Wednesday, August 11, 2010

James Mason

Over the last year or so I have become a big fan of James Mason. What a deadly combination of a beautiful face and a magnificent voice!

My favourite James Mason films (in order of preference) :

Odd Man Out (Carol Reed, 1947)
Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray, 1956)
Lolita (Stanley Kubrick, 1962)
North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959) : I wish he had more lines in this one. "That wasn't very sporting, using real bullets!"
The Reckless Moment (Max Ophuls, 1949)
Caught (Max Ophuls, 1949)

Plays to Movies

Saw three movies adapted from plays in the last couple of days. Unfortunately all three were extremely disappointing. I haven't read any of the plays though.

The Night of the Iguana (John Huston, 1964) : Generally a good hand when it comes to literary adaptations this one by Huston was baffling and, well, boring and pretentiously so. The opening scene in which Richard Burton has a nervous breakdown (or whatever that is) in the church was pretty good though.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Mike Nichols, 1966) : This was actually good enough but may be I was expecting much more given its reputation as a classic. The B/W cinematography (by Haskell Wexler) was quite good though, specially given that most of the action happens indoors.

Tea and Sympathy (Vincente Minnelli, 1956) :  Supposed to be a critique of socially constructed masculinity, this is awfully dated. Almost embarrassingly ridiculous.

Hangover Square

Pretty terrific stuff. Bleak, claustrophobic (like being trapped inside one's mind) but also compelling and compulsively readable. Now I need to find out the dvd or the torrent.

Wonderful trailer of the great 60's film Point Blank. Lee Marvin's finest hour!