Palo Alto, CA: Stanford Theatre British Film program

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Derek B.

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Palo Alto, CA: Stanford Theatre British Film program

PostFri Sep 12, 2008 8:24 pm

The Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto, California has scheduled a program of Rare Treasures of British Cinema from September 19 through October 31. Most of them are from the 1940s; the rest are from the 1930s and 1950s. There are a number of films I have not heard of and others I have only seen on Region 2 DVDs.
- Derek B.
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Mike Gebert

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PostFri Sep 12, 2008 8:30 pm

Oh man, Rome Express, the original Hitchcockian train thriller, written by Launder and Gilliatt, with Conrad Veidt! That's the one I'd make sure to catch.
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Penfold

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PostSat Sep 13, 2008 12:09 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Oh man, Rome Express, the original Hitchcockian train thriller, written by Launder and Gilliatt, with Conrad Veidt! That's the one I'd make sure to catch.



And it has the cream of British character acting talent - Donald Calthrop, Gordon Harker, Eliot Makeham and Finlay Currie.....fabulous. I've been waiting about twenty years to see it myself....these films are rarely screened here; hats off to the programmer (Though good luck with Gasbags and It's that Man Again.....shudder...)
I could use some digital restoration myself...
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Derek B.

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PostWed Sep 17, 2008 9:44 pm

I picked up a copy of the program today and it has more details. It says: "All but two are from a major collection of several hundred 35mm prints of British films recently purchased by our foundation. This collection is unique in America, and it will enhance our future programming." (It doesn't say anything about the source of the collection.) So there should be more opportunites to see similar films.

Any other recommendations would be welcome though I have seen 4 or 5 of the films. The description for The Perfect Woman sounds somewhat like Lubitsch's The Doll as it has an inventor who designs a robot woman who is then impersonated by a real woman.
- Derek B.
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Penfold

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PostThu Sep 18, 2008 1:25 am

Derek B. wrote:Any other recommendations would be welcome though I have seen 4 or 5 of the films. The description for The Perfect Woman sounds somewhat like Lubitsch's The Doll as it has an inventor who designs a robot woman who is then impersonated by a real woman.


Not a film I know - but anything with Patricia Roc in it is worth watching - only Deborah Kerr had the same combination of looks and talent....despite her career peaking over fifty years ago, ask any Englishman of a certain age.... :roll:

As for recomendations; We Dive at Dawn and The Gentle Sex are two of the better War/propaganda dramas from the early part of the War; the first a better than average submarine picture with a stunning cast and a similar structure but better execution (IMO) than the better known In Which We Serve; The Gentle Sex is one of a raft of 'People of Disparate People Getting Together to Form a Fighting Unit' films that was practically a genre at the time; this being a tad unusual in that it dealt with the ATS - the womens Army. Again, a great cast, the highlight being Lili Palmer...and Leslie Howard, who co-directed with Adrian Brunel and Maurice Elvey.
Having said that, these are probably the least rare of the films, so you have probably seen them already....
I could use some digital restoration myself...
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Frederica

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PostThu Sep 18, 2008 7:59 am

Penfold wrote:Having said that, these are probably the least rare of the films, so you have probably seen them already....


No, I haven't. (whine) I wonder if they'll get a road show or...heaven help us...a dvd release?

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Penfold

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PostThu Sep 18, 2008 8:22 am

Frederica wrote:
Penfold wrote:Having said that, these are probably the least rare of the films, so you have probably seen them already....


No, I haven't. (whine) I wonder if they'll get a road show or...heaven help us...a dvd release?

Fred


We Dive at Dawn is very available - even R1. I thought I had The Gentle Sex on tape, but it seems I don't - but it's shown pretty regularly on TV over here..... :wink:
I could use some digital restoration myself...
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greta de groat

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PostThu Sep 18, 2008 9:43 am

Derek B. wrote:. The description for The Perfect Woman sounds somewhat like Lubitsch's The Doll as it has an inventor who designs a robot woman who is then impersonated by a real woman.


Isn't that the plot of the ballet "Coppelia?"

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FrankFay

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PostThu Sep 18, 2008 12:09 pm

No, there's a mechanical doll and a man who is fooled into believing the doll is real. The ballet has a happy ending when it's all revealed as a joke. In the original Hoffmann story when the obsessed lover discovers the truth (and sees the doll's beautiful eyes laying on the floor) he goes mad. In between those two extremes is the Offenbach version where he falls in love with the doll, but she falls to pieces while they waltz.
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Derek B.

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PostFri Sep 26, 2008 9:32 am

Penfold wrote:Not a film I know - but anything with Patricia Roc in it is worth watching - only Deborah Kerr had the same combination of looks and talent....despite her career peaking over fifty years ago, ask any Englishman of a certain age.... :roll:

As for recomendations; We Dive at Dawn and The Gentle Sex are two of the better War/propaganda dramas from the early part of the War... Having said that, these are probably the least rare of the films, so you have probably seen them already....


Thanks for the comments; I have seen We Dive at Dawn but not The Gentle Sex. Unfortunately I was out of town for a week and had to miss Rome Express but I plan to see several of the remaining bills. I'll try to post something in "Talking About Talkies" at the end.
- Derek B.

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