Updated to 1970s London, this faithful adaptation of Herman Melville’s classic follows a young accounting clerk rebelling against his employer by responding to demands to do work by saying, “I prefer not to.” This is carried on ad absurdum until the office is in chaos because the other employees must do Bartleby’s work. His boss is unable to fire or help him and eventually has him placed in a mental hospital. Paul Scofield (A Man for All Seasons), John McEnery (The Duellists) and Thorley Walters (TV’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”) star in this impeccably mounted study of employment, insanity, and the rigors of everyday life from one of literature’s most acclaimed geniuses.
Tag Archives: UK
After the Fox / Caccia alla volpe (1966) Vittorio De Sica, Peter Sellers, Victor Mature, Britt Ekland, Comedy, Crime
Peter Sellers plays Aldo Vanucci (aka the Fox), one of the greatest criminals of the world, and master of disguise. After Aldo escapes from the Italian prison he was held in, he meets again with his friends, and plans to retrieve the “gold of Cairo” a large shipment of gold, that waits to be unloaded somewhere in Italy. Aldo devices the perfect plan. Posing as a famous director, he finds the ideal coastal village to unload the shipment, and persuades the entire population that he has chosen their village as the set for his new movie. Everybody, including the idiot chief of the local police is so excited, that they can’t even imagine that in fact they are helping the Fox to get the “gold of Cairo”…
Nouvelle-France / Battle of the Brave (2004) Jean Beaudin, Noémie Godin-Vigneau, David La Haye, Juliette Gosselin, Drama, History, Romance
Prejudice, perfidy, love, and bravery in Québec. In 1779, a priest on his deathbed receives a young woman. Flash back 20 years: Marie-Loup, an herb-dispensing peasant, falls for François, a man of property. The priest’s perfidy and the treachery of a soldier separate the lovers and set in motion a chain of events leading to a death, a trial, and an execution. The action unfolds against a backdrop of England’s take-over of French-Canada, the Church’s manipulations to maintain spiritual hegemony, and the limited rights of woman and indigenous peoples. Watching it all is Marie-Loup’s daughter, named France, who, when grown, is the dying priest’s visitor in prelude and coda.
Antonia / Antonia’s Line (1995) Marleen Gorris, Willeke van Ammelrooy, Jan Decleir, Veerle van Overloop, Comedy, Drama
This story is based both on a long-standing legend and a play by E. Temple Thurston. Veteran British director Maurice Elvey brought years of experience with theatrical adaptations to the difficult task of filming a movie that spans centuries and strains credulity. Conrad Veidt stars as the Jew who urges Roman authorities to crucify Jesus and release Barabbas. As a punishment, he is condemned by God to wander the Earth for many centuries, enduring innumerable trials and tribulations on several continents.
A Liverpool tug boat captain finds he’s won a fortune on the penny pools and it changes his life. However, after giving up his job and throwing a large expensive party, he discovers that he may not really have won after all.
The Offence (1973) Sidney Lumet, Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Vivien Merchant, Crime, Drama, Thriller
In Sidney Lumet’s harrowing portrayal of police brutality, Detective Sergeant Johnson has been with the British Police Force for 20 years. In that time, the countless murders, rapes and other serious crimes he has had to investigate has left a terrible mark on him. His anger and aggression that had been suppressed for years finally surfaces when interviewing a suspect, Baxter, whom Johnson is convinced is the man that has been carrying out a series of brutal attacks on young girls. Throughout the interview Johnson brutally beats Baxter and during this ordeal he inadvertently reveals that the state of his own mind is probably no better than that of the offenders who committed the crimes that disgusted Johnson originally.
Jeremy Irons plays a Spanish Jesuit who goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region. Robert DeNiro plays a slave hunter who is converted and joins Irons in his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portuguese aggressors.
Stanley Baker’s character is sent to steal the plans from another company of their racing car designs, to ensure his employers win the competition. However when opening a safe containing the plans, he triggers an alarm leading to a gun battle where he kills a number of people. James Robertson Justice alarmed by the scandal surrounding the killings orders his agent be killed surreptitiously to hide his involvement with the plot.