Ivan Kouznetsoff, a Russian engineer, recounts during World War II his stay in England prior to the war working on a new propeller for ice-breaking ships. Naive about British people, and ... See full summary »
The Shakespeare tragedy that gave us the expression "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." King Lear has not one but two ungrateful children, and it's ... See full summary »
Jealousy and hatred is what separates the Pandavas and Kauravas. The Kauravas fear the Pandavas are after the throne of their father. Yudhishthira of the Pandavas gets told by the deity, Krishna, that he will become king. A war is inevitable.
After Larry Darrent accidentally kills his lover's blackmailing husband, someone else is arrested for the crime. Larry and Wanda have just three weeks together before the trial and if the ... See full summary »
A historical adaptation of John Gay's 18th Century ballad opera, exuberantly performed for BBC television. With its story of a condemned highwayman, it brings to life the greed, lust and ... See full summary »
Authentic rendering of John Gay's eighteenth century musical, filmed in Technicolor, about Captain MacHeath, a highwayman, and his love for too many beautiful women. Betrayed by Jenny and Sukey, two of his bygone lovers, and temporarily freed by two others, MacHeath is arrested and condemned to death. While waiting to be hanged, the Captain is entertained by a musical beggar, who has written an opera of which the highwayman is the hero.Written by
Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>
The genesis of this 1728 opera came from Jonathan Swift, who wrote to Alexander Pope in 1716 asking "what think you, of a Newgate pastoral among the thieves and whores there?" John Gay, who was a friend of both, took up the idea. See more »
As was said in my review for the 1963 production of the Britten version, John Gay's ballad/satirical opera 'The Beggar's Opera' is a lot of fun and it is no wonder it's popular with most, the dialogue, music and characters are all great. Benjamin Britten's radically different but enormously enjoyable and melodious, an ingenious and often brilliant modern re-imagining that shows the composer's individual treatment of folk-songs, version is also well worth it as well.
This 1953 film may not be completely ideal, but it is still intriguing and entertaining with a good deal to like. Occasionally, some of the dialogue loses impact when director Peter Brook tries to open up the action. While there are wonderful, imaginative visuals, Brook's directorial inexperience shows with some of the drama a bit undistinguished and stagy.
However, 'The Beggar's Opera' (1953) is a very handsome-looking film, with stylish production and costume design and some imaginative photography that succeeds in opening up the action. The music is a superb mix of rousing fun and heartfelt nuance. Most of the dialogue crackles with sharp wit and avoids being too wordy.
Most of the story absorbs and is lively in pacing, with the action being just about easy to follow and the twist is well executed.
Laurence Olivier may not have the best singing voice there is, but has charismatic swagger and energy aplenty. Hugh Griffith, Dorothy Tutin, George Devine and Stanley Holloway give him strong support.
All in all, intriguing and entertaining if not the most ideal version. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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