character. She ends up killing him – or does she? Adapted from Bruno Frank's German-language original, Young Madame Conti was presented on both sides of the Atlantic; on Broadway, it had a brief run in spring 1937 at the Music Box Theatre. Based on the Gustave Flaubert novel, the Theatre Guild-produced Madame Bovary (1937) was staged in late fall at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Referring to the London production of Young Madame Conti, The
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Criterion Collection: The River | Blu-ray Review

Criterion repackages Jean Renoir’s 1951 classic The River for Blu-ray, one of the master filmmaker’s several titles in the collection (fans may recall that Renoir’s Grand Illusion was the very first Criterion title). A title significant in many respects, being the first Technicolor film in India and Renoir’s first color feature, it’s simplistic beauty has gone on to influence future generations of filmmakers, including its prominently vocal champion Martin Scorsese. It also served as a launching pad for Satyajit Ray, who worked as an assistant on the film, and who would go on to create his own stunning debut four years later with the first chapter of his Apu trilogy, Pather Panchali (1955).

We experience the childhood of Harriet (Patricia Walters) in retrospect, her off-screen adult voice recounting one particular stretch of time while growing up in India with her mother (Nora Swinburne) and father (Esmond Knight
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Forty 1940s Films: ‘Black Narcissus’ a testament to the genius collaboration between two directors

Forty 1940s Films: ‘Black Narcissus

Written & Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

Starring Deborah Kerr, Kathleen Byron, Sabu, and Jean Simmons

UK, 100 min – 1947.

Black Narcissus recreates the western world’s allure for the exotic – with a twist. This is no escapist, romantic drama in the style of Arabian Nights. With Black Narcissus, Powell and Pressburger fill the screen with sexual tension and repressed desire that correlate with Britain’s failed attempts to maintain its empire, post war.

The ‘exotic’ in Black Narcissus are the Himalayas, where five nuns, led by Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr) are sent to establish a convent. They arrive to find the palace promised to them, by the Old General (Esmond Knight), to be where the General’s father kept his women. Their first obstacle then seems to be reforming the wild nature of the people they refer to as “children.” Soon though, the nuns are affected by the windy environment,
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Deborah Kerr, Michael Powell Photos: Black Narcissus Behind the Scenes

Deborah Kerr, pony, Michael Powell on the Black Narcissus set The Criterion Collection has posted a series of images providing a glimpse behind the scenes of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1947 classic Black Narcissus. Set in the Himalayas, this adaptation of Rumer Godden's novel was filmed entirely in Britain, chiefly at Pinewood Studios. Make sure to check it out here. In the beautifully nuanced Black Narcissus, Deborah Kerr stars as an Anglican nun sent to a convent in the Himalayas. The location's rarefied air and the presence of David Farrar brings to the surface the nun's latent ambivalence toward her vows. Tragedy ensues when another nun, played by Kathleen Byron, falls madly in lust/love with Farrar's character. Also in the Black Narcissus cast: Flora Robson, Sabu, Jean Simmons (in heavy makeup as a local girl), and Esmond Knight. For her efforts in both Black Narcissus and I See a Dark Stranger,
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A Look Back At ‘The Halfway House’

The Halfway House (1943)

Director: Basil Dearden

A young girl tries to bring her estranged parents back together by contriving a mini-break at a charming Welsh inn. It might sound a bit like The Parent Trap, but The Halfway House is an intriguing but uneven wartime fantasy drama from Ealing Studios. Director Basil Dearden’s film was co-written by Angus MacPhail and Diana Morgan (Went The Day Well?) and also features one of the most grating Welsh accents I’ve ever heard – courtesy of Glynis Johns.

The Halfway House begins with a series of brief vignettes introducing the main characters. There’s young Joanna (Sally Anne Howes), whose bickering parents Richard and Jill (Richard Bird and Valerie White) are on the brink of divorce. A disgraced army officer Fortescue (Guy Middleton) is released from prison, after serving time for pilfering the regimental funds. At a Welsh port, ex-navy captain Harry Meadows
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Eugène Lourié Homage: Jean Renoir’s The River, Sci-Fier Crack In The World Screening

Adrienne Corri (Mrs. Alexander in A Clockwork Orange) in Jean Renoir’s The River The Art Directors Guild (Adg) Film Society and the American Cinematheque (AC) will honor Production Designer Eugène Lourié with a double feature: Andrew Marton’s Crack in the World (1965), starring Dana Andrews and Janette Scott, and Jean Renoir’s classic The River (1951), with Nora Swinburne and Esmond Knight. The screenings will be held on Sunday, June 27, at 5:30 pm. at the Egyptian Theatre. A panel discussion will be held between screenings with panelists Bernard Glasser, producer of Crack in the World as well as Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red [...]
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Ken Annakin

Ken Annakin, best remembered for directing the big-budget 1965 adventure comedy Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, died of natural causes on Wednesday, April 22, at his home in Beverly Hills. He had suffered a stroke and a heart attack in February, and had been in poor health since. Like fellow British filmmaker Jack Cardiff, who also died on April 22, Annakin was 94. Born Kenneth Cooper Annakin in Beverley, Yorkshire, in England, on Aug. 10, 1914, Annakin began his film career working as a cameraman on training films for the Royal Air Force in World War II. His first feature as a director was the 1947 family vacation comedy Holiday Camp, starring numerous stalwarts of the British film industry, among them Flora Robson, Dennis Price, Esmond Knight, Hazel Court, and Jack Warner and Kathleen Harrison as the vacationing Huggetts. The following year saw the release of one of Annakin’s biggest British [...]
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